The Rog Autonomous Factory: A Conflict between Post-Socialist Self-Management and Public-Private Partnership

  • Lev Centrih Institute of Civilization and Culture
Keywords: public private partnership, self-management, local governance, public utilities, public institutes, creative industries, alternative social centres, Slovenia

Abstract

The article discusses the Rog Autonomous Factory and the conflict between its users and authorities of the city of Ljubljana, which dates back to 2006. The Rog Autonomous Factory (Avtonomna tovarna Rog), or simply “Rog”, was established by artists and alternative political activists. The large space houses numerous art activities and also serves as a social center: artists have set up studios there, and it provides a meeting place for migrants, workers and refugees; it hosts lectures, public food programs, concerts, exhibitions and a number of other non-commercial activities. Its activities are coordinated through a users’ assembly. The article will argue that Rog has become a provider of marginal public utilities in the field of culture and other services of common interest. Its very existence is proof that the mainstream institutional configuration in Slovenia (political parties, the state, municipalities, etc.) is severely limited in its capacity to integrate certain groups of young people interested in acting towards the common good. The city's plans for the space, which are based on public-private partnership, were not acceptable to the users of Rog, and serious conflicts arose. The article argues that in the conflict between Rog and the city, maintaining the status quo is probably the best solution.

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Published
2018-04-01
Section
Articles