ljubljana_metelkova_alternative
Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism

There aren’t many European capitals as rich in alternative culture and arts as the Slovenian capital. Ljubljana stands as a real gem compared to other cities when it comes to the bounty of independent venues and events bursting at the seams with alternative spirit. The alternative scene is so accessible that one could almost claim it has been intertwined with the capital’s mainstream lifestyle and beat. Ljubljana, the Open City, has been for decades the welcoming nest for diverse alternative approaches and activities. Here we present just a few of them.

AUTONOMOUS CULTURAL CENTRE METELKOVA CITY

In 1993, two years after Slovenian independence, mainly underground artists and intellectuals squatted former military barracks and have, since then, developed the squatted infrastructure into an alternative culture centre that has become a world-wide attraction. Diverse artistic practices and events found their home at this ever-changing complex full of free creative spirit.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • numerous clubs featuring alternative artists and DJs
  • performances
  • exhibitions
  • festivals
  • lesbian club Monokel
  • gay club Tiffany

FEMINIST AND QUEER FESTIVAL RED DAWNS

The festival, set in the Autonomous Cultural Centre Metelkova City, questions the position of women in the tangled mesh of art, culture, politics, activism and everyday life. Celebrating women’s lives and redefining public space in order to make it accessible for creativity and socializing of women on their own terms. The creativity and the mingling of the participants of Red Dawns question the boundaries taken for granted; the isolating boundaries that seperate people regardless of their gender.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • always around the 8th of March (International Women’s Day)
  • creating a feminist and queer (counter)public in Ljubljana
  • hosting international artists, activists, theoreticians
  • set at Metelkova

ŠKUC

One of Ljubljana’s main centres of alternative culture and contemporary visual arts, the ŠKUC Gallery (established in 1978) is always in pace with modern trends in art showcasing the work of renowned international artists and emerging young artists. The Škuc Gallery operates as part of the Škuc Society, a non-profit cultural organization also involved in publishing, concert promotion, and event management. The LGBTQ scene in Slovenia was born in ŠKUC in early 80’s, accompanying the modern activist feminist scene.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • showcasing contemporary visual arts
  • publishing
  • concerts
  • festivals

LGBT FILM FESTIVAL

The Europe’s oldest festival of the kind (established in 1984), features films by gay and lesbian filmmakers and other films dealing with themes related to homosexuality.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • coming soon: 24 November – 2 December, 2018
  • Europe’s oldest LGBT film festival
  • one of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the world

DOBRA VAGA

DobraVaga, a selling art gallery showcases the work of younger generation Slovenian artists in a very original way. The gallery, located in the Ljubljana Central Market’s previous fish market, with its unique concept, tries to transcend the conventional notion of the art market. Each time, its monthly selection features works by a new set of artists and new approaches to art.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • works of the younger generation of Slovenian artists
  • located at the fish market
  • selling art ‘per kilo’