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Slovenian Folk-Pop as Politics: Perceptions, Receptions and Identities




1.9.2020 - 31.8.2023

Range on year:

0.53 FTE | 2020


prof.dr. Peter Stanković

Research activity:


The phases of the project and their realization:

The project comprises 5 Work Packages (WPs). WP1 (months 1-36): Project management, communication, and dissemination. WP2 (months 1-24) Folk-Pop in Policy. WP3 (months 1-36) Folk-Pop and its Media Exposure. WP4 (months 20-33) Folk-Pop as Text and Mediatized Performance. WP5 (months 6-30) Audience and Reception Research.

Research Organisation:


Citations for bibliographic records:


A wedding, a funeral, a sports victory or simply a party in Slovenia hardly goes by without the tunes of folk-pop (narodno-zabavna glasba) – the most ubiquitous, all-pervasive, mainstream, proverbially “Slovenian” musical genre. Surprisingly, this very genre, which continues to exhibit profound influence on Slovenian “national aesthetics” (Mlekuž 2015, Močnik 2009, Stanković 2015), the nation's symbolic imaginary, its party and celebration playlists, as well as other musical genres, has managed to escape the attention of researchers. Slovenian popular music has thus far predominantly been studied as a tool of alternative identity formation and articulation; in terms of its politics, its productively disruptive capacities in particular have been emphasized (Hofman 2015; Velikonja 2003; Velikonja 2013).The value of such studies, which, understandably, focus on alternative genres and practices, cannot be overstated. They point to the vibrant complexity of the Slovenian cultural landscape, both demonstrating the formative role of music in place- and identity-articulation, and effectively contextualizing the Slovenian landscape of musical production and consumption practices from regional and transnational musical, cultural, and theoretical perspectives. This project wishes to take these studies further by scrutinizing folk-pop, a prominent and arguably the most underresearched aspect of the Slovenian contemporary musicscape. The project builds on the PI Prof. Dr. Peter Stanković’s extensive previous research on Slovenian popular music (Stanković 2002, 2006, 2014, 2015) and addresses the research gaps and challenges identified in the last major study on Slovenian mainstream popular music (2010-2013). This study, headed by Stanković, was part of a HERA-funded project on popular music heritage, cultural memory and identity. Among other findings, the results of this project demonstrated the perseverance of strong links between folk-pop and national identity in political and educational discourse (Zevnik 2014) and in audience research (Majsova 2016), and, at the same time, the absence of this genre in heritage discourse (Stanković 2014) and in scholarly literature (Stanković 2015). Taking these findings as its point of departure, this project aims to determine the contemporary cultural impact of folk-pop and its involvement in governance in Slovenia by investigating it from the perspectives of a) policies and production; b) media exposure; c) reception and d) texts, aiming to analyze it in terms of representation and mediatized performance. We intend to provide a multifaceted mapping of contemporary folk-pop in terms of 1) its presence in music production, print and audiovisual media; 2) its visibility in legislation, cultural policies, political and commercial discourse; 3) its perceived entanglements with local, regional and national history, cultural memory and identification, and 4) its expressed aesthetics (text, performance and imagery, with special attention to its navigation of gender roles and its aesthetics of the rural and the urban, as well as the traditional and the modern). In doing so, the project will enrich Slovenian popular music studies by providing a valuable contextualization of the contemporary popular-musicscape, and thereby complementing studies on other genres. The project will also provide a much-needed assessment of the contemporary transformations of the genre’s place in the national economy, and of its status as a “national” genre. It will be the first study to date to interrogate folk-pop’s traditionalist, conservative and nationalist aesthetic by analyzing its contemporary impetus to respond to and incorporate developments from other genres, and also its impact on other genres (such as pop-rock). Follow us on

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