October 19, 2009
Metelkova: This is where all the junkies GROW.
Click the photos for a larger view.
Yugoslavia - This place is called Metelkova. It used to be a prison and a military barracks (the Slovenian headquarters of the Yugoslav National Army). Artists started to squat here around September 1993. The site consists of seven buildings and was 12,500 m². The name of the squat comes from the surname of the 19th century Slovenian Roman Catholic priest, philologist and unsuccessful language reformer Fran Metelko, after whom the nearby street is named. This place started as a squatters district was subsequently supported by the government after artists took over the place. As you can see they basically made the place their own. This place has held jazz festivals, art festivals and concerts.
It's very inspiring to see the freedom of expression and the concept of socialism and communism is very evident in this place. You can see it by the installations on the walls (Graffiti,sculptures etc.) See what I think our country lacks is the sense of actual unity in scenes.Here, it's all capitalism and it's all selfish personal gain. Which I personally am guilty of but i'm just saying that we can't just focus on ourselves. Here in the Philippines it's about me not you. But hey , it's sometimes about us. Tribe mentality, it's historically rooted in our culture. People have a snobbish mentality because of it. Yugoslavia used to be a communist country, but I see it has worked great for them culturally. What we should have with the different scenes (i.e. art , street art, music, film) is a giant tribe. What are we? We are capitalists. We are selfish. The product of this is a slow growth. We need to build an awareness towards network building and collaboration. A spider-web of concept builders, executors , executioners towards cultural unity ultimately resulting into a strong unified community that the government actually supports (the latter part is a dream).
My old friend Tengal visit his myspace.(listen to GODHEAD)
is in Yugoslavia right now and he's building networks and institutions with artists there. Imagine a Philippine Ambasador.. but for our art's sake. He sent me these photos and we both agreed that this is what we lack. The value of sharing.