«Metelkova is once more under attack. By now it seems to have become an annual ceremony. We are crying the wolf, but the wolf keeps coming. We are of course preparing our defense here in the trenches, but your international support is gold worth. Please take time to read the call and send a note in our support to put pressure on the Slovenian government. You now we are worth it.»
Anna, Nata_a, AKC Metelkova mesto
ALERT FOR METELKOVA
This Wednesday, June 14th 2006, at 6 in the morning the government Inspectorate for the Environment and Spatial Planning brought an excavating machine to the Autonomous Cultural Zone Metelkova mesto, Ljubljana, to tear down one of the buildings of the converted ancient army barracks which they consider to have been erected illegally. The cultural workers and supporters of Metelkova prevented the action. This attempt to destroy one of the liveliest cultural and intellectual locations in Ljubljana was the third one in the past few months. Various inspections have recently intensified their interventions during cultural events at Metelkova.
The government of Slovenia is acting in accordance with a recently passed law on catering industries. Under the cover of its strict provisions regulating commercial activities, which cannot be fulfilled by the non-profit associations and NGOs of Metelkova, the executive might as well put an end to the largest agglomeration of alternative cultures in the country.
Metelkova provides 40% of the non-commercial music events in the city. Its attendance can favourably be compared with that of the established Ljubljana Festival. It is the second largest provider of cultural events in Ljubljana. Metelkova is the only location in the city, and one of the few in the country, where youth cultures and alternative cultures are systematically produced and presented to a large and active audience. It is also a forum of impressive intellectual irradiation. During each academic year, it hosts the Workers’ Punk University where the most urgent dilemmas of the contemporary world are discussed by competent international speakers. Metelkova recently hosted the annual meeting of Trans Europe Halles. During the 13 years of its existence, projects at the Autonomous Cultural Zone Metelkova mesto have been supported by the Ministry of Culture and by the City of Ljubljana, as well as by many international sponsors.
Producers from Metelkova have been participating in Documenta, Manifesta, Sao Paolo Biennial, Venice Biennale, Wiener Festwochen... Many international festivals held in Ljubljana hold part of their activities at Metelkova: The City of Women, The Other Music, Jazz Festival Ljubljana, Trnfest... Metelkova has been presented as an outstanding phenomenon by international media: ARD, Arte, BBC, Belarus’ State TV, Die Zeit, Falter, Feral Tribune, Los Angeles Times, ORF, Russian State TV, Seattle Times, ZDF...
Metelkova is a squat initiated in 1993, when a group of alternative producers and activists occupied the ancient barracks of the army headquarters near the centre of Ljubljana in order to prevent its illegal destruction, which was launched by still unknown agents presumably led by speculative real-estate interest. Although it has never succeeded in achieving a proper legal status, the location was registered as national cultural heritage in 2005. ACZ Metelkova mesto is under attack. Its people are ready to defend it. They need support. Please circulate this information.
If you want to express your support, please write to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez.Jansa@gov.si and to the Minister of Culture firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, send a copy of your letter to email@example.com