Ljubljana: Call for October Revolution Festival in Autonomous Factory Rog

Dear dead revolutionaries,

the dream has shattered and we are still being frustrated by the currents of history.
It has been one hundred years since the scandalous revolutionary powers of the past rose against their feudal overlords, now known as the October revolution. Countries have been torn apart by war and the lords were struck with raw and violent critiques of the working people. Vengeance was sweet and yet perhaps impotent, the war was loss for all we know.

Our frustrations could be thought of as a deep need for reinterpretation, an indignation, a struggle for social justice, a thirst for change. But in the last hundred years all we had was change. Our cities and our bodies, our discourses and work processes went through innumerable changes both wonderful and terrible – most of them irreversible. Revolution has revealed itself to be an ambiguous and yet fascinating concept.

The time has come to light up the furnaces of Rog once again and to take a stand for and with our dead revolutionary companions in the old factory turned autonomous art and social activist squat. Rog’s vast size, history and the nature of its fight against the municipality make it the perfect ground for a minimundus where we can meet and debate the current questions of the street, by the street.

The self-organised festival will take place from 24.10. to 11.11.2017 with concerts, performances, assemblies, lectures, round tables, a kitchen, movement workshops, noise-box speaker corners, parties and anything else that might spring up during the process. The events will be weaved within an approximate historical net of happenings from 100 years ago (some of them 99) and help make the Autonomous Factory Rog a city node for reflections of the left and it’s history, questioning our birthplaces and our axioms.

All ideas taking the festival into further realms are very welcome – we would like to make the space of conversation as wide as possible. It is not only a celebration, but a well meant critique as well, a broadening of the left from identity constructing thought to processes that may encompass the whole of the political spectrum. Perhaps we can grow some real and subtle consequences.

You are welcome and invited to participate in opening and grinding through as many relevant questions about revolution(arie)s, their struggles, their legacies and the present. Contribute in any way you can think of, with your participation or organisational skills, so we can fill the place with political, theoretical, artistic and other content and help with the understanding of the current situation and how the past events have influenced it. There will be some sleeping and living spaces for visiting artists as well.

The money gathered through the festival will go for the judicial and organisational costs of the battle for the autonomy of Factory Rog. Entrances will be free, although donations are highly appreciated. It’s the only 100th anniversary of the October revolution we will ever have – the occasion deserves as much creative attention as anything else!

Send us your thoughts, a project or an idea for an exhibition, performance, lecture, screening, social experiments or questions for more info to: octoberrevolutionparty [at] gmail [dot] com

We are nothing, now let’s be all!

Rog factory is an industrial complex that was shut down in 1991. It laid abandoned, empty, and in deterioration for 15 years. In 2006 the area was occupied by engaged students, artists and activists as a critical response to the post-socialist transition process and erosion of public and social spaces. The occupation drew legitimacy from the need for places for non-formal artistic, cultural and political activity (autonomy, alternative culture, horizontal political organising).

Users secured and cleaned the spaces and established ateliers, workshops, galleries, a skate-park, a concert hall, recreational facilities and a social centre among others. Despite the municipal efforts to block or disable the grassroots activities, the users utilised their self-initiative, collaboration and resourcefulness and in 11 years created one of the main junctions of urban culture, critical thought and political activism on the level of the city, country and beyond.

Today, there are around 15 organized collectives and around 200 individuals active in the factory in 30 spaces that are relatively self-sufficient and autonomous. The community is bound together through the assembly of the users which is the main political body following the principle of direct democratic decision making and consulting.

Since last year Rog’s existence is being threatened with destruction (“renovation”) from the municipality and after its failed attempt to start the renovation processes on 6.6.2016, the users have barricaded themselves inside the courtyard, opening up again only after the court battles have begun.

Eight people are currently involved in the legal proceedings and the projected court expenses are in the tens of thousands of euros. The people who stood for Rog now need Rog to stand for them. The continuation of Rog’s autonomous activity is now ambiguous due to the financial pressures of the judicial battles.

We have also started a crowdfunding campaign:

Autonomous Factory Rog
Trubarjeva 72, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
skupscina-tovarne-rog [at] riseup [dot] net

Some squats in Slovenia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/SI/squated/squat
Groups (social center, collective, squat) in Slovenia: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/SI
Events in Slovenia: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/SI