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Issue #029 articles
Issue #029 Published: 30-03-2020 // Written by: Gabrielle Fradin
The Camp and the Farm: On Using the Holocaust
In May 2020 the Netherlands will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi terror. Yet, as this is commemorated, Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) and Anonymous for the Voiceless NL, the Dutch branches of global animal rights groups, are posting on social media images comparing the conditions suffered by European Jews during the Holocaust with the current living situation of farm animals. In fact, over the last 20 years, multiple marketing campaigns led by global animal rights organisations featured such chilling comparisons and often sparked waves of criticism. Reminding ourselves, and especially those among us who are vegan, why the slaughter of 6 million Jews isn’t comparable to the daily slaughter and violation of animals is primordial, especially in this time of remembrance. Astonishingly, the link between animal rights and the Holocaust was first made by Holocaust survivors who, after their horrific experience, came out with an extraordinary sense of empathy for all living-beings. Images of the captivity and slaughter of animals triggered dreadful memories for the survivors’ own living conditions in Nazi camps and ghettos. In turn, a few, like Alex Hershaft, the founder of Farm Animal Rights Movement, became fervent defenders of the ethical treatment of animals and started promoting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. However, the fact that a few Jewish survivors of the Holocaust have done it does not necessarily justify such a comparison. Still, for the sake of the argument and to thoroughly debunk such justifications often used by Animal Rights groups, let’s see how far the comparison goes. Most accounts drawing a parallel between Nazi camps and the lives of industrial farm animals take a very formal perspective on the matter. They make point-by-point technical comparisons about the workings of both systems. While it is true that formally speaking, the brutalisation and commodification of living bodies during the Holocaust bear gruesome similarities with today’s industrial food system, they do not at all compare. Abstaining from comparing the two for the sake of promoting animal rights does not deny their respective suffering; on the contrary, it actually acknowledges it. Reducing the Holocaust to the workings of extermination camps is disturbingly simplifying. Extermination camps were the results of a state-sponsored biological racism and came after centuries of massacres and pogroms against the Jewish population. German and European Jews were gradually stripped of their rights as the fragile post-WWI democracies failed to protect them. Once the Nazis came to power in Germany, they perverted the state into an anti-Semitic extermination machine. None of this can be applied to the contemporary treatment of farm animals. We need to remember the specificities of a historical trajectory whereby the European tradition of anti-Semitism developed into genocidal racism in order to learn from history and prevent what was arguably one of the cruellest chapters of human history from ever happening again. Hence, it is important to distinguish between anti-Semitism and specism. Specism, i.e., the ideology that animal rights activists are trying to debunk, is different from anti-Seminitism in that it does not per se entail hate. Indeed, it includes treating other beings as biologically inferior due to their belonging to a “lower” species. Yet, it also involves upholding double standards varying in time, place and species involved. In this sense, a specist society is not driven by ideological hatred against animals; the domination and violation is of a different order. There is no hate. On the contrary, most people don’t find any contradiction in eating bacon in the morning and going to the petting zoo in the afternoon. This is exactly why a main part of the work carried out by animal rights groups involves the reconnection of our values to our actions thereby rebalancing the deep-rooted cognitive dissonance promoted by the current system. In general, using the Holocaust as comparison always runs the risk of trivializing an unprecedented crime against humanity. It also clearly serves an agenda. In fact, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imply that at least some of those campaigns were precisely designed to spark public outrage and amplify their media coverage through sensationalism. Isn’t there another way to translate the daily suffering, abuse and slaughter of billions of animals? It seems that by comparing the Holocaust to the abuse perpetrated on farm animals, animal rights groups have sought to struggle against one kind of oppression by capitalizing on the suffering of another.  Doing this weakens what is otherwise a very powerful argument.    
Issue #029 Published: 29-03-2020 // Written by: Nic Burman
Growing Pains as UvA Celebrates its 388th Anniversary
The new year found the University of Amsterdam (UvA) celebrating its 388th anniversary. Its birthday party featured its rector magnificus, Karen Maex, giving a speech arguing for “new and fundamental research in an interdisciplinary context.” Such a turn of phrase inspires fear that specialisations are due further cuts. Interdisciplinarity was intended to encourage researchers from typically distant faculties and fields of interest to collaborate on projects. Such a holistic approach, it was and is hoped, would lead to discoveries/academic progress which could combat the “complex” challenges of the contemporary world such as climate change. The undermining of educational standards could also be seen as one of those challenges. While the notion of interdisciplinary work remains a potentially profitable idea (in both senses), it only works if all involved parties are sufficiently knowledgeable about their fields in the first place. However, interdisciplinarity is increasingly being used as a way to excuse a decrease in the amount and quality of students’ contact time with lecturers, and this trend will only make meaningful interdisciplinary discourse in the future less likely. The UvA isn’t an island, of course, and government policy has a lot to answer for in relation to the arrival of what can be considered a general downgrading of university provisions. The humanities appear under particular pressure from