Punk museum in Ljubljana: a potential home for your precious collection of spit?

Three weeks ago, Slovenia’s long-awaited Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MSUM) finally opened its door to the public. Among MSUM’s most interesting plans for the future is a museum within a museum, a special space termed the Punk Room a.k.a the Punk Museum

Pankrti, once hailed as "the first punk band behind the Iron Curtain", live in Ljubljana 1979. Photo © Vojko Flegar

This will not be a museum in classical terms though, they assure us, but an interactive, ever-changing digital collection of artefacts and paraphernalia related to the Slovenian punk scene. The museum covers the period from 1977, when the inception of Slovenian punk took place in Ljubljana’s Kodeljevo neighbourhood, up to 1987. This seems fitting since during those years Slovenia’s punk and hardcore creativity not only influenced – and flourished in – the local sociocultural milieu, but also put this tiny Yugoslav socialist federal republic on the indie music world map. (Yes, Laibach were to a certain degree related to this scene as well.)

To help you get the picture, here’s a short documentary by Andreas Plata, featuring some of the most important protagonists of the early Yugoslav punk scene explaining how the whole thing came about in the late 1970s:

However, as confirmed by Igor Vidmar, head of the Punk Museum project and himself an important promoter and protagonist of Slovenian punk scene, memorabilia related to the period after 1987 and even to contemporary times will be included in the collection as well.

The Punk Museum’s collection is planned to grow through autonomous DIY efforts and contributions from interested individuals: members of punk bands, photographers, video artists, graffiti artists, journalist etc. Those of you out there who think this project also concerns you can now answer the official MSUM’s call to contribute to this, hopefully, growing collection by sending to MSUM (or bringing over for digitization) your punk posters, t-shirts, concert tickets, photos or even lead singers’ saliva samples, if you reckon they might significantly improve the artistic value of the collection.

In socialist Yugoslavia, Ljubljana was the centre of punk. A number of key bands from other republics recorded their albums for RTV Ljubljana, like the Croatian group Paraf, one of Yugo-punk's pioneers.

In the meantime, we’ll keep wondering whether in the future, the Punk Museum’s curators will consider including the punk antiquities from other territories of former Yugoslavia in the collection. Especially in light of the fact that before, and also after the collapse of the Yugoslav socialist federation, punk and hardcore scenes from various parts of this region have been rather strongly connected.

*Contact information for potential contributors to the Punk Museum’s collection:
+386 1241 6822