Couple of photos made in the workshop during preparations for a new video project to be exhibited, with Patricia Kaersenhout, later this year, for the Tropenmuseum (Tropical / Colonial Museum) here in Amsterdam, reflecting on 150 years since the abolition of slavery.
Collaborating with Dutch-Art-Institute colleague Doris Denekamp of Informal Strategies on an assignment to design a ‘Non Urban Garden’ for Kunstvereniging Diepenheim in the wilds of Twente close to the German border. This project, whereby six different artists are designing Non-Urban Gardens, is curated by Joop Hoogeveen (Kunstvereniging Diepenheim) and Peter Sonderen (Lectoraat Theorie in de kunsten van ArtEZ hogeschool voor de kunsten) for Kunstvereniging Diepenheim which aims to develop into a national centre for the investigation of the relationship between nature and art, with particular emphasis on gardens designed by artists. The project is part of the concept ‘Gardens of the 21st Century’ and presentations of the six design sketches will take place in Diepenheim at the end of February, four of which will be realised during 2013.
More on this project soon…
As part of the Occupy Campaign in the Jan van Galen neighbourhood last weekend, we ‘occupied’ the news & opinion website Joop.nl with a series of twelve Occupy-related articles. You can access all the articles (in Dutch) on the Occupy Campaign site under the heading press. English versions will (hopefully) follow at some point. Meanwhile, here’s the English version of my contribution…
The Oldest Profession
Although much of the media attention seems dedicated to painting the Amsterdam branch of the Occupy movement as nothing more than a haven of criminal activity, grime and menace, care for co-Occupyers was precisely one of the most positive aspects of life on Beursplein. It was ensured that no-one became under-cooled, or over-upset, that food was distributed to one and all, etcetera. During the night the de-escalating tactics of the ‘peacekeepers’ maintained a level of quiet and safety (both, in fact, mainly threatened by outsiders, in particular visitors to the red Light District and the nearby student societies, who were often particularly aggressive)…
OCCUPY CAMPAIGN: Call for volunteers
Occupy Campaign is advancing – from the squares and into the streets – and your help is needed!
On March 2nd and 3rd, in the Jan van Galen neighbourhood of Amsterdam, an Occupy-inspired campaign modelled on the grass roots campaigns in the U.S., will take place.
Occupy Campaign is not selling anything, nor is it a political party. Occupy Campaign aims to bring politics back to their source: to the neighbourhood and the street. We have no influence on many important decisions in our lives, and current politics have taught us to accept this. Politics have been reduced to casting your vote once every four years. The Occupy movement shows that politics cannot be claimed by politicians alone, but that they are a part of everyone’s lives – that everyone has the right to play a role. With this in mind, Occupy Campaign wants to give form to a new type of politics together with the largest possible group of people.
For this we need your help – in our neighbourhood teams, phone teams, writing teams, and hands-on teams making banners etcetera.
Occupy Campaign comprises different teams – a team that goes from door to door to discuss the relevance of Occupy is at street level, a team that makes banners which show the ideas and suggestions coming from the neighbourhood, and a ‘phone bank’ team that calls people in the neighbourhood to discuss the future of democracy.
Are you curious about Occupy Campaign? Do you want to debate, to bring politics back to the streets and give form to them? For a day, or even just for an hour? Then come to Smart Project Space in Amsterdam on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd of March between 10am and 8pm. Or contact us at email@example.com (with “volunteer” in the subject line).
We’re looking forward to it!
Jan van Galen neighbourhood
Coming Saturday, Michael Hardt will speak about Occupy and the politics of the commons. Elke Uitentuis and I have been invited to contribute to the discussion with our experience of Occupy Amsterdam.
In the last year, the Occupy movement has emerged as a global critique to austerity politics and corporate democracy. With the end of the financial crisis nowhere in sight, the question of alternatives and strategies of resistance is more relevant than ever. Is there some path out of this crisis? What next for the occupy movement? What are the commons and what role can they play in a new political practice beyond state and market?
We will discuss these issues with the internationally acclaimed scholar Michael Hardt, co-author (with Antonio Negri) of Empire (2000) Multitude (2004) and Commonwealth (2009).
Introduction by Fabiola Jara (Seminar of the Commons).
Location: Social Center De Valreep, Amsterdam Oost, Polderweg 120.
Time: 16:00 – 18:00
Entrance is free
Literally translated, Nood Breekt Wet means Emergency Breaks Law – in other words, if it’s an emergency, then breaking the law may be necessary.
We hung this banner – a collaborative effort by Doris Denekamp, Elke Uitentuis/Wouter Osterholt and me – between a tree and a lamppost above the remains of Occupy Amsterdam on Beursplein.
Unfortunately, no sooner had we tied the last string and I was slithering back down the rain-wet, art-deco ironwork, than a police van screeched across the square at exaggerated emergency speed to instruct us to remove it, or else it would be removed. Nienke Jansen, with whom I was hanging it, put up a brave round of stroppy argument but in the end we resigned ourselves to moving it to a less prominent, less legible, position along the side of the big tent.
Please join us on the Beursplein to sing along with protest songs, in the big tent on Friday December 2nd at 20:30 (bear in mind that non-hierarchical organisation means things sometimes run a little off schedule…)
The wonderful Lennie St. Luce will be presenting the evening, and all are welcome to come along and sing.
The list of karaoke songs is still being added to and will be updated – at present it includes:
Am I Black Enough for You
Bandera Rossa (IT)
Bella Ciao (IT)
Ben ik te Min (NL)
A Change is Gonna Come
De Bom (NL)
De Dievenwagen (NL)
Don’t Stop Til You Get What You Want
Don Vito y el Revuelto en el Frenetico (SP)
Eyes on the Prize
Guns of Brixton
If There’s Hell Below…
If You Tolerate This….
Know Your Rights
Le Triomphe de l’Anarchie (FR)
Menheer de President (NL)
Now (is the Time)
Someday We’ll All be Free
Turn Me Around
We Shall Not be Moved
When Will We Be Paid
Which Side Are You On?
Thanks to all those who have supplied songs – in particular Taf Hassam & Kees Smallegange.
ARTISTS wearing T-shirts bearing the text Zwarte Piet is Racisme were arrested yesterday in Dordrecht during the Sinterklaas parade in a disgraceful display of police brutality. A Danish researcher and a journalist were also arrested.
PROTEST! – get a T-shirt here.
More information (in Dutch) on Zwarte Piet is Racisme site.
Watch on Youtube here.