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An American artist in Slovenia interprets live public exchanges into a visual, poetic book exploring identity politics.
64 backers pledged $3,530 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$3,530

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I invite you to support the first stage of the BECOMING SLOVENIAN project:

live gallery interactions between myself, an American artist, and Slovenes on their home turf. 

Any funds raised beyond my goal will go to the next phases of the project, including development and self-publishing of a book synthesizing these exchanges. 

                                 * * *

Is Becoming Slovenian a state of mind?

In 2008 my Slovenian husband and I picked up our toddler and left Chicago for his hometown of Ljubljana, to pursue his career. Knowing only how to count and order beer in Slovenian, and still struggling with the radical transformations of parenthood, my daily life became a comedy of errors. To deepen and distance my understanding of my utter disorientation, I began framing the ongoing advice and questions I was receiving into this poetic ethnography, Becoming Slovenian.  In 2010, I set up half of the KAPSULA gallery in Ljubljana like an office, and invited viewers to bring any object or writing that might help instruct me 

'What Must I do to Become Slovenian?'

The KAPSULA attendant, Mojca Grmek, a fellow artist and young mother, took an interest in the project and created a list of discussion topics ranging from comparisons of American and Slovenian BFA programs, to how many terms Slovenes have for being drunk or high (more than 40). We found as many real differences as we did similarities and more importantly, found that the conversation had just begun. 

Mojca has curated Becoming Slovenian March 8th-24th 2012, in Galerija Domzale, and a tour of several Slovenian cities this August. In the fall, I will begin the process of synthesizing these exchanges and personal experiences into a book, which I imagine will combine the styles of travelogue, graphic novel, and exhibition catalogue. However I look forward to the process continuing to take on a life of its own!

Your support will defray my expenses for the Domzale event happening now, and make this ongoing labor of love possible. Any funds above the goal will support the August tour, development and self-publishing of the book itself!

                                 * * *

Peace is STILL Possible

I believe peace is rooted in individual self-awareness and compassion for others. The Becoming Slovenian project uses specific moments of culture clash, humor, and beauty to open up big questions and consciousness about the human condition, and how connected we all are. Sometimes the smallest everyday exchange shifts reality imperceptibly in a new direction, toward a world we hadn't yet imagined.

Click here to visit the Becoming Slovenian Blog

*Thanks to the ever generous Mark Messing for his sound scrap genious!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    TOURIST:
    A souvenir postcard from me to you. Notes and doodles may elucidate the Slovenian experience, or teach you a Slovene swear. *Contributors made BY MARCH 18 will get postcards airmailed from Slovenia!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    HITCHHIKER SPECIAL #1 "Phallic Ljubljana": I'm adding this reward in the home stretch to help get me the rest of the way to my goal... Enjoy a black and white old-school mini zine, showcasing a little architectural porn for those dark boxstore-fever nights.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    HITCHHIKER SPECIAL #2 "SLOVAR": (Slovar=Dictionary) This reward is added in the home stretch to help get me the rest of the way to my goal... Enjoy a black and white old-school mini zine, illustrating some of the more than 40 ways to alter your state, or at least, ways to describe it, in Ljubljana.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    HITCHHIKER SPECIAL #3 "POTICA LEPOTICA": I'm adding this special reward in the home stretch to help get me the rest of the way to my goal... Enjoy a black and white old-school mini zine, illustrating Slovenian HRANO=food, from traditional to street food to the officially assimilated.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    BACKPACKER:
    A hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zine. This intimate little book will preview some content from the 'Becoming Slovenian' book, but stand on its own as a slice-of-life from my outsider's view of Slovenia.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    STUDY ABROAD: A set of TWO different hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zines combining my drawings, writing and photos. Plus a vial of water from the Ljubljanica, the river Jason and the Argonauts once voyaged on their way to slay the mythic dragon.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    EXCHANGE STUDENT: A set of TWO different hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zines combining my drawings, writing and photos, and a pair of copati ("TSO-PAH'-TEE), the slippers all Slovenes require guests and family to wear in the house.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE CONTINENTAL: A set of THREE different hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zines combining my drawings, writing and photos, AND your own personal youtube puppet video publicly thanking you.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    FOREIGN DIPLOMAT: A set of THREE different hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zines combining my drawings, writing and photos. Plus a pair of copati, the slippers all Slovenes require guests and families to wear in the house, and a zafu meditation cushion hand-made from used jeans, stuffed with natural fiber. You may sit on the cushion while reading the zines, or while brokering treaties.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    INTERNATIONAL LIAISON: I will make you soup when you are sick. Your choice of Jota ("YO'TAH"), Slovenian sauerkraut and bean soup, or matzoh ball. Also, the above rewards: a set of THREE different hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zines combining my drawings, writing and photos, pair of copati, handmade cushion, and a framed piece of art from the project.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE PATH OF REMEMBRANCE AND COMRADESHIP: (In Slovene: Pot spominov in tovarištva) All of the above rewards: A set of THREE different hand-bound, hand-colored old-school zines combining my drawings, writing and photos, vial of Ljubljanica water, pair of copati, handmade cushion, soup, framed art from the project, plus a paper-mache mask portrait of you or a family member of your choice.

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Funding period

- (17 days)