The legacy of the Alexandrians, this unique phenomenon of tragedy on one hand and of women's emancipation on the other, began to unfold in the village of Prvačina in 2005. An initiative was launched to erect a memorial plaque in Alexandria, Egypt , where women form Prvačina and the surrounding villages of travelled to in search of work and opportunities to provide their families with a better chance of survival. At the same time, the Society for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of Aleksandrians Prvačina was founded. It is no coincidence that Prvačina became the centre of the preserved memory of the Alexandrians story, as here the collective power of memory is most pronounced among the locals.
There is practically no house in the village without an Alexandrian, there is almost no attic in the village where you would not find a travel chest or a suitcase from that time. Nor is there a child who did not grow up with narratives that in some aspect resembled those of fairy-tale mythological stories. “And all this living, collective memory, tradition and tangibility of all these stories and objects preserved among the locals formed into one atmosphere, which after the founding of the society contributed to the choice of the village as the seat of the first permanent collection dedicated to Alexandrian women.” Says Vesna Humar, a member of the society.
Many villagers live and are actively involved in this topic. “Everything in the museum was accumulated among the locals. Of course, we had the professional help of the Goriški Museum, but the central story of our Alexandrian women was built by the locals. In any case, this is a treasure that has no equal on a global scale and must be preserved," adds Humar.
The Association for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of Alexandrians also cooperates intensively with the Association of Women of Prvačina. According to ethnologist Ida Miklavčič Brezigar, the latter was transformed into a living museum with the creation of its theatre club. Through playful stories, they preserve a part of the fashion of that time, which includes dresses, handbags, shoes, and a valuable typical dialect.
It offers the visitors of the exhibition a unique way of reliving the fates of the Alexandrian women, which arouses strong emotional responses in the visitors and makes every visit an unforgettable experience. Villagers of all generations join the activists of the associations. The youngest member is ten years old, the oldest counts more than 80. The locals tell visitors stories about their ancestors in an original way. This is something truly valuable and unique.
The association also manages the Aleksandrians Museum, which opens its doors to organized groups and individuals by appointment. Reservations are required a day or two in advance, either by phone or email.
Visitors get a guided tour of the exhibition with a theatre performance by members of the Women's Association, as well as an optional culinary experience. In the form of breakfast or just a snack, a unique fusion of flavours of typical Primorska and Middle Eastern cuisine is offered. An additional element of the experience are replicas of the original clothes of the Alexandrian women, which visitors can wear and take pictures in.
Alexandrian women are always a topical story, as female migration is on the rise right now. And if we used to call them Alexandrian women then, today they are Filipinos, Indonesians, Thais, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Ukrainians, .. “The fates of the Alexandrians are associated with tears, longing, great sacrifices, and tragic fates. There is also a lot of courage, entrepreneurship, wit, adaptability, gaining skills and learning in these stories. And all of the above is part of the precious legacy that shaped us and is worth preserving for posterity.” concludes Vesna Humar.