this sleeper threat. Letters sent from the UvA’s Humanities Faculty Student Council (FSR FGw) to the dean (all publicly available) suggest a worrying tale. In September 2019, the FSR warned against proposals to reduce the amount of tracks provided by the Classics & Ancient Civilizations and Archeology courses; a reduction in tracks did take place, albeit with concessions. Reducing tracks means that, while the course exists, students will spend more time during those courses in elective classes which, while fulfilling the promise of promoting interdisciplinarity, will likely have nothing to do with old stuff or digging. A month later, the FSR highlighted that details regarding the implementation of 2015’s austerity programme were fuzzy. “It is unclear which parts of the educational programmes have been lost and which ones have been renewed,” it wrote1. As yet, students and staff are unable to study the exact losses suffered by the faculty since austerity was introduced. Students either working unsocial hours on the minimum wage or getting into debt to pay uni fees are unlikely to be happy that their financial input is unaccounted for. Meanwhile, €250,000 was found to pay for staff to work on the conceptualisation of a new programme (still without content or concrete plans for implementation) called Humanities in Context, whose website asks: “How do we ensure that in 2025, we will still be pioneering and internationally influential in the humanities?” Err. More than one proposed merger between tracks has taken place over the past few years. The Discourse and Communication and Tekst en Communicatie research MAs were combined. One result is that Dutch language students are now unable to receive lectures and seminars on this subject in their native tongue. More recently, it has been suggested that students in the Art & Culture masters could be streamlined into one big course, as if theatre studies, music studies and cultural analysis provide a homogeneous way of thinking, or are even about the same thing. The argument that electives are a great way for students to “choose” their own path would be more persuasive if the system the UvA provides students to pick them with wasn’t such a mess, and if courses weren’t prone to being oversubscribed. In the event that the number of mandatory tracks are reduced, the yearly fee won’t change, meaning that new students would get less for their money in comparison with alumni peers. More students for one lecturer also means less individual time students get to interact with a researcher as part of small workgroups or one to one, even though getting better acquainted with researchers is one of the main reasons people enrol in postgraduate degrees. All in all, a great way to prepare humanities students for 2025! The prohibitive legislation against flat shares and freelance work being introduced over the next couple of years will make Amsterdam a less practical choice for all but the most financially secure prospective students of the future. Relying on locals to make up for the possible upcoming deficit in attendance numbers may not be such a smart idea either, seeing as the UvA has become increasingly anglophone. This will all undoubtedly have an effect on who the students and lecturers are, which is already a contentious point. That the humanities faculty working group on diversity recently dissolved itself in the face of institutional inaction suggests that that conversation is at the bottom of the Uni’s in tray. Whoever remains will need to remind themselves that they are part of an institution which doesn’t keep its promises. Five years ago, those involved in the Maagdenhuis Occupation were promised access to the same building this February in order to reinvigorate the discussion around introducing democratic staff and student involvement into the mechanics of the UvA’s decision making processes. Permission to access was revoked just three weeks before the commemorative event was due to take place. Such an event would help engage all members of the UvA community, as well as alert people to the University’s devaluation of specialised knowledge. That such opportunities for community strengthening are mostly absent from university life is another worrying contemporary trend. If only there were nonpartisan reports about the University’s efforts to provide ever lower-quality higher education, all while selling itself as “part of the living fabric of Amsterdam” and “one of Europe’s most prominent research-led universities,” as its website boasts. Perhaps the UvA should fund some “fundamental research” into itself?   1) Translated from the Dutch by the author.
Issue #029 Published: 27-03-2020 // Written by: Treehouse
In november is op de NDSM-werf in Amsterdam Noord het ‘Treehouse’ geopend
Treehouse verhuurt zo’n 110 atelierruimtes aan kunstenaars en creatieven uit alle kunst- en ontwerp disciplines: theatermakers, schrijvers en muzikanten, schilders, tekenaars, (mode-) ontwerpers, grafisch ontwerpers, video- en beeldend kunstenaars. Elke professional met een creatief beroep kan een atelier huren in het ‘Treehouse’. Naast meer dan 110 individuele ateliers, omvat de mini metropool aan het IJ een centrale bijeenkomstruimte, een gezamenlijke werkhal, een binnenpleintje, een prachtig terras  en een grote expositie- en performance-ruimte. De gebruikers van het Treehouse kunnen hun werk in deze gemeenschappelijke ruimtes tonen aan het publiek. Naast exposities en optredens, worden er ook workshops, festivals en andere publieksevenementen georganiseerd. Iedereen met een nieuw idee is welkom, ook van buiten het Treehouse. De slogan van Treehouse NDSM is dan ook ‘a playground for serious artists’. Het Treehouse is een stedelijke boomhut; een plek waar je kunt dromen, en waar je je concepten realiseert. Een plaats voor vernieuwing en experiment, waar creatief talent zich kan ontwikkelen. Iedereen die een atelier huurt in het Treehouse formuleert dan ook van tevoren een ambitie of een doel in een projectvoorstel om in het Treehouse aan te werken, en stelt een manier voor om het werk onder de aandacht van het publiek te brengen. Op deze manier groeit het Treehouse de komende jaren uit tot een dynamische en internationale gemeenschap waar kunstenaars en andere creatieven elkaar inspireren en bevragen, en een breed publiek uitnodigen om naar hun werk te komen kijken en luisteren. Voor kunstenaars die dit concept aanspreekt zijn nog ateliers beschikbaar. Ga naar of – beter – kom langs!
