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