Rog is a place of people. It embodies the great strength we could see when we were rehearsing there, performing with our shows, meeting people, cook meals and share ideas. Such great things happen without restrictions and bureaucracy. It’s an example of how the grey zones are impactful and contain the power to cocreate the city in an unique way. The world isn’t black and white, and the situations are not only by law or against the law. There is a huge space in between and we should be aware of it, furthermore, acknowledge the potential that hides there. I see Rog as such.

What I find the most meaningful is the resilient autonomy with which people approached the activities. So many things were done of inner desire to help, collaborate, share, innovate and support others. So many artworks and processes wouldn’t exist if the places of Rog weren’t there. Us artists could finally do what we wanted and not what was curated, implied or by any means referred to us. We could do what we needed – as artists and human beings.

An autonomous zone is more than just bare stubbornness and rebellion towards mainstream culture. It’s a place of reflection, creativity, inclusion and emancipation.

Below are the photos from Ana Desetnica street theatre festival (2016) and other from our archive, presenting independently organised events, workshops, cabarets and protest. They are an example of how iniciatives come from within, making our city richer and the community wider. Therefore, autonomous places should be respected and given the value they deserve.

Text: Eva

Photos: Luka Dakskobler, Gaja N. Rojec, Eva & Uroš’s archive