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What is „Fabrika Avtonomia” (Autonomous Factory)?

Fabrika Avtonomia (Autonomous Factory) is a free, public, non-commercial and independent social space.

Autonomous social space

Fabrika Avtonomia (Autonomous Factory) is a free, public, non-commercial and independent social space in Sofia, Bulgaria. Free, because together we set the rules. Everyone participates in decision making. We do not seek or receive help from institutions, parties, business organizations, foundations. We do not aim to make a profit, but rely on voluntary donations and self-organized support. We are open to all who want to participate in this experiment of self-organization and self-government, as long as they share our core values and principles.

Concerts and art events 

In the last few years, Fabrika Avtonomia has become an important center for independent music and art in Bulgaria. All events are without any entrance fee and gigs are on donations which are entirely for the artists.

Activism

We host a variety of autonomous initiatives. Activist work can be difficult, but it is a necessary part of building a fairer society. Fabrika Avtonomia involves people from different activist groups, but to become part of the team, you do not need to be part of any other group, as long as you agree with the basic values and principles.

Autonomy and Direct Democracy

There are no bosses in Fabrika Avtonomia. There are no formal or informal leaders. Our highest instance is the weekly open assembly, every Tuesday from 19:30. At these meetings we coordinate our work and discuss everything related to the functioning of the space. Each individual or collective that organizes events is autonomous for themselves, but each proposal is discussed and approved at a Tuesday meeting. We never make decisions simply by voting, but we always look for solutions that benefit everyone. 

So… What does this mean?

  • Free. We define the rules together. Everyone is involved in the decisions that affect their own life and that of the community.

The political and business elite assure us that our choice is limited to what we buy, who we work for, and for whom we vote. We do not want to believe that freedom is for large corporations and borders – it should only be for people – nor that democracy is only a performance with paid direction and scenography. Politics is not a privilege for a handful of authorized individuals, but rather a commitment of each of us, every day and everywhere.

Today we feel the widespread fatigue. We are tired of the „transition“, tired of „communism“, tired of „democracy.“ True democracy and justice are possible only if we decide, on our own, the things that concern us and control what we create together.

  • Independent and non-commercial. We do not seek or receive help from institutions, political parties, business organizations, or NGOs and foundations. We do not aim to make a profit and we rely on voluntary donations and self-organized support.

We can change a lot by beginning with a little. That is why we gather into one collective that, by working with others, will make these much needed „small“ changes by sharing free knowledge, ideas, and resources. We want „Factory Autonomy“ to be a place for discussions, presentations, screenings, workshops, educational and practical courses, a collective kitchen, and a free exchange of goods and ideas that can be useful for everyone.

We do not promise anything but we will try, together with you, to change everything that we can. It’s up to us whether „the pieces of change“ will emerge and create or restore spaces that should belong to all of us and not the few in power at our expense. We can often gather just to listen to music, have fun, and talk. This is also how new ideas and practices are born.

  • Public/free for everyone. We are open to еveryone who wants to participate in this experiment of self-organization and self-government as long as they share our core values and principles.

Values and Principles

We are led by the pursuit of justice, solidarity, and self-management – as opposed to global capitalism, fake democracy and all kinds of totalitarianism.

We believe that a world of equality and mutual assistance, without hierarchy and without authority, is possible. While trying to apply all of this in practice, we are guided by some basic rules.

  • Each onе of us represents themselves and no one else. We organize among ourselves without leaders and without anyone telling others how to “do it right“.
  • We all participate voluntarily, according to our individual potential, abilities, and desire; all are engaged in the attempt of turning the social center into a model of autonomy.
  • We act directly for everything we believe in and against everything that oppresses us in the present system.
  • We respect all differences, because this is the only way we can achieve common solutions; we recognize the importance of diversity for a just and harmonious society; we do not accept any form of oppression or discrimination on any ground. We do not accept that aggression – verbal or physical – is an appropriate way of communicating in our common space.

We know that the struggle for a better world is multifaceted and we hope that the space of „Factory Autonomy“ will be the center of many struggles for justice, solidarity, and self-government. Only together can we reclaim our space, not only in the city but also in society, and join our voices to fight for our freedom.

„Autonomy“ – because we ourselves can build a just, cohesive, and self-governing society.

„Factory“ – because achieving our individual freedom is impossible without creating our collective freedom together.

 

Thank you!