Tovarna Rog presentation

Poslal-a pirman, Ned, 07/05/2006 - 12:05

The following text is the presentation of the Tovarna Rog initiative at the introductory Trans Europe Halles meeting at AKC Metelkova (May 4th, 2006).

Hi. I'm a temporary user of Tovarna Rog, where I personaly found my working and creation space as somebody who knows how to setup digital networks and computers, while at the same time I can engage in other activities like physical work and putting up cables and painting and so on.

I'm starting this "presentation" like this, because many of users of Tovarna Rog try to think about it each in different way and that multitude and co-existence of these voices can constitute a better community and society.

The process of temporary use of Tovarna Rog started a month ago when a group of students started to use the premises as open production platform. First public event was a press conference by Antonio Negri whose recent book Multitude was translated in slovene.

The recent history of Tovarna Rog basicly involves about 15 years of dis-use, neglect and robbing of the premises of everything valuable. It is a consequence of murky malversations, lengthy denationalisation processes and real-estate lobby interests. Huge factory complex is situated in the centre of the city, five minutes walk from Metelkova, central train station and old town, and is through our current actions already re-generating degraded city structure by creating new public spaces through workshops, talks, cleaning actions, new tactical media productions, recycling and alternative power solutions.

It is important to stress again and again that the current situation is not a classic occupation of space or squatting but rather a temporary alteration of its use. As was stated in our press release, as long as city council doesn't develop and begin implementing a clear strategy to solve the problem of these empty decaying premises, we self-initiatively wish to open it to all individuals and groups engaged in the non-profit sector, for the realization of independent production of cultural and social content.

Self-generated community within an experimental social space has so far already provided number of free workshops, actual social work therapy to small number of individuals, secured many dangerous and dysfunctional locations and improved completely neglected space with technical renovations.

As a non-formal network of individuals we are in processes of slow but anyway fruitful dialogue with city council. As part of constitution of public space intertwined with multi-disciplinary production platform we want to open it up to local community, which can be empowered for self-actualisation through social and new media programmes like internet, local radio and television. To respond to fears of local residents, we wrote in our press release that "we support the grounds on which Metelkova City Cultural Centre is based, but that in the premises of the abandoned factory Rog we wish to develop a different way of action, based on temporality and day activities, and hope to include and satisfy the needs of the local community surrounding it."

Apart from local networks we want to equally create connections within global or trans-regional networks, as we are in urgent need for exchange of experiences of similar spaces while we develop, research and intertwine theory and practice in this experiment and direct action. We think this is important especially because our concept is develop-mental and location is temporary, which means that after - or even before - the council finds a concrete solution for Rog, we want to continue the process of regeneration of other critical city vacancies.

We want to share ideas and gained knowledge on how ideas, needs for, and actualisation of temporary use practices can present an important new precedent for different kind of re-use, re-generation and flexibility in contexts of cultural and production spaces in urban environments which is beneficial both for city, their councils and deprivilegised communities.

Similarly to our local process of creating this precedent and possibility to "legislate" the practice of temporary use of neglected and disused spaces in Slovenia, we, as a non-formal network which is organicly organised, hope there is a way we can join TEH network as friends.

Written and presented by Nova

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