You cannot walk through Maribor without getting at least a bit cultivated. You have two options – you can either choose alternative or more traditional culture. You won’t even be aware of the museums, galleries and contemporary practices in socializing drawing you in. Here you will find just a few of many worth visiting.
Pekarna Cultural Centre
The former military bakery from the beginning of the 20th century was occupied by artists and activists in 1994, who populated the abandoned area with independent culture which has been developed by approximately 40 users of these premises. Today Pekarna is the largest independent cultural centre in north-east Slovenia. It comprises of a multi-purpose hall, gallery, hostel, bar, workshops, information centre, second-hand bookshop and other spaces. The Centre is being gradually renovated; most of the work, however, is based on improvisation and inventiveness of the occupants.
The restored administrative building provides space for youth centers and societies, who organize and develop programmes for the public good and participate in numerous areas of social, sociable and informal learning. It was this very building that was squatted and renewed first. Sanity is superbly illustrated with the graffiti that arose during the negotiations on the renovation: “This building is the cornerstone. Knock the building down and you will find Pekarna. Pekarna will always be here, or it never was. This building will (consequently) fall first.”
Pekarna Magdalenske mreže Maribor
A non-governmental, non-profit organization, active in the fields of youth, culture and civil so-ciety. Within the institution operates the Youth Information and Counseling Centre INFOPEKA that develops and carries out volunteer work by the young for the young, offers informal learning, and takes care that the young and interested public is informed. The Institute also provides youth mobility (EVS, residential art courses), engages in cultural production and co-production, sup-ports activities in civil society, and recognizes the importance of giving social critical skills that help young people and all those who work with and for them to understand the situation, in which we live, and to develop a critical attitude to our own knowledge and role in the society. All programmes are connected in terms of concept, because we respect the prevailing trends in youth work and take into account the general social situation. It’s important to develop high-quality content to promote the socio-transformative thinking and actions.
Association for the development of humanities, which helps to strengthen the weak humanist and philosophical traditions of Maribor, contributes to critical and argumentative analysis of events, and gives the opportunity of active writing and social reflections to students and others. It organ-izes cycles of public lectures and round tables, has a regular programme on Mars Radio and pub-lishes critical articles in the media and occasionally organizes events promoting critical thinking and societal engagement.
The Gustaf Hall
The hall in the middle of the cultural centre is one of the best and biggest concert halls in Maribor. It has a soul, a pleasant atmosphere and a rich variety of events. In the past, a number of con-ferences, round tables, public forums, educational and musical events, concert series and parties took place there. Any alternative soul will find something for itself while drinking beer in front or in the hall, especially because of a wide range of events.
The club of young rock’n’roll addicts, secularism, concerts, which inherited the original furnace and chimney of the old toast factory, which was demolished in 2007. The programme supports various subcultures. During the day it is a pleasant café, exhibition place and social playground, while in the evenings concerts, DJ nights and other music events are held. During the carnival and on Halloween, there’s a sea of various costumes. It is known for its very well attended parties accessible only to the members with a membership card, and the drinks, already at ridiculously low prices, are even more affordable.
Hiška (Little House)
Formerly known as House Gallery, and later Supernova, but for the locals it is still known as Hiška (Little House). Purpose of this small space has changed over the years. Currently held there on Fridays are marmeljad sessions (a pun on “jam”, i.e. jam sessions), but in the party season Saturday nights will prove once again that time is relative.
Mills in Slovenia grind tons of books into shapeless pulp every day and the Association of Book Lovers is the one whose mission is to save them and find them some grateful shelves. On about a kilometer of shelves you can find three-quarters of the book world for a symbolic price.
In the attic of the wooden building is a low climbing wall owned by a climbing club. It is intend-ed for its members and participants in courses. They climb without ropes and the falls are miti-gated by the mountain of mattresses.
Painting studios and training facilities
Musicians and artists gather daily in the Bark Beetle. Some practice with strings and membranes, others with charcoal, paint brushes, sprays, but all of them indulge in the creative process, which has found its own roof over the head here.
Wooden stairs, where on sunny afternoons you will definitely see a local group of supporters sitting about, lead to the hall, of which purpose and contribution to the general public are polemi-cized by many. Is it a living room for herbalists or something more? Recently, inside some im-provised structures the name KURD FreizeitSkatehalle arose. At weekends there are various par-ties with mostly electronic music.
A relatively new space, which was tactically, thoughtfully and very politically equipped by a punk and in addition, in the spirit of true squatting, passed it to the new, younger generations. New users occasionally organize punk concerts; however, they mostly just sit around in the front of the building, discussing life and grill chevapcici.
Cold Room Exhibition Hall
This great place in the attic, under the beams of a large building, hosted in the past many national and international exhibitions, installations and performances.
Once benches, lights and interesting sculptures occupied it, but they were all replaced. The group Drkovci has been formed, a mini village, an open zone of different seated and standing activities, one kind or another rubbing, worshipping totems and spending time on urban equipment. All this behind Tito’s back.
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