Issue #029 Published: 26-03-2020 // Written by: William Flemming
Memes, Teens, and Dreams: The Inspiring, Infantile, and (very) Online New American Left
A New Energy There’s an undeniable new wind inspiring hope within the US left. Amidst the ascension of a clownishly right-wing global icon as commander in chief, and rising against the increasingly obvious disintegration of the neoliberal conservatism offered by the Democratic party, an energy of reconstructive optimism persists. It is a heterogeneous leftist energy that captures more than the electoral spectacle that many consider ‘politics’ in the US, but it neither ignores the goings on in Washington. When considered against the older, localized in physical space, horizontally organized, and often art-oriented collectivist spirit that predominates Amsterdam’s alternative leftist circles, the emergent American energy seems combative, sometimes even archaic, and often ignorant of the world around. Conversely, that Amsterdam culture might appear almost quaint to those in the states desperately rallying around hope for a political revolution that responds to their enormous medical and student debt burdens. Basic values of shared good, cooperation, and antagonism to the greed and violence of 21st century global capitalism unite diverse international communities which demand and create alternatives while the world smolders into climate catastrophe. Here I’d like to explain and explore a bit of the nascent, (super) online, and often infantile new American left energy, before pondering its possible ties to communities in Amsterdam. It’s important to acknowledge my limitations in fully encapsulating either scene, especially considering my mere 6 months as a resident of this city. But nevertheless, I hope it finds interested readers this explication of a simultaneously serious and goofy political movement around which I’ve come of age. Describing this Particular US Left Before illuminating what is new, let’s acknowledge what is not. Despite their relative impotence, anti-capitalist critique and political action have always existed in the United States. Further, anarchist influenced and artist collectivist energies have devoted unshakable commitment to community-building in major cities (and sometimes remote communes) in the US despite social exclusion, aggressive institutional revilement, and pessimistic outlooks throughout decades of Reaganite economic policy. Often these efforts coincide with centers of queer identity and expression. Admiration for this courageous work can also include recognition of the particularity of this current moment. Now emerges a truly national network of those committed to building alternatives to commercial, profit driven, and growth dependent economic systems. And, despite its problems and peculiarities, for this development to occur in the nation that epitomizes and symbolizes imperialism, hypercapitalism, and neocolonialism, is inspiring and must be appreciated. Let’s begin by explaining my intent behind the descriptors of nascent, online, and infantile. Though seemingly of similar connotation, nascent and infantile refer to distinct qualities. It seems infantile when two anonymous online agitators despairingly argue over the irreconcilable differences in their self-identified commitments to anarchism or communism, as if they were Star Trek and Star Wars acolytes battling it out on an adjacent Internet forum. Meanwhile, this new left is inspiringly nascent when it reflects on its incredible organizing growth, in even just 5 years time. Especially in response to Trump, extensive urban and rural organizing networks have rapidly formed. With the aid of digital communication, insurgent political campaigns and direct action groups have emerged as powerful new voices. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be the most famous among the radical new representatives, but local figures like Lee Carter, state representative in Virginia, also provide cause for hope in legislative structures. Adding pressure from outside of those institutions, are organizations like the Sunrise Movement which commits to direct action for climate advocacy. These successes are crucial in tempering the more pessimistic factions within the movement, which flirt with ideas of violent revolution. Already you may notice the third quality: online. To highlight this characteristic is to point out the viral potency of creating new discourses on the Internetthat reach national and global audiences. These audiences then rapidly share information and shape strategies for creation and political action. Online is also where the movement indulges in its charmingly goofy qualities of layered irony, quickly united demagoguery of neoliberal political icons and billionaire oligarchs, often by way of meaning-making memes. Often communicating via online forums and social media platforms, the new American left connects and organizes in ways distinct to the 21st century. While suspicion is warranted for a potential detachment from real work, and resignation to the atomized expression of ideology without means or infrastructure to build something on the ground, this online character also presents opportunities. Perhaps an antidote to the alienation of US suburban and rural life, many otherwise isolated young people are able to find welcoming digital spaces for their, for instance, trans identities, struggles with mental health, or social challenges like autism-spectrum disorders. Alongside substantive economic critique, these social subjects are common to see in online spaces. These communities sometimes inspire solidarity projects that promote mutual aid to online leftists struggling to meet their basic needs. It is also in these online spaces where participating individuals express their distinct attitudes to artistic expression. Often suspicious of much of the visual arts world as co-opted by bourgeois sensibilities, online American leftists trade in memes so contextually contingent they seem indecipherable to outsiders. Mirroring the broader US appetite for entertainment, lefty Youtube streamers and “brocialist” podcasters eek out livings catering to this online community’s demands for programming which responds both to their despair and sense of irony. For all its potential pitfalls, notably the risk of a placated group of ideologues content to political commentary from behind a screen, these online qualities certainly allow for a rapid growth of left committed energy previously unseen in the United States. Given the national context in the US-- decades where any remote critique of capitalist greed is met with accusations of the worst failures of totalitarian socialism-- the new left movement is still in development. It is still discovering itself, asking questions, and of course arguing about everything imaginable. It’s impossible not to mention the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders; a predominant, but certainly not unanimous, notion sees hope in a previously unheard of Social Democratic platform presented by a self-identified Democratic Socialist, who ultimately wishes to take the reigns of an imperial infrastructure. This candidacy prompts questions: can the United States transform into a progressive project? Can US electoralism be saved? How can we, in our small-scale organizations, begin to create something new? The fragility that comes with this movement’s youth demands some acceptance of difference in ideological spectrum. And so, despite deserved suspicion of hierarchical electoral politics, many gravitate towards a Sanders organization and movement so distinctly “radical” in US context, it may only find parallel in socialist movements prior to the Great Depression. What comes next, as is often the case, may appear as a frightening unknown. But it seems this undeniable energy cannot dissipate while economic and climate crises persist. Finally, it’s necessary to acknowledge this new left movement’s most childish aspects. One often encounters a more nihilistic despair in these circles. While imagining a utopian ideal of some future anarchocommunism, many seem content not to work towards building anything at all. Instead, some seem resigned to pervading violence amid incoming climate catastrophe and languish in morbid, though not completely unwarranted, ruminations on the greatest depravities of US intelligence and military agencies. With some sympathy, I note these darker expressions as exemplifying a subcultural character of this new movement. For some it seems this is an identity more than a course of political action or a way to live. As the movement grows, I hope it can instead become all of these things and continue to direct its potency towards constructive measures. Directions for Cooperation So, how might it all compare to the happenings in Amsterdam’s leftist circles? There are certainly some obvious differences. Here there is a continuous history that informs the present and future. That history has distinct ties to longstanding anarchist and squatting movements. Though it is of course not monolithic, here horizontal organizing is predominant and functions with the benefit of decades of experience. Organized around physical spaces, and the perpetual fight to maintain them amidst urban commercialization, Amsterdam’s communities build collectively owned spaces that promote alternative ways of living together. The context is, of course, much different: where decades of neoliberal economic consensus do slowly erode public good, there is more substantial public good to target. Given a context where access to basic medical care and education is still largely taken for granted, perhaps Amsterdam’s greater embrace of intellectual dialogue and visual artistry makes sense. Again, it’s important not to erase the parallels of Amsterdam’s scene to those similar which have maintained themselves particularly in places like New York and San Francisco. These movements have long been internationally oriented and continue to be so. Take, for example, Extinction Rebellion which sees support and cooperation with many of the communities in Amsterdam. While XR sees frequent criticism in American leftist circles, it also has a substantial presence in many major US cities. So, while distinctions can be made, one must always acknowledge connections and diversities. Nevertheless, I think the palpable energy and enthusiasm of a youthful new left in the United States is something to be celebrated-- it is inspiring to many. I hope this piece can play some small part in opening dialogues and mutual learning between this new and weird movement in the US, and the culture in Amsterdam that I’ve only begun to understand. Afterall, the bleak fears induced by climate emergency and global capitalist machinations are universally felt, and our attempts to build another future require international cooperation.
