04 May Graffiti in Metelkova City Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is a quirky city. I had no idea what to expect of it before I arrived, but Ljubljana combines the European riverside café culture with a strange, edgy, grungy vibe. The people are a little bit wacky and have the dress sense to match. In Ljubljana, stripes and spots go together in one ensemble.
I was staying at the Hostel Celica prison hostel, which is in a parking lot filled with graffiti. Graffiti doesn’t seem to be a symbol of vandalism in Ljubljana, but an art form. Behind the hostel are several weird and wonderful buildings, which you could stand and marvel at for hours. The buildings are works of art, with mosaics, ghouls, statues, collages and paintings. There were several goths, punks and people in ‘alternative’ clothes drinking beers outside, whilst one man was working away in a garage to the beats coming from his stereo. I presumed some of the buildings were bars, whilst other’s looked creepy and haunted!
After doing some research this appears to be the Metelkova City artistic space, which is a non-residential squat for artists and activists. It has no legal status, people don’t pay taxes and they sell alcohol without a licence. This autonomous ‘city within a city’ houses artists studios, galleries, bars and non-profit organisations. The buildings used to be the barracks of the Yugoslavian army and are now covered in graffiti and art.