Rog factory is an industrial complex on the east edge of Ljubljana centre, which produced the famous Rog bicycles and was shut down in 1 991. Since then it has 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 (privatisation and de-industrialisation), and erosion of public and social spaces (individualisation and atomisation of society). The occupation pulled legitimacy from the need for places for non-formal artistic, cultural and political activity (autonomy, alternative culture, horizontal political organising).

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V zadnjem desetletju smo v Ljubljani preko različnih mestnih iniciativ doživeli izjemen poudarek na promociji “urbanih kultur”, “kulturnih industrij” in drugih vročih fraz, ki domujejo v besedilih evropskih razpisov. V istem obdobju pa se je v centru prestolnice začel odvijati tudi družbeni eksperiment, ki so ga na področju propadle tovarne samoiniciativno zagnali prebivalci mesta. Tovarna Rog je spontana, takorekoč gverilska ulična tvorba – urbana kultura v svoji najbolj organski obliki. In je svojevrsten obrat izraza “kulturna industrija”, v smislu da je nekdanjo tovarno preobrazila v proizvodnjo neblagovnih dobrin – netržne umetnosti, netekmovalnega športa, neinstitucionalne politike. Prostor in skupnost v njem nikakor nista brez napak, a težko je spregledati paradoks, da mestnim oblastem, ki tako vneto promovirajo urbano kreativnost, ta eksperiment predstavlja neznosen madež, ki ga je potrebno za vsako ceno odstraniti iz središča mesta. Lahko bi trdili, da njihov panični odnos do tovarne pove več o mestni politiki kot o Rogu samem. Prav zato nam tovarna Rog ponuja izjemno priložnost, da se poglobimo v razvojne smernice ljubljanske mestne uprave in njihov vpliv na širšo družbo.

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Včeraj je podjetje Euro Grad na Petkovškovem nabrežju na južni strani Tovarne Rog začelo z gradbenimi deli. Okoli 16:30 so delavci v spremstvu Matjaža Šuligoja s.p. in Jerneje Batič nenapovedano začeli postavljati gradbeno mrežo in naredili zarezo v asfalt. Na vprašanje uporabnikov in uporabnic Avtonomne Tovarne Rog, ki so se medtem nahajali v stavbi neposredno nad južno steno, so odgovorili, da bodo pričeli z rušenjem zidu.

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One year after the occupation - in 2007 - the municipality began planning the renovation of the area into a “Creative centre Rog”, putting the emphasis on redeveloping the surroundings in order to build an attractive area for international artists and tourists. With the help of an EU-led project devoted to revitalization of ex-industrial zones, they propose a public-private partnership to renovate the main factory building, the construction of a design hotel, up-standard apartments and commercial programs. The public-private ration is 20-80%. One of the proposals also suggests a relocation of 3 art academies to Rog, but their deans deny it, because of non-defined relations between academic and commercial programs and because they don’t want their students - who are active in the factory - to lose their studios/ateliers. The municipality could never find an investor because of global recession, so they down-scaled the project into an all- publicly financed “centre for architecture, design and visual arts” stressed on developing the creative industries economic sector and helping young designers into entering the labor market.

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With the renewed escalation of pressure from the City Municipality of Ljubljana, we turn to you with a public appeal to the city administration to agree to an open dialogue with the users of AT Rog, which we’ve been trying to establish in vain for three years. Instead of violent confrontations or closed negotiations we are striving for an open discussion about the future of the Rog Factory in cooperation with the interested professional public. We ask you to contribute to our petition and help find a common, transparent and non-violent solution to the conflict.

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Chronology of the factory spaces on Trubarjeva street.

  • 1871 - The land is bought by Ivan Janesh who builds a smaller groundfloor building for tanning hides.
  • 1879 - Janesh upgrades it into a one storey building that holds a tanning workshop.
  • 1884 - His sons build the second floor.
  • 1900 - The tannery is bought by Karel Pollak, who renovates and modernizes the workshop.
  • 1904 - Pollak surrounds the area with a wall and builds a residential villa.

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