Issue #029 Published: 26-03-2020 // Written by: Rosie Fawbert Mills
A cheeky one night stand?
De Nieuwe Anita, this February, played host to Playground 3’s ‘One Night Stand’ - one-act plays not all sexually charged, as one might expect from the title, but each with a hint of cheek and intrigue. The opening vaudeville ‘Nap Time’ chronicled the collision between two old rockers over the discovery of a corpse. A tongue in cheek performance which didn’t explode with laughter but did pop and crackle with high jinks. The ‘Seven men of Hanukkah’ offered a highly awkward situation. Katharina, a cat loving eccentric, is desperate to meet a guy. She initiates an audition process with only one casting role and only one casting hopeful (Brian). As their stories unfold, one couldn’t help but be won over by the charming ending. Closing the first half, Quin Mero’s direction of ‘Remote’ by Eric Coble was raucously received by all. Via the offstage television, we discover their hotel room neighbour is in an active hostage situation (cue gunfire). Their perverse desires and indiscretions are revealed: one unashamedly gets-off on the appeal of having a ‘scrolling news reel’ of her life, while the performances of both women at a channel change moment - and the discovery a pornography video - made the audience squeal with laughter. The closing show ‘Pillow Talk’, written by Peter Tolan, was directed by Ben Evans (one star of ‘Nap Time’). Set in Arizona, on a double bed, in a mobile home, the limited space and allusion of heat added to the rising tensions between Charlie Bird and Chris Grabski’s, whose snappy acting made the perfect double act for this narrative. This final intimate act between two friends was fun, quick witted and suitably uncomfortable. It definitely stole the show! It is a hilarious tale of trading places and self reflection. Doug’s immediate discomfort on sharing a bed with his friend is apparent: as the apoplectic guest, he unexpectedly reveals his fear of physical contact. Annoying Aaron, by persistently interrupting his attempts to sleep, he ends up taking a profound journey of self discovery and puts his own neuroses and homosexual insecurities onto Aaron. Replacing his flippant teasing of Doug, Aaron is left wide-eyed and unsettled as he faces the prospect of having to explain himself to his grandmother in the morning, and to avoid the shaming of being called ‘gay’. Throughout the believable verbal sparring, between lights on-light off (a clever cue idea), the animated interplay between the bantering twenty-something friends was brilliant. Beneath this veneer there may be a more subtle discussion about masculinity. For instance, what are our comfort levels when talking about sexuality and identity - have 85% of boys really had a homosexual experience? - and how would we honestly react when faced with ‘sexual’ behaviors as an adult, even if it is a harmless hug in your underwear with your travel buddy in the middle of the night? Experience the comedic merits of ‘Pillow Talk’ for yourself. The show will be coming back in April (24-26) to the CC Amstel, produced by QETC in collaboration with Downstage Left, and with the same outstanding cast of Charlie Bird and Chris Grabski.  This play will be presented in a double bill with a soon-to-be-announced piece by Alan Bennett. Go to for tickets on sale end from the end of February.
Issue #029 Published: 24-03-2020 // Written by: Charlie Vielvoye
Nieuwe film van Ken Loach is hartverscheurende aanklacht tegen de platformeconomie
“Heb je wel eens een uitkering gehad?” “Nee, ik verhonger nog liever dan dat ik m’n handje op hou.” “Goed zo, jij bent tenminste geen loser, op jou kan ik rekenen.” De nieuwe film Sorry We Missed You (2019) van Brits filmmaker Ken Loach (83) begint met een zwart scherm en een gesprek dat we dus alleen kunnen horen. Hierdoor dreunen de woorden extra goed door, want deze beginscène zet direct de toon voor de film. In het fragment hierboven heeft Ricky Turner (Kris Hitchen) zijn intakegesprek bij de manager van een postpakketbedrijf waar hij als ‘eigen baas’ aan de slag zal gaan. In feite betekent dit dat hij zijn eigen bestelbus moet huren, onverzekerd over de weg rijdt en een peperdure scanner in beheer krijgt die vanaf nu zijn leven zal domineren. Ben je ziek? Dan regel je natuurlijk zelf een vervanger. Ricky mag als eigen baas 6 dagen 14 uur per week opdraven. Kom je te laat aan bij je bestemming? Dan krijg je een boete. Op zijn eerste dag krijgt hij van een ‘collega’ een leeg plastic flesje: “Geloof me, die ga je nodig hebben om te plassen.” In Sorry We Missed You zien we hoe een gezin wordt verscheurd door de platformeconomie waarin organisaties met werknemers zijn vervangen door platformen met losse contracten. Moeder Abbie racet als thuishulp van cliënt naar cliënt, met de bus, omdat ze haar auto heeft moeten verkopen zodat Ricky de aanbetaling voor zijn bestelbus kon ophoesten. Je ziet de familie gaandeweg uithollen. Het contact met de kinderen wordt zo op momenten gereduceerd tot een voicemailbericht met instructies om de maaltijd in de magnetron op te warmen, want beide ouders zullen er pas na bedtijd zijn. Ondertussen werkt puberende zoon Seb zich bewust in de nesten met graffiti en diefstal om nog iets van aandacht af te dwingen van zijn vader die daarop alleen maar uitgeput, verbolgen en agressief kan reageren. Ondanks de moeilijkheden is er toch nog plek voor genegenheid in het gezin. Wanneer ze eindelijk eens een avondje met elkaar Indiaas thuisbezorgd kunnen eten wordt Abbie gebeld. Een van haar klanten is laten zitten door de dienstdoende hulp. De familie is onbereikbaar dus wordt er een beroep op Abbie gedaan. Ze moet wel. Het gezin besluit dan maar gezamenlijk de bestelbus in te stappen en zo maken ze er nog een feestelijke avond van. Ken Loach is wat dit betreft een meester in het vertolken van de veerkracht van de menselijke geest, vergelijkbaar met de Amerikaanse schrijver John Steinbeck, met name in zijn klassieker The Grapes of Wrath. En net als in dat boek blijkt er op het einde geen plek voor soelaas en blijft er een