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EXHIBITION OF THE ARCHIVES OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA CELEBRATING THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SLOVENIAN INDEPENDANCE

 

In every nation’s history there are milestone moments and decisions that its people recall with confidence and pride. The decision for independence that the Slovenian population made clear at the plebiscite is certainly one such historic decision. Milestone events that led up to it should continue to inspire us in our current and future considerations. They are an inspiration for the next 25 years.

[Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia]

 

Exhibition of the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Slovenian Independance  

 

By once again displaying the exhibition marking the 25th anniversary of the plebiscite for an independent Slovenia, we aim to highlight that such watershed moments in the life of our country and of each and every citizen are always an opportunity to embark upon a path of bravery, unity, and solidarity: the qualities that united us as a nation 25 years ago, when out of over 93% of Slovenia's eligible voters who participated in the plebiscite, 1,289,369 replied YES to the question whether Slovenia was to become a sovereign and independent state.

 

There are only a few nations in the world that have won their sovereignty and independence in such a democratic and, above all, peaceful way. We may therefore celebrate the 25th anniversary of the plebiscite for a sovereign and independent Slovenia with the utmost joy and pride.

 

With this exhibition prepared by the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia, we wish to express our thanks to all Slovenes living and working abroad who, in our nation's moment of decision, exerted all their influence and helped their countrymen achieve international recognition of the independent and sovereign state of Slovenia.

 

The Archives of the Republic of Slovenia protect archival documents which have the value of a cultural monument. In the coming years, we will begin accepting documents that will tell our future generations about the birth of the Slovenian state.     

 

Without the archival materials on our countrymen living in our neighbouring countries and abroad, our research of Slovenian historiography would be rather diminished. Therefore we cordially invite you to let us know of any archival materials you may be keeping in your private collections, your associations, clubs and other organizations. We shall be happy to offer you our professional assistance in preserving this invaluable part of our nation's heritage.   

 

The exhibition is comprised of three sections: THE PERIOD BEFORE THE PLEBISCITE, THE DAY OF THE PLEBISCITE and THE PERIOD AFTER THE PLEBISCITE.

 

The first and most extensive section - THE PERIOD BEFORE THE PLEBISCITE, depicts the unified politics of Slovenia, which, by means of the plebiscite as a form of direct democratic decision-making, let the nation decide what form of state it wished to live in; while the documents of the authorities for internal affairs in Slovenia testify to the unpredictable nature of the security situation at the time. Outside of Slovenia's borders, an exceptional contribution was made by the Slovenes abroad and all over the world, who gathered several thousands of signatures and wrote numerous letters in support of the plebiscite. This had an extremely favorable effect on the political atmosphere during the days of the plebiscite, as it strengthened the feeling that this was a historic decision being made by the entire Slovene nation. The central part of this section covering the first phase of this event is devoted to the advertising campaign which, by means of various media (posters, newspaper advertisements, TV spots and other promotional materials) succeeded in creating an atmosphere of anticipation of a joyous event, i.e. created a solemn celebratory atmosphere placing emphasis on the fact that this was an act of Slovenia's opening up to the world, not closing itself inside its borders.

 

The central part of the exhibition – THE DAY OF THE PLEBISCITE, opens the doors to a simulation of a polling station on the day the nation made its decision with regard to the plebiscitary proposal. Here visitors can cast their vote again. This, second part of the exhibition, is enhanced by invalid ballot papers and photographic material.

 

Together with the official announcement of the voting results, we are greeted in the third part of the exhibition – THE PERIOD AFTER THE PLEBISCITE – by scenes of celebration and the joyful atmosphere in the streets, which was charged with a feeling of idealism, self-confidence and maturity. A special section is dedicated to numismatics (currency and coinage in 1990 and 1991), and the commemorative gold and silver coins issued on the first anniversary of the plebiscite suitably round off the year in which the goal of the plebiscite was realized: the independent and sovereign state of Slovenia.

 

We cordially invite you to relive the positive atmosphere of 25 years ago and to symbolically support – with your vote - the striving of the Slovenes in the old country for a unified society imbued with solidarity as it looks to the future.

 

Exhibition brochure (pdf)

Slovenia's National Day Reception Invitation - Washington D.C. (pdf