Kuprum – A Subcultural Mine Panel Discussion with Stream

On November 27 Cultural Echoes held a panel discussion titled “Kuprum – A Subcultural Mine” at the Cultural Center in the Gjorche Petrov Municipality. The event was supported by the organization City Scope and the entire project received funding from the national Youth and Sport Agency.

The event consisted of two parts – there were two panel discussions
centered on the potential renovation of the abandoned chromium processing plant KUPRUM and there was an overview of the publication “Kuprum – A Subcultural Mine” which presented the findings from a field research and details from masters dissertations dedicated to the factory that were written by two students of architecture.

A earlier event that was part of the project was an exhibit of the potential solutions for the abandoned industrial complex Kuprum. A gallery of this exhibit can be viewed here.

The panels featured speakers representing various fields and disciplines, like the representative of the union of high school students and youth activist (Blendi Hodai); a manager in one of the most successful Macedonian IT companies, Krsto Zlatkov; former Minister of Culture Robert Alagjozovski; the mayor of the Gjorche municipality Aleksandar Naumovski, and others.

The panelists gave their own account regarding the needs of a cultural/youth center that has the potential to bring positive change to the lives of the young. Since the event was taking place during the Covid restriction, the organizers had it broadcast online. To date, more than 22,200 people have visited the event page or seen the event.

Full list of the panelists:

  • Aleksandar Naumoski – Mayor of the Gjorche Petrov municipality;
  • Rober Alagjozovski – National coordinator for interculturalism and cultural development
  • Jana Brsakoska – President of City Skop
  • Goce Kocevski – attorney at law, member of the young law students association
  • Vesna Radinovska – project coordinator of youth development center Mladi Hub
  • Aleksandar Zarapchiev – organizer of the Echo Mountain Film Festival
  • Blendi Hodai – President of the Union of high school students
  • Simona Dimkovska – President of Cultural Echoes
  • Krsto Zlatkov – SEAVUS Education and Development Center
  • Bojan Petrovski – President of National Youth Council of Macedonia
  • Martin Anastasovski – Moderator

Video summary of the first panel: Student City – need or luxury in times of pandemic

Video summary of the second panel: Skopje, city of opportunity, seen through the example of the abandoned industrial complex Kuprum

A full recording of the live stream can be seen on the following link:


Видео од обраќањата на активисти пред Купром

На настанот што се одржа пред портите на фабриката Купром учествуваа активисти, екологисти и архитекти. Целта на излагањата беше да се воочат проблемите и можностите што доаѓаат со евентуалната изградба на станбени згради, наспроти можностите за ревитализација на објектот.

Повеќе информации за овој настан ќе најдете на известувањето на Само Прашај . мк

Video of the Panel Discussion at an Abandoned Opportunity | Панел Дискусија пред Напуштената Можност во нас. Ченто

We are happy to share a video recording of the panel discussion from the event that we organized in the municipality Gazi Baba. The discussion took place in front of the abandoned theater and library that we want to see restored to its original purpose – to serve the residents of the community in an area of Skopje in which there is total absence of cultural, social and intellectual activities.

This building is part of our map of similar such buildings that we call Abandoned Opportunities. The name reflects the deplorable condition which had befallen these former institutions of culture, learning and sport. The former cultural home in the Chento neighborhood once had a theater hall with 328 seats and a stage of 85м2, along with a library and study rooms. Today it is a ruin.

The members and supporters of Cultural Echoes received help and support from volunteers from the Red Cross, the Ne Bidi Gjubre initiative and students and activists. Much thanks goes to all of them. The municipal workers of the Gazi Baba municipality made a selfless effort to shovel and bulldoze heaps of garbage and debris from inside the building.

With the act of a symbolic cleanup we sent a message to the relevant parties involved in the management and supervision of this former institution that the citizens are concerned about the destruction of property that used to serve the society.

The end result of the event was to raise awareness about this abandoned building. Although we can’t expect to see a renovated cultural home any time soon, we have made a big step towards neutralizing a source of hazard to the residents who live near the former cultural home and theater. We have also made it known that the people who are responsible for the buildings may be held liable in front of the law for leaving an abandoned building unprotected.

The issue of this ‘Abandoned Opportunity’ remains open and we shall revisit it in due time.