gezin achter, murw geslagen door een onbegrijpelijk en onmenselijk systeem. Sorry We Missed You is een overtuigende aanklacht tegen de sterk gedereguleerde arbeidsmarkt waarin de zwakkeren in de samenleving nauwelijks tot geen sociaal vangnet hebben, een van de wrange erfenissen van het Thatcherisme uit de jaren 90. Door deze politieke trend spant Engeland in Europa met zijn sterk geflexibiliseerde arbeidsmarkt en hevig geprivatiseerde zorgstelsel (waar Ken Loach het met een Gouden Palm bekroonde I, Daniel Blake over maakte) wellicht de kroon, maar zo’n-ver-van-ons-bed-show is het nou ook weer niet. Nederland is de afgelopen jaren ook in rap tempo veranderd en op het moment werken er zo’n 1,2 miljoen mensen zelfstandig. Natuurlijk prachtig voor velen die wellicht sterker staan met hun eigen onderneming dan wanneer ze in loondienst zouden zijn, maar voor veel mensen is het schijnzelfstandigheid. De talloze fietsers voor Deliveroo, chauffeurs voor Uber en recenter het horecaplatform Temper. Allemaal voorbeelden van platformen die nul verantwoordelijkheid willen afleggen voor de mensen die voor ze werken. Naar schatting werken er zo’n 400.000 mensen eens per week via zo’n platform. Een groot deel van deze platformen zijn globale ondernemingen die met legers van advocaten alles in het werk stellen om in ieder land zo min mogelijk zich aan de wet te hoeven houden of belasting te betalen. Het blijkt daarom lastig om dit soort praktijken en platformen aan banden te leggen. Afgelopen jaar kwam het kabinet met een minimumloon voor zzp’ers, 16 euro per uur, om schijnzelfstandigheid tegen te gaan. Maar daarmee ben je er nog niet. Als je nog belasting moet betalen en verzekeringen en pensioenopbouw moet regelen van dat geld dan blijft er weinig over. We hebben in Nederland weliswaar meer regelgeving dan in Engeland om de werkende mens te beschermen en meer sociale vangnetten mocht er iets misgaan, maar platformconstructies zoals Uber en Temper transformeren onze arbeidsmarkt en samenleving wel degelijk. Het zijn holle, cynische bedrijven die niets ophebben met kernwaarden zoals privacy, veiligheid en welzijn van burgers. Het is daarom aan Den Haag en indirect de kiezer om ervoor te zorgen dat dit soort bedrijven zich conformeren aan onze sociaaldemocratische waarden in plaats van een carte blanche te krijgen onder de noemer van een ‘goed vestigingsklimaat’.
Issue #029 Published: 20-03-2020 // Written by: Luisa Fernanda González Valencia, Luna Hupperetz
A rebellious and political film history to be rediscovered The Cineclub Vrijheidfilms collection: 30 years of a militant Dutch film circuit
In November 1966,  a collective of filmmakers and activists called Cineclub Vrijheidsfilms organized their first film night of political documentaries in Filmtheater Kriterion. Cineclub saw cinema as an activist tool to support both local and global political and social struggles. Their motto was “waar anderen zwijgen, spreken wij” (“where others remain silent, we speak”). They demonstrated this through their first film programme that consisted of Le Ciel, La Terre (Joris Ivens, 1965) and the short film Omdat mijn fiets daar stond (Louis van Gasteren, 1966). Ivens’ documentary called for sympathy for Vietnamese people, rejecting aggression from the United States. Van Gasteren‘s militant short film forces the viewer to take a closer look at police violence enforced on students who protested the marriage of crown princess Beatrix to German diplomat Claus von Amsberg, due to his involvement with the Hitler Youth. A later public screening of Omdat mijn fiets daar stond (Because My Bike Stood There) was a direct act against the Dutch film Censorship Board who a year earlier hadn’t allowed the film to be exhibited because it was seen as “manipulative and causing to undermine the authorities”. The film’s premiere was made possible through the construction of a membership based “Cineclub”, which replaced the purchase of a film ticket with a membership to the Club. Screening subversive films within such a ‘closed association’ was not illegal, and was a smart way to bypass the censorship laws. In addition to getting involved with distribution and exhibition, Cineclub also got involved with the production. One film was De Maagdenhuisfilm (1969), which documented a student occupation of the University of Amsterdam’s administrative center to demand a more democratic institution. Their last celluloid production, Vrouwen van Suriname (1979), was an anti-colonial, feminist portrait of the lives of five Surinamese women. This film followed the recent independence of Suriname in 1976, and shed a light on the experience of the Surinamese migrants entering the Netherlands the hostile responses they experienced. Compared to other Dutch film collectives of that time, Cineclub was unique in the sense that it combined its film practices with political actions. It was not connected to any specific political party but did collaborate with many (inter)national political action groups and committees. Their political actions ranged from raising local concerns in Amsterdam through neighbourhood activities by squatting to supporting the “Free Bobby Seale” campaigns by organizing screenings on the Dutch Black Panther Day. During their peak in 1970-1974, Cineclub grew into a national network named the Cineclub Coordination Center. Their distribution catalogue of more than 130 films were programmed and rented out by activists, teachers, workers, students and film programmers in order to screen them at alternative venues such as schools and neighbourhood centers. With a heavy decrease in renting requests and the death of its founder At van Praag in 1986, Cineclub Vrijheidsfilms stopped in 1987. In 2003, the film collection and paper archive was bought by the International Institute of Social History (IISH). The collection included 180 celluloid films, a paper archive consisting of posters, correspondences with filmmakers and collectives, plus photos and audiotapes of various demonstrations. In 2019, students João Diaz Pessoa, Luna Hupperetz and Luisa González and, Floris