geert on Thu, 2 Apr 1998 19:31:03 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Culture in Slovenia

Dear friend,

Please find enclosed an Associated Press report with full description of
what was exactly happening with Strelnikoff in last month. I added some
facts that happened after the report was made and some deatils that
weren't so crucial at the moment to be incorporated in the report
itself, yet they can help you to imagine what kind of witchunt is going

When saying "is going on", I mean that charges haven't been pressed yet,
nor are us two members, Sergej and me, off the hook. We are still under
the legal procedure. The pressure of Catholic Churc, meanwhile, is still
enormous and we belive they won't give up until they see us criminalized
and found guilty on the Court. They are using any political and
non-political mean to accomplish their goal.

Thank you for all your support you gave us up until now and all that we
might need in the future.

Best regards, Vasja Ocvirk (

------ Rock group Strelnikoff from Celje (smaller town 70 km eastern
from Ljubljana) surely didn't expect such a publicity when they decided
to put a picture of Virgin Mary carrying a well-fed rat on her hands on
the cover of their CD record entitled Bitchcraft. After their CD was
published by London drum&bass label "Law And Auder" a sharp discussion
started about their cover.

Roman catholic Church reacted first. In catholic weekly paper Druzina
(Family) Ljubljana's archbishop dr. Franc Rode said that Slovenian
catholics were wounded in their most pure sensitivities. "Mother.  What
did they do to you!" he said.

After this Young Christian Democrats (they are a part of parliamentarian
Christian Democratic Party) demanded that prosecutor would prosecute the
group because of offence against religious sensitivities. They also
demanded that the record itself should be immediatley banned and entire
printrun confiscated.  They called record shops that they would boycott
the record.

After the demand of Young Christian Democrats General State Prosecutor
Anton Drobnic (he is a member of Christian Democratic Party) sent their
demand to Celje's prosecutor. Members of group were interrogated by
criminal police.

Catholic radio "Ognjisce" decided even to open home-page on Internet
where young believers would express their bitterness because of the
cover. The home-page was open until some people started to write their
contributions in favour of Strelnikoff and freedom of expression and
speech. As the number of those started to grow, they closed the page.

Strelnikoff addressed to a public with special statement. They said that
they didn't have intention to insult anybody. They said that their
record is only a reaction to the preach of archbishop Rode. Namely on
August 15th last year archbishop Rode said that the article 55 of
Slovenian Constitution that is talking about the right of parents to
freely decide about the birth of their child is "shameful". This article
is constitutional background of a right to decide for abortion.

Group Strelnikoff remixed parts of archbishop's preach into their song,
published on their CD.

In their statement, group Strelnikoff compared the present situation in
Slovenia with Iran and campaign against Salman Rushdie. They also said
they will not regret what they did and that have only two alternatives:
"to live in freedom or get burned on the stake".

On the other side Roman Catholic Church announced that they will
organize a special mass where they will ask Virgin Mary to forgive.
When president of Republic Milan Kucan invited archbishop Franc Rode to
a meeting last week where they would discuses about preparation for
traditional meeting among President of Republic and Slovenian bishops,
archbishop Rode said that Slovenian believers wouldn't understand the
point of meeting among President and bishops.  They wouldn't understand
the point of such meeting because of constant insults against Roman
Catholic Church.

President Kucan addressed the media with a proclamation against verbal
violence. He said that it is not possible react against intolerance with
intolerance. "We should react with acts and words of tolerance and
co-operation, with dialogue. We shouldn't react with suppressions and
censorship," he said.


The public opinion is divided ever since. Respected names from Slovenian
cultural life raised their voice in favor of Strelnikoff,  while the
attacks against the group itself lingered. Members got tons of anoynmus
and also non-anonymus threat-calls. A journalist of political magazine
"Mag" even called upon lynch during his apperance on national TV. He
said that the "group (after their grousome act) shouldn't seek the
protection of the police if someone throws a Molotow-bomb on them during
their concert".

The "Forgive-mass" gathered more than 7000 people. Archbishop Rode
didn't talk so much about forgiving as he did about how the belivers
suffer under the enormous burden of insults. At the moment, there ar two
petittions circulating amongst the Slovenian organized Catholics. Both
strongly demand that the group members should be prosecuted. One is
adddressed to the Public Prosecutor Drobnic and the other to Ombudsman
Ivan Bizjak (also member of Christian Democrats) The signing of
petitions is reportedly organized also during Sunday masses in Slovenian
Catholic curches.

<A HREF="">Buitenpost-POO</A>
<A HREF="">International Poetry</A>
<A HREF="">Sarajevo information</A>

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