Lastly, much gratitude goes to the participants in the panel discussion:

Moderator: Martin Anastasovski

Aleksandar Jovanovski – Student at the Faculty of Drama and Acting
Filip Jovanovski – Visual artist and civic activist
Gorjana Jordanovska – Password Production
Violeta Kalik – The last manager of the cultural home at Chento
Vladimir Kacarski – Attorney at Law
Petko Kostovski – Manager of the cultural home Dimitar Vlahov, Skopje
Veronika Osmanli and Vanja Trajkovski – Students of architecture, members of European Architecture Students Assembly – Macedonia

Meeting with the govt adviser for youth and sport

On May 28 Cultural Echoes were in the Prime Minister’s office to meet with Gjorgi Tasev – Special adviser for youth and sport to Mr. Zoran Zaev. 

Our members Simona and Tomas had a chance to present the organization and the efforts that were undertaken in the past several months

– the map of abandoned objects
– the launching of an initiative with two municipalities towards having two such objects protected and renovated, and
– the outdoor event for the preservation of the cultural home in the Gazi Baba municipality

It appears that we aren’t the only ones wishing to see abandoned objects becoming independent centers for youth, community engagement and alternative education. Simona and Tomas were pleased to hear from Mr. Tasev that the administration is considering to fill the gap of the absence of such centers.

We are looking forward to helping Mr. Tasev and the eventual task force towards that goal in the best of our capacity.

Architectural Concepts for “Partizan” Presented to Karposh Municipality

Cultural Echoes and its affiliated architects and members attended a meeting with the mayor of the Karposh municipality, Stefan Bogoev, and his office staff. This was a follow-up meeting after the first one, held in April 2019, which initiated an interest for cooperation between the municipality, Cultural Echoes and the Association of Sports Veterans of Macedonia towards the renovation of an abandoned sports hall.

The purpose of the meeting was to present two concept solutions for the renovation of the sports hall “Partizan”. The hall’s interior has become dilapidated following years of neglect by the object’s concessionaire. Furthermore, the roof has fallen in partial disrepair, causing water seepage resulting in mold and moisture on the walls.

Tomás Romero Talley (Spain) presented his concept solution developed in collaboration with Mateus Sartori (Brazil) and Office AAR+T (Spain). Their proposal was made with the assistance of Graphic Designer Sofija Cvetković and local Macedonian Architects. Altogether offering a proposal resulting of in depth analysis of the history of the space and the needs of the citizens.

Architects Ivona Krsteska (licensed in Macedonia) and Marija Gelmanovska presented their concept solution the renovation of the sports hall, which had been developed with the help of Ana Grkovska and Aleksandar Kochovski.

Both of the solutions presented to the mayor’s office today were based on measurements and analysis of the sports hall taken by architects affiliated with Cultural Echoes in April 2019. Their assessment, as well as previously-made assessment of the hall’s architect Trajko Dimitrov, suggests that in its current state the object is very able to stand renovations.

The sports hall “Naum Naumovski Borche”, also known as “Partizan”, has played an important role in the lives of many residents of Skopje. The hall was built following the 1963 earthquake, as the result of a donation from the people of France. The hall and its yard had been a proving grounds for hundreds of athletes who have competed in the former Yugoslavia, as well as continental and international competitions in gymnastics, running, archery and other sports.

The loss of the sports hall “Partizan” has been to the displeasure of thousands of residents of the Karposh municipality. Presently, it is a dark spot located next to an attractive object – the Skopje City Mall – which draws thousands of shoppers each day.

It is suspected that the current concessionaire of the hall has allowed it to become abandoned with the intention of using the parcel for the construction of a residential building – a lucrative business in Skopje and Macedonia, which is at the same time decried as prone to corruption and in disregard of spatial planning principles.

Activists have been raising concerns repeatedly that there should be a moratorium of new buildings or that new buildings must be in line with these principles in order if the residents of Skopje are to enjoy the dearly needed natural flow of air coming from the river Vardar and from the mountain Vodno (1100m), at the southern edge of the city of Skopje.

The renovating of the sports hall Partizan into a modern and multi-functional sports and recreation center will keep in place an object that has a historic and representative value. If the parcel remains an objective of lucrative interests, it will be used for the construction of a residential/commercial building, or it will remain a dark spot in an urban neighborhood.

The mayor of the Karposh municipality, Stefan Bogoev, stated that his office is intent on returning the sports hall back to the municipality’s rule and away from the concessioner. According to the mayor, the process for the hall’s renovation will be initiated once the courts have ruled in favor of the municipality’s management of the object.