Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Most of the world knows Slovenian band Laibach. However, perhaps not all the Laibach fans do know where exactly the band is from; it is good enough if they know the band is from Slovenia. But I am not sure they know about Laibach homeplace. For the last two days, I was working in this very significant town.

When one travels to Trbovlje by train and when the train reaches the particular region, it first feels as being swallowed by some huge creature. This so narrow valley. Steep hills, with trees hanging oddly over the water; the river Sava. Gloomy and dim light, as there would not be enough place for the sun to shine down. And the hills, they are full of coal.

Coalmine has been the beating heart of Trbovlje. For ages. I was told that in the past, the mine had been owned by Austrians, Germans and French. Now, this famous coalmine is about to close until 2013. When one reaches Trbovlje today, this one can encounter significant architecture. Those old houses where the miners dwelt. Small, lots of them in one row. Colonies. A bit bigger houses for those more important, like engineers. Everything seems so... brown. Grey, too. And so it is; these two are the leading colors. Pure socio-realism.

Trbovlje are the town most symbolising Slovene heavy industry. There is still such overall feeling of industrial in Trbovlje, though at least one in the past blooming factory is now gone. It seems that Trbovlje today as it would be clinging between the lost socialistic past, and some kind of future. Decaying remnants of one lost time are facing Lidl, Hoefer and Spar; they have them all. However, there is also this French company, which produces cement; one meets the factory lurking right above the railway station. And that feeling... I always feel so odd in such industrial places. Like being soaked in machine oil. That so significant atmosphere. The spirit floating above the town. Yep, there is no other place for Laibach to emerge. The town as it would burn into one's soul strongly. Also our great dancer and choreographer Iztok Kovač is from here. His company is named En-Knap (One Miner) and no wonder some of his works have been so marked with the experience of growing up in heavy-industrial Trbovlje. Well, I would suggest the artists of all kinds to spend some days here. It could be very inspiring. But it could be a bit suicidal, too.

On last Monday evening, we had this ecological discussion with Tea and Robi in Ortobar. Visiting Trbovlje has reminded me on what we had discussed the day before. The people I talked with in Trbovlje pointed out the appalling problems of pollution in that region. Even some twenty years ago, people were actually dying on behalf of the diseases caused by polluted air. There is this power plant, producing electricity from the coal. There is this cement factory. At least about the power plant I read they use the purifying system, but these emissions still feel scary. Well, take a look at the pictures I have taken...

One of the typical houses in the moring sun.

The place I was working in: cultural house called ''Home of Freedom''. Renewed. Inside, there is a hall with a stage. Once upon a time, a portrait of Tito used to be painted above the stage, I was told.

Laibach do not play punk. But Trbovlje, actually all that region, seems to be a good place for punk to emerge. And so it is. Here, you can see the name of one local band. Hungry Dicks (Nälkäiset Kyrpät) that means in translations. Listen to the crushcore they play - here.

Now, the ecological part begins. Just look at the small local river. I wonder how these things got in.

The production of cement.

Romantic view of Trbovlje coal power plant chimney. With it's 360 m, it is told to be the tallest in Europe.

1 comment:

banshee said...

No, tukaj pa zna biti, da se bo tvoj kolega kaj vključil v debato in kaj pokomentiral fotke. :)