Once the analysis in Podstrana was done we went to a beach that we had spotted to sleep. We started talking about our next day plan and on a whim we decided to hit the road and head for West Bosnia. The idea was to go there to find a house to analyze as we didn’t find any when we were there. But it was a long shot because once again we won’t have a translator with us. When we got to the highway there were two itchhikers. Two young German girl. They were exhausted because they had been hitchhiking for two days non stop. They were on a hurry to get back home in Fribourg. We were not sure about our plan and we wanted to be the following night in Ljubljana so we decided to change our plan to help them and to drive directly to Slovenia. We set up the bed to let them rest a bit and they fell in a deep sleep. So deep that they didn’t even noticed that we stopped to fix the exhaust that broke while driving.
We got to Ljubljana around 2am. We dropped off our passengers in the city center and found a nice parking lot to sleep. The following day we went to « The Rog Factory ». The factory use to make motorbike until it was abandoned in the 90’s. Since 2006 this building has been squatted. This place is actually amazing. The building is huge, around 7000m², and a huge courtyard right in the city center. Now this place host an inside skate park, three art gallery, workshops, a concert hall, places for artists and musicians, circus and theater companies, a choir, a fut-sall place where you can take self defense and Tai Chi courses, and even a reception center for refugees. The influence of this place actually spread outside of it’s walls. In the all district you can find gratify and fresco, café galleries, and artists places. Five minutes walking from Rog there is also Metelkova which was the first big artist squat of the city. It used to be a military barracks. In 1993 after the army departure the place was entirely squatted. Nowadays you can find bars, galleries, hotels, concerts places and all of this is legal now. The Rog Factory is not yet recognized by the city which owns the place.
In July 2016 the city tried to take back this place that is wanted by all real estate developer. They sent in the middle of the night a bulldozer to put everybody out. Unfortunately for them all the inoccupant gathered and resisted by doing a human chain. The morning the driver, as he couldn’t do anything, decided to go to his real job and let the bulldozer. They painted in pink and it became the symbol of this place. During this summer The Rog Factory hosted a huge cultural festival. There were concerts, exhibitions, theater and circus shows, workshops… to show to all the Slovenian what was going on there. A lot of artists were invited to show their support to this place by giving one art piece or by making one. When we were there it was winter and still we thought this place was amazing. Actually the all district is very interesting because you can really feel an artistic atmosphere. As future architect that raises question about the place of art in a city and about what we produce in a city center. How we make it alive ? What can we propose to the inhabitants and users ? What can be the interest to keep such a place in the city center ? Is that good to promote new building that don’t produce anything except housing where people don’t interact with each other ?
We had some research to do for an art class that we should be attending this semester. In Rog we met Tatiana. She was a young Slovenian artist who organize one of Rog’s gallery, Zelenica. We discussed with her about our exercise and she proposed us to stay with her and to follow the preparation of the upcoming exhibition. She introduced us to the two artist Tanja and Nika who became friend of us.
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