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Accepted Paper:

Autonomy, obedience, and entrepreneurialism in Slovenian youth venues  


Miha Kozorog (ZRC SAZU)

Paper Short Abstract:

Youth venues in Slovenia have recently gone through a transformation. Partly because new rules were set by the state, partly because youth entrepreneurship was introduced as a means to achieve a better future, and partly because youth acted creatively.

Paper long abstract:

Slovenia has a unique history of youth venues. In the 1980s and 1990s, under the influence of political and emancipatory youth movements, quite a few autonomously operating venues for self-expression of young people were established across the country. Initiated by young people themselves, they were rising in both urban and rural communities. In the 2000s, however, the state showed a renewed interest in youth and concern regarding their venues. Several rules were introduced, withdrawing principles of self-organization, diminishing autonomy, and ascribing new roles to such venues. In addition, municipalities too showed interest in their regulation, especially in urban settings. This was yet only one stream of their transformation. Namely, young people were also discovered as ideal subjects of the neoliberal economy. New kinds of youth venues were thus promoted to capitalize on youth’s drive, knowledge of new technologies, and conformity. Municipalities financed co-working hubs as a means to achieve a better local future because presumably, they help create an entrepreneurial environment. However, young people are creatively engaging in place-making activities and never fully follow the rules. This paper discusses the transformation of youth venues in modern-day urban Slovenia and how space is used for navigating the contrasting (self-)realization activities of young people.

Panel Urb05a
In the name of the future: rule-breaking in urban settings I