ADDED ON: 12/31/2021

How one underground party night changed Ljubljana – and Yugoslavia – forever

12/31/2021 | The Calvert Journal

In 1984, the K4 Club was an inconspicuous venue tucked among the concrete streets of Ljubljana. But while the bar seemed innocuous from street level, the inside walls were plastered with homoerotic posters: men giving and receiving oral sex, wearing fetish gear, and sporting “Tom-of-Finland” style moustaches. If you decided to follow the electronic music reverberating from the walls — late on Saturday nights — you’d come face-to-face with the Slovenian capital’s infamous Magnus Gay Parties, and a crowd of gay men dancing: some euphorically, some hesitantly. “Ljubljana’s [queer scene] was a lot more underground; it was dark, full of leather, and closeted,” says Brane Mozetič, a queer poet and one-time regular at the Magnus parties. Although the club provided sanctuary for many, Brane recalls a tense atmosphere outside of its four walls. “I remember that the people that I met in the club were not the same outside. Outside the club no-one wanted to know me, or even say hello. You have to understand that Ljubljana is a small city.” Founded by Aldo Ivančić and Bogdan Lešnik in 1984, Magnus was — and still is — the queer branch of the ŠKUC Association (The Student Cultural Centre): a nonprofit student organisation, producing and upholding alternative culture in Ljubljana. The purpose of Magnus, and the parties, was to promote “socialisation of homosexuality through culture.” To this day, the K4 Club remains one of the last surviving alternative venues in Ljubljana.


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