Besides publishing our bimonthly newspaper, we organize events, discussions, workshops, music nights, film/docu screenings, reading groups, the AA Academy and more. We do not wish to just send information, but also want to be a platform where people can meet, exchange ideas and party. To talk, discuss, listen and enjoy performances together. To celebrate old and new forms of collectivity. Amsterdam Alternative is a collective, which means that for us doing things together is a value in itself.
Check the list of AA activities for more details on what is happening at the moment. Check the overview page to see when things are happening. In the future, new activities will probably be added. If you have an idea or project that would fit well with our activities, let us know: info(at)amsterdamalternative.nl
AA Talks © Ivo Schmetz
AADE 2019, OT301 © Ivo Schmetz
AADE Punk night 2019, Cinetol © Susana Martins
In 2018 we started organizing AA Talks. These are public discussion nights featuring a panel or an individual speaker, on a specific topic. The subjects of the AA Talks are closely related to the topics and themes we write about in the newspaper (politics, culture and the arts,, climate change, urban life and free spaces, anti racism,etc.). The talks usually take place in one of the participating venues of AA or at related organizations. An important goal of these nights is to motivate the audience to take part in the discussion.
Besides the AA Talks we have also started the AADE (Amsterdam Alternative Dance Event) in 2018. The first year it was a single event in the OT301, with performances by DJ Marcelle (Another Nice Mess), Eboman, KRAZ and much more. In 2019 we expanded to five events in various locations (OCCII, Cinetol, OT301, Nieuwe Anita). We programmed a talk that was entitled ‘Fck the industry, long live the experiment,’ as well as a couple of music nights. The AADE takes place in the same week as the big – mostly commercial – ADE. We are not anti ADE, but feel it is our duty to present an alternative to the mainstream electronic music that is programmed in most venues. This could be experimental techno or other weird electronic music as well as punk, hiphop or another genre. We do not program with the aim to attract as many visitors as possible and to make as much profit as possible, but from a passion for music and to promote the importance of a strong ‘underground’ scene in Amsterdam.
AA Music events
Besides the annual AADE we also organize separate music events during the year. Not really regular, but as it happens. Without pretensions. In various locations.
The Amsterdam Alternative Academy is a space to think together about our world. Resistance starts with collective consciousness and consciousness starts with analysis. We will discuss texts and others cultural objects on the topics of capitalism, climate crisis, gender, racism, digitization, and also everyday life (because the personal is still political). We do so by taking an intersectional perspective on capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy and other dominant power structures.
Once, university was a community of equals. We want to return to that ideal (but diverse and intersectional, because of course Medieval ideals also only went so far). AA Academy is an inclusive space. We discuss texts in such way that everyone can join regardless of prior knowledge or education. Every person has creative ideas. Let’s create room for those ideas! The meetings are bilingual in Dutch and English, also in that respect we will be creative.
In May and June 2022 the first three meetings of the Amsterdam Alternative Academy (AAA) took place. This is a low-threshold initiative of Amsterdam Alternative, to discuss one or more texts collectively and in a cooperative, intersectional and anti-capitalist atmosphere, based on a theme. Before the summer, that theme was the question of whether there is life after capitalism, guided by Mark Fisher’s book Capitalist Realism.
In autumn 2022 we diiscussed Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire, on how to design a space for collective learning. Andreas Malm’s book Eco-sabotage, Feminism for the 99% and Philosophical Trends in Feminism by Anuradha Ghandy.
AA Reading group
Every two months we organize an evening in which we discuss a particular book. Works include mainly new and older literary texts, as well as non-fiction about current social and political matters. The sessions are open to everyone and free of charge.
There will be no central presentation of the themes in the book. Instead, you’ll discuss your views, thoughts, favourite passages, points of critique and further suggestions, informally in a small group. The last twenty minutes of the evening are spent in deciding collectively which book we will read next. You’re welcome to join this discussion and to propose a book.