Paalman, a professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Media Department, together with Eye Filmmuseum curators Simona Monizza and Rommy Albers, started researching the collection. They discovered an impressive set of political images that unveiled the 1960s’ global left-wing movement and how this period of activism was embedded within the Dutch militant cinema circuit. After more than thirty years since the Cineclub Vrijheidfilms ceased its activities, a selection of films from their distribution and production collection will be shown in March 2020 in two of Amsterdam’s cinemas. As part of the film program Clásicos Latinoamericanos, a collaboration between Filmhuis Cavia and Filmtheater Kriterion, there will be two evenings in March with Cineclub films and a Q&A. Sunday 15th of March at 19.30 Filmhuis Cavia: Guerrilla Films Rio Chiquito (1965) - made with the FARC in Colombia. El Salvador, el pueblo vencerá (1980) - made by the FMLN in El Salvador. Underground productions that walk between thin lines of propaganda, social activism, utopia, and dystopia. Thursday 26th of March at 19.30 in Filmtheater Kriterion: Cineclub Vrijheidfilms’ Third Cinema creations En la Selva hay Mucho por Hacer (1974) a collaboration with jazz Orkest de Volharding (Orchestra Perseverance) to produce a Dutch soundtrack for this animated film to raise awareness in children of the dictatorship in Uruguay. Vrouwen van Suriname (1979). made in collaboration with  LOSON (National Organisation of Surinamese in the Netherlands), from which its ex-members Juanita and Henk Lajli, that were involved in the production and exhibition of the film, will be present for a Q&A . Hopefully, these screenings are just the beginning of a re-discovery of an important part of the rebellious and activist history of the Netherlands through the archive of the Cineclub Vrijheidfilms.
Issue #029 Published: 17-03-2020 // Written by: Bart Stuart
Fast shopping in de afgrond
Ergens in een hip winkelgebied in de binnenstad, midden in de Berenstraat zit een curieuze plek. Omringd door vele ketenwinkels, een sexy lingerieboetiek en de permanente geur van chocolade en stroopwafels. AA is op bezoek bij Boekie Woekie, een tegendraadse winkel, levend kunstwerk van creativiteit en verzet. De ketenwinkels in dit gebied hebben de eigenschap dat, hoewel ze er ten opzichte van elkaar heel anders en divers uit zien, een zelfde soort filosofie delen. Vaak ook dezelfde eigenaar. Die ketenwinkels vermomd als boetiekjes creëren een sfeer waar consumenten hongerig van worden. Geld gaat rollen, alles in de straat wordt een commerciële interactie. Het is een groot fenomeen in de stad: Fast shopping. We zijn in Boekie Woekie, in gesprek met Jan Voss, één van de drijvende krachten achter deze plek. Kun je iets vertellen over het ontstaan van de winkel Boekie Woekie? In 1991 zijn we hier in de Berenstraat beland en nu bijna 30 jaar actief op deze plek. In die tijd was het al een gemengd gebied van wonen en winkels en in de straat waren kleine zelfstandige winkeliers verenigd in een winkeliersvereniging. We openden de winkel en na twee weken plofte er een rekening op de mat. Afzender was de winkeliersverenig en het ging over 150 gulden om bij te dragen aan de kerstverlichting in de straat. Het was bevreemdend en we waren totaal niet op de hoogte hoe dat werkte. We weigerden mee te doen en te betalen. Dat bepaalde uiteindelijk ons lot. Hoe zit dat met die naam: De Negen straatjes? Het winkelgebied wordt ‘De negen straatjes’ genoemd. Een handvol naïeve winkeleigenaren hebben met een reclamebureau ooit die naam verzonnen met als doel de plek te ‘hypen’. Stadspromotie van onderop. Het ging echter een eigen leven leiden en transformeerde alles in een consumptieve ruimte met bijbehorende vierkante meter prijzen. In Boekie Woekie staat het zelf uitgegeven boek centraal. Zelf geïnitieerde en vaak ook persoonlijke uitgaves van kunstenaars/ dichters/ auteurs. Grote gedachten in kleine oplages. De winkel staat er vol mee en het aanbod is divers en indrukwekkend. Een boek vertegenwoordigd een monetaire waarde maar is ook een representant van ideeën, gedachtegoed of zelfs complete werelden. Boeken zijn dragers van ideeën om de wereld te veranderen. Dat staat hier op de boekenplanken in uitwisseling met de stad. De plek is een grote katalysator, er vinden conversaties plaats, uitwisselingen van perspectieven. Ideeën in verschillende toestanden: vast, vloeibaar en gasvormig. Jan noemt in ons gesprek mensen die de winkel binnen komen bezoekers, nooit klanten. Ze delen mee in deze energie, de ideeën en gesprekken. Een bezoek aan Boekie Woekie is eigenlijk een oplaad-cyclus. Daarna kun je er weer de stad in en er even tegen! Boekie-Woekie is een plek van overvloed. Een aanbod van verschillende condities van zijn. Het hangt erg af van de bezoeker hoe de winkel zich vormt op dat moment. Het is een plek van transformatie en ontklontering. Je maakt er kennis met nieuwe ideeën in een non-hiërarchische orde. Wie beslist wat hier op de plank staat? Een niet vastomlijnde logica bepaalt dat er een geleidelijke vernieuwing plaats vindt. Er is hier geen leider of een curator met een regime. Het zijn kleine beslissingen. Iedere dag komt er iets bij, een permanente vernieuwing. Een constante serie van kleine updates van de collectie. Wat daarbij het uitgangspunt is, is het zelf uitgegeven boek. Dat zijn hier de individuele stemmen die de collectieve boventoon voeren in Boekie Woekie. En het blijft niet alleen bij boeken. Als we in de achterruimte van de winkel zitten met een fijn kopje Nescafe is er ook een tentoonstelling van kunstenares Tacita Dean. Jan Voss en zijn collectief zijn winkeleigenaar, kunstenaar, curator en gastheer voor mensen opzoek naar betekenis. Jan leest voor uit een publicatie die op tafel ligt: ‘Words are memory-capsules of experiences that have been made. Text helps to memorize earlier events, when photographs (image) help to decompose them’. Hoe kunnen we Boekwoekie zien in de context van het kapitalistische realisme van deze winkelstraat? Boekie Woekie bestaat ook dankzij