If the means of travel for early trans-ocean crossings was a ship - and one often names currents when talking about migrations -, the metaphor may continue with the title of this book, which does portray the sense of perpetual motion forever involving people, and driving them to forego their homesteads for better standards of living elsewhere.
Together with a historic outline of emigration from Slavia and a heretofore unpublished study on U.S.-bound mass migration from the Natisone Valleys in the early 20th century (by Aleksej Kalc, a University of Koper/ Capodistria teacher and researcher), the publication suggests a new approach when interpreting a phenomenon that has so deeply marked the community and land of Slavia.
Though such movements are often due either to economic policy reasons or international agreements binding States, in every day reality - as can be inferred from the photos sent by the emigrants to their families back home - they meant private detachment vicissitudes, departures, and setting up an entirely new life elsewhere.
The book provides a meaningful selection of images from family archives, out of the over 300 vintage photographs exhibited in the show bearing the same name. Through them, it puts back together the tale - both private and collective – of the many who undertook the adventure abroad. Places and workmates, especially houses and household appliances, brand new cars and tables laden with food and drink; childbirth, weddings, presents under Christmas trees. Descriptions through images, often leaving out the tiresome work and humiliations endured to reach wellbeing: one is prompted to surmise that they may have induced who had remained in the rural hometown to abandon it and undergo a similar experience in the world.
Text by Aleksej Kalc, Michela Predan, Alvaro Petricig
Language: Italian, Slovenian
Size: 21,5x15 cm, 112 pages
Publisher: Študijski center Nediža / Centro studi in Unione emigranti sloveni del Friuli Venezia Giulia, Cividale del Friuli, 2008