Youth centres and alternative culture

In the last decades, the youth in numerous Slovenian towns have obtained their own places, where they can hang out with their peers during the day and night and get informed and educated about different areas. Youth centres are some of the most important places that provide integration of youth, their active participation in various social areas, as well as informal education and training.

The future lies within the youth

Considering its funds, each youth centre in Slovenia is trying to provide a varied and interesting programme that would attract youth with different viewpoints and interest. The majority of youth centres also provide info points with various information materials, free-of-charge access to the Internet and rooms for meetings, seminars and workshops. A common inclusion in these centres is a hall for music concerts and various shows. Strong emphasis for the operation of youth centres includes encouragement of young people to become active and creative in different areas; in this way, they can become beneficial members of society. Programmes of youth centres, carried out voluntarily by numerous young people, are based on the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and awareness of the harmful use of alcohol and drugs as well as the avoidance of violent and criminal activities.

For all generations

Youth centres are definitely not intended only for youth (persons between 15 and 29 years), but also invite younger and older generations. In several Slovenian towns, they are considered pillars of the offer of cultural and entertainment events (such events are frequently free of charge). Youth centre programmes are regularly financed by local community resources, student organisation funding as well as by commercial activities, such as the sale of drinks; however, this must not generate profit.

For those who count themselves as "different"

The young and young at heart, who do not see themselves in the prevailing cultural offer, are not left out on the edge of the society in Slovenia. They have places where they can equally express their own viewpoints about the world and culture, which only enriches the plurality of the society. The centres of alternative culture are mostly developed in larger towns; however, they are also active elsewhere. Two such centres should get special mention – Metelkova in Ljubljana and Pekarna in Maribor. These two centres are recognisable across the borders of Slovenia, especially due to their varied programmes and activities, based on tolerance and respect for all persons, notwithstanding their race, religion or sexual orientation. Anyone is welcome to visit these centres without reservation. Their openness and hospitality, especially, are some of the reasons that these centres are starting to lose their alternative character, since they are daily attracting those who do not see themselves as alternative.
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