ALERT FOR METELKOVA
"On Wednesday, June 14th 2006, at 6am, the government Inspectorate for the Environment and Spatial Planning brought an excavating machine to the Autonomous Cultural Zone Metelkova, 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 in these 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 organises the Workers' Punkers' University where the most urgent dilemmas of the contemporary world are discussed by competent international speakers.
Metelkova recently hosted the annual meeting of TransEuropeHalles. During the 13 years of its existence, projects at the Autonomous Cultural Zone Metelkova 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 to Documenta, Manifesta, Sao Paolo Biennial, Venice Biennale, Wiener Festwochen? Many international festivals held in Ljubljana locate 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 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: Janez.Jansa@gov.si and to the Minister of Culture: firstname.lastname@example.org"