Exhibition presents Slovenian anthropologist and her work in Paraguay
Ljubljana, 20 April - An exhibition on Slovenian ethnologist and anthropologist Branislava Sušnik (1920-1996) and her work in Paraguay will open at the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum on Tuesday, presenting her key works and expeditions to areas inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Paraguay.
The exhibition La Doctora: The Life and Work of a Slovene Researcher in Paraguay follows the story of Sušnik, whom at the end of the Second World War fate brought to a new, completely different cultural environment of Paraguay.
Born in Medvode, Sušnik completed her doctoral studies in ethnohistory and Ural-Altaic linguistics in Vienna and began studying the cultures and languages of Asia Minor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. In addition to history and anthropology, she studied ethnology, prehistory, ancient languages and scripts.
After completing her studies, Sušnik returned to Ljubljana. Her father Jože Sušnik was murdered at the beginning of the Second World War and she escaped to Italy.
From there she emigrated to Argentina, having learnt Spanish during a month-long boat trip. In Argentina she began field research work at Laishi Mission in Los Tobas de Formosa, writing her first linguistic work in America.
In 1951, the founder of Paraguay's Ethnographic Museum, Andrés Barbero, invited her to Asunción. After his death in 1952, she took over the management of the museum and ran it until her death in 1996.
The exhibition presents her key works and expeditions to areas inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Paraguay as well as the stories of the communities in Chaco, and the forests and saunas in the eastern Paraguay.
It features studio shots of exhibits Sušnik collected on her expeditions that are part of the collections of the Andrés Barbero Ethnographic Museum, the photos she took during her work, and the documents and photos she presented in her books.
As part of the project, the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum obtained a comprehensive collection of digitalised material from the collections and documents of the Andrés Barbero Ethnographic Museum, which will be kept at the newly founded fund of the Ljubljana museum named after Sušnik.
The exhibition, whose honorary sponsor is President Borut Pahor, will open virtually at 6pm today. The event will be addressed by Culture Ministry State Secretary Ignacija Fridl Jarc and Foreign Ministry State Secretary Stanislav Raščan.
A short documentary about Sušnik will also be screened at the opening event at https://youtu.be/XtuRaTGlyHU.