In my diploma thesis, named Local identity and its presentation, my objective was to find out how local identity indicates in visual media, particularly on the case of the Tolmin region. Firstly, the fundamental notions had to be defined to achieve this objective. Such notions are personal identity, collective sense of belonging, what affects the formation of identity and what makes identity a cultural product, which is constantly in a process of changing. To define the elements associated with local identity it is urgent to define also notions, such as significant, typical, common and unique. An element from the environment becomes a symbol, when we ascribe a meaning to it. At the beginning, I concentrated on the topic of national identity and how it reflects in visual media. The reason for this was due to a lack of literature on the local identity topic and for the purpose of more easily understanding those elements, connected with local identity of an individual and the collective formation. With other words, I first defined the concept slovenian. Therefore I devoted a significant part of diploma thesis to the postcards of Maksim Gaspari, as his postcards indicate national identity. In the chapter Tolminska, njena identiteta in podobe (Tolmin region, its identity and representation) I turned for a local level of discussion. The principles of the local identity, indicated in visual media, are quite similar to the principles of showing national identity. I defined local identity on a basis of the visual media, such as postcards and logos of particular local organisations, associations and companies. This is the basis, that revealed the elements, defining the Tolmin region and its inhabitants' sense of belonging, thus how local identity is manifested and how visual media at the same time affects the formation of the specific identity of inhabitants. Through my diploma thesis a particular aspect of identity was revealed, exposing new modern identities, being more connected to the modern way of life than a specific environmental or historic element. An interesting contribution to my diploma thesis is represented by the postcards, made by students of the ninth grade of France Bevk Tolmin elementary school, under my mentorship. While creating postcards on the Tolmin region topic, students have been developing creativity and a local sense of belonging at the same time. Their postcards confirm the selection of the elements from environment, that an individual identifies with. Besides, they formed postcards in an original, their very own way. Further more, my diploma thesis is enriched with an interview with a professor of art in an elementary school as well as an interview with the manager of the local tourist organisation, who summarized the idea of the Tolmin region through the eyes of tourism and marketing. My diploma thesis also consists of my practical work – creating postcards, following the Tolmin region topic.
The entire process of developing this diploma thesis has been a big challenge for me, because I have been interested in these topics for a long time. Besides, through my own practical work, I managed to realise, how a native environment can be a true inspiration for each artist, although subconsciouslly. Or, as Ivan Cankar wrote: »We all have to go further to recognize and feel: this is our art, the smell of our soil, poem of our field, our groves and forests; […]« (Cankar in Zgonik, 2002, p. 174).