deze straat. De context van ‘fast shopping’ is een fraai contrast waarin wij goed functioneren. Onze aanwezigheid is alleen maar belangrijker en urgenter geworden in de maalstroom van gelijkvormigheid en monocultuur. Het probleem is wel de komende huurverhoging die we over 2 jaar voor onze kiezen krijgen. We moeten hier dan namelijk 5500 euro per maand huur betalen. Een groot verschil tussen de huidige huur. Onze huisbaas is er van overtuigd dat wij dat gaan betalen, maar is dat realistisch? Voor wie? Wie is die huisbaas? Ze zijn ook de eigenaars van Tours and Tickets, overal aanwezig in de stad. Zij maken de infrastructuur voor het massatoerisme en verdienen er zelf een aardige boterham mee. Meneer Kooy, zou niet een eigenaar van een groot bedrijf zijn als hij het kunstenaarsboek zou hebben omarmd. Wil de huisbaas de boekenwinkel niet sponsoren? Ze willen een marktconforme huur innen. Dit zie je in de hele stad en samenleving terug, zakenmensen en leiders schieten zichzelf in de voet want de desastreuze effecten van hun handelen op ecosystemen en de natuur, en daarmee op toekomstige kinderen, treffen natuurlijk ook hun eigen families. Dus om antwoord op jouw vraag te geven, sponsoring gaan ze niet doen. Verderop zitten de Wallen. Maar de etalages hier in de winkelstraat laten je het echte ‘redlight district’ zien. Het is winkelraamprostitutie. Zonder enige verantwoordelijkheid voor de wereld er op los kopen. Het lijkt onschuldig. Kopen wordt zo een staat van zijn. De straten in de binnenstad zijn parkeerplaatsen geworden van producten die exclusief lijken, maar in grote aantallen worden gemaakt. Van statische eindresultaten. Het is een industrieterrein geworden van maar enkele grote spelers die veel geld verdienen. Jan, hoe verder? We bevinden ons in een eindstadium: De staat van perfectie. Van afgesloten dingen in steriele ruimtes. Iets wat ten einde is gekomen of het einstadium bereikt heeft een eindig perspectief van ons bestaan op aarde. Onze gezamelijk verlangen naar perfectie leidt ons nu naar het einde van het bestaan. Een vreemde paradox. Wat kunnen we leren van kunstenaars? De wereld opnieuw verkennen! Het kunstwerk is een levend proces en niet iets wat de komende 500 jaar aan een spijker hangt. Wat wij (weer) kunnen leren is het inzicht hoe je dingen maakt. Dat plat consumeren leidt naar niks. We moeten de wereld MAKEN met elkaar. Als kunstenaar heb je ook het inzicht en bewustzijn hoe iets ontstaat. Hoe je begint. De beide ogen moeten open om een uitweg te vinden. We hebben met één oog gekeken de afgelopen duizend jaar. Met het ene oog kijken en dan ook maar één kant uitgaan. Drie keer links en je bent weer op dezelfde plek, maar er is ondertussen wel veel tijd verloren. Boekie Woekie Nostalgia? NEE! Het is geen herinnering van een andere tijd of een alternatief Amsterdam. De winkel leeft en is een open -geen ingesealde- ruimte. Het is een levend model voor een aanpak van hoe het in de toekomst moet gaan. Ruimte maken voor spelen. Weg van de efficiëntie en het doelmatig handelen. Het is tijd voor de omwegen. Samen wandelen, niet rechtstreeks van A naar B gaan. Als we doorgaan in de efficiëntie van spreadsheets en neoliberale bullshit, dan belanden we in het ravijn. In de afgrond. Bent u benieuwd en opzoek naar betekenis? Kom naar Boekie Woekie, Berenstraat 16, 1016 GH Amsterdam zie website voor openingstijden:  
Issue #029 Published: 17-03-2020 // Written by: Filmhuis Cavia
Film/Documentary tip top 5
Every issue we publish a tip top 5 of documentaries and films that we think are worth watching.This issues list has been created by Cinema of the Dam’d (cinema in the OT301). If available we share the content on our Youtube channel. Soviet Hippies Director: Terje Toomistu Writer(s): Terje Toomistu Release date: June 2017 Topic: Counter-culture, Soviet Union Where to find: 21+22 March at Filmhuis Cavia A documentary about a psychedelic subculture that existed in the Soviet Union during the 60s and 70s. It’s an audio-visual exploration that dives into a colorful wave of artists, musicians, eclectic drug experimenters, spiritualists, freaks and vagabonds that blossomed in Russia. The Harvest (Mosavali) Director(s): Misho Antadze Writer(s):  Misho Antadze Release date: 2019 Topic: Georgia, Bitcoin, crypto-capitalism Georgia, that not too long ago suffered daily power outages, is one of the largest exporters of Bitcoin in the world. In the rural wine region of Kakheti, images of developmental contradiction come to the fore: Grapes grow and cows graze among transmission towers, horse carts are drawn past barns full of computer servers, feeding the speculation economy. An observational documentary that examines the politics of the landscape. Videophilia (and Other Viral Syndromes) Director(s): Juan Daniel Fernández Writer(s): Juan Daniel Fernández Release date: 2015 Topic: Disillusioned Youth, Peru, Internet, Glitches Where to find: hard to find, rare screenings Luz, a teenage misfit who spends her time slacking and experimenting with drugs and cybersex, meets Junior online, an amateur porn dealer on a delusional journey regarding the end of the world and other conspiracy theories. Once they meet in the “real world”, unusual events start to unfold. Waar de Ratten Koning zijn Director(s): Barbara van den Uyl Writer(s): Richard Linklater Release date: 1985 Topic: 80s, Squatters, Amsterdam Where to find: Youtube A documentary about the rebellious eighties in the Amsterdam Staatsliedenbuurt, which was a kind of free state where squatters, punks and original local residents together laid down the laws. The authority of the municipality was reduced to almost zero since Mayor Van Thijn was brutally evicted from the neighbourhood at the end of ‘84. Leaning Into the Wind Director: Thomas Riedelsheimer Writer(s): Thomas Riedelsheimer Release date: 2018 Topic: Art Where to find: / Meditative documentary that follows Scottish landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy (1956) on his exploration of the world and himself through ephemeral and permanent workings on the landscape, cities and with his own body.
