Barbara Čeferin: Occupation of Metelkova, 1993

Barbara Čeferin

Occupation of Metelkova, 1993



In the autumn of 1991 the Yugoslav National Army moved its forces out of Slovenia. Its military bases were mostly abandoned, and the idea of establishing a cultural center became viable. That year the Network for Metelkova chiefly focused on holding talks with the relevant institutions in order to be formally given the right to use the vacated premises. The decree defining the purpose and granting use of the northern part of the military base to the Network was issued by the City of Ljubljana and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on 3 April 1992. The Network then sent all the relevant agencies a request for a permanent permit for inspection of the premises, which was granted on 29 May. It appeared that the northern part of the military barracks was to be transferred to the Network by ordinary, legal means.

The Network did not want to surrender the indoor space to another devastating winter and requested the city authorities to enable members to move in in the autumn of 1993. At a press conference held on 2 September 1993, it demanded answers from the city authorities. The “answer” came one week later, on 9 September, when barbaric demolition works began on some buildings in the northern part of the military base. One day later, on 10 September, a group of about 200 self-organized people occupied the northern part of the military barracks at night to prevent any further demolition.

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