The Manging Board of Kooperativa has sent a response to the Slovenian Ministry of Culture which you can read below.
Ministrstvo za kulturo RS / Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
dr. Vasko Simoniti, minister
Maistrova 10, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Zagreb, 18 November 2020
On behalf of Kooperativa – Regional platform for culture, a regional network of organizations working in the field of independent culture and contemporary art in SE Europe, we would like to thank you for your response regarding the situation at Metelkova 6.
We would like to emphasise the importance of equality between public and private cultural institutions, all operating in the public interest in the field of culture. The civil sector (including its most vital non-governmental organisations operating at Metelkova 6) has made a significant impact on the development of culture and arts in Slovenia. The civil sector is an equal actor within the cultural field, essential for development of experimental and innovative artistic practices. Metelkova City, both its’ Southern and Northern part, is a symbol of these vital artistic and democratic processes. The building Metelkova 6 and its users (NGOs) are a mediator amongst the museums’ quarter and alternative culture. It should remain as such and should even foster its collaborative role. If the building needs renovation, it is necessary to secure the stability of those organisations operating at the Metelkova 6 building by providing them an adequate space where they can continue with their work. After the renovation, those NGO’s should have a guarantee of a return in the building where they can continue with their mission.
The Committee on Culture at the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia concluded at its meeting (November 4, 2020) to secure replacement facilities for the NGOs until June 1, 2021. All stakeholders in the capital of Ljubljana should be engaged in the process of securing new production places for NGOs from Metelkova 6. We find this situation problematic and we see it as a transfer of the responsibility to other relevant decision makers. The civic sector has pointed out on many occasions that new premises and public infrastructure for NGOs are a necessity in Ljubljana. Metelkova 6, due to its history, should remain for the purposes of civil sector and noninstitutional culture. We understand the needs of Natural history museum to obtain storage place for its collection; but we strongly recommend the Ministry of Culture to find a more suitable solution for it.
The civil sector is particularly fragile, and has been severely affected by COVID 19 crisis, in that light it is necessary to resolve the status of these organisations through dialog, jointly finding the best solution which can provide security for their future work. We strongly believe that the solution can be made through civil-public partnership (some efficient examples can be found in the region like Pogon in Zagreb, Socio-cultural centres in Croatia or Jadro Center in Skopje).
Kooperativa – Regional platform for culture is always engaged in pointing toward responsible participative governance creating alliances and collaborations between the public and civil sector for the benefit of culture. NGOs are not market oriented, but they operate in the public interest; even more, the vital part of the NGO scene in Ljubljana is operating at Metelkova 6, many organisations are internationally acclaimed and are receiving funds from the Creative Europe EU financial mechanism. They are recognized for their long-lasting contribution within the cultural sector and their numerous results. It is of mutual interest to maintain their achievements and enable them to work at Metelkova 6.
In the hope that you will reconsider the Ministry’s decision.
Ares Shporta, president of Managing Board
Teodor Celakoski, member of Managing Board
Dušan Dovč, member of Managing Board
Milica Pekić, member of Managing Board