Issue #029 Published: 16-03-2020 // Written by: Chris Kelly
Amsterdam’s Undervalued Street Artist’s
Leave Graffiti Alone! Over the course of the last decade, global appreciation of graffiti (or street art) has grown exponentially. What was once an art form only appreciated by those who created it or those immersed in the culture it originated from, has become a widely appreciated form of expression that adorns the walls of the best museums in the world. Amsterdam and its residents have come a long way in changing their attitudes towards graffiti artists, yet it may not have always been for the right reasons. This transition has by no means been a universal success. Graffiti and Hip-Hop are two sides of the same record. The effect of mainstream acceptance of graffiti is comparable to the effects of the commercialisation of Hip-Hop. Corporate involvement in Hip-Hop production resulted in a fragmented understanding of what an underground art form is when it’s suddenly claimed by the masses. When large record labels realised the financial potential of underground culture, they tried to tear apart each component to be sold for parts. In addition, Hip Hop became framed as a new genre when white teenagers started dancing to MC Hammer, as if it wasn’t already a universal sound among many US minority communities. Today, those who used to call graffiti a public nuisance will queue for hours to see a Banksy at the MOCO. In the meantime, every cool cafe, restaurant and club has spray paint dripping down its walls. There are a few questions that need to be answered as graffiti becomes universally beloved, like its cultural counterparts Hip-Hop & Cannabis. Is the reality of graffiti artists any easier now that public perception has changed? Will those who pioneered the culture be rewarded appropriately as museum and art collectors begin to make millions off their street art collections? Has the meaning of graffiti as a form of social commentary changed now that it can be gazed upon from far beyond the block or community that always appreciated it? Finally, what more can we be doing to appreciate the artists that make Amsterdam what it is? Amsterdam’s Street Artist’s For someone visiting Amsterdam, it would be relatively easy to miss that the city is home to a thriving and talented street art community. Unless, of course, you find yourself wandering around NDSM Wharf once the crowds of IJ Hallen have dwindled. When dark descends, the steady hum of spray cans begins to travel on the wind like metal crickets. Eduardo Cobra’s depiction of Anne Frank has sadly overshadowed the work of local artists since its commissioning. In fact, the mural entitled “Let Me Be My Self”, is a rather poignant embodiment of the government’s desire to capitalize on a culture they had deemed illegal and unwanted for decades. Instead of appreciating or supporting the messages and creations of local artists, they tried to turn the area into a tourist trap by plastering Anne Frank’s face 20 feet in the air with an Instagram caption looming over it. Not only is this a disrespectful exploitation of Holocaust victims, it is also a key indicator of the government’s intention to gentrify Amsterdam Noord by replacing a thriving art community with a constructed and controllable one.     However, below this one mural there is a whole world of weird and wonderful creations that are irreplaceable components of NDSM Wharf’s immeasurable character. Artists that have bombed the walls of Noord have gone out to international recognition, such as Ox Alie, ATOMIK, Pez & the legendary London Police. In addition, local artists like Even & Gest, Kems Mats and Dennis are all keeping the walls of Noord adorned with art that reflects an authentic interpretation of Amsterdam. Including street art as a part of the urban environment of NDSM has been extremely beneficial to the local government, stimulating economic development in the area. Admittedly, areas such as the NDSM TreeHouse Creative Network and the copious number of independent and local in shipping containers, demonstrates some self-awareness of the character of the area. However much more paid and commissioned involvement by local artists needs to happen in order to fairly compensate the fiscal benefits brought to the area by creators choosing to show their works. What would Noord be without its artists and what would we all be without Noord? The Paradox of Acceptance I’m aware that I have not provided many examples of how artists have been helped by the new acceptance of graffiti. This sadly, is because only time can tell if artists will indeed be involved in the process of street art development and rewarded by the cities decision to embrace its artists. All too often, the profits go back into the system that saw graffiti as a smudge on an otherwise picturesque city. The right thing to do is for the government to commission local artists & crews to decorate new construction projects and tourist facilities, allowing them to create new works whilst becoming a part of the process and the reward. This is much more rewarding than locking off famous graffiti artists’ work in a museum that costs 20 euros to get into. A thought that would sit wrong with almost every graffiti artist in the world. As for the meaning of graffiti as an art form, the power of the message does not decrease, or its value diminish, by the amount of people who view it. No, in fact it is quite the opposite. You can’t kill an idea, and to my mind the more people who observe, appreciate and learn from works of graffiti the better. That is as long as they are treated as legitimate forms of art while they remain outside in the world. Not just as a means to draw tourists in by utilizing the contemporary trend of the bohemian & underground. The artists of Noord are just as talented as those in Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong or Barcelona…they are just less appreciated.
Issue #029 Published: 15-03-2020 // Written by: Menno Grootveld
Huizen zijn om in te wonen, niet om in te beleggen
In 2008 scheerde de wereldeconomie langs de rand van de afgrond. De aanleiding was een crisis op de Amerikaanse huizenmarkt, veroorzaakt door de verkoop van hypotheken aan mensen met lage inkomens, die op een gegeven moment hun woonlasten niet meer konden betalen. Omdat die hypotheken in stukjes waren opgedeeld die vervolgens in pakketjes aan beleggers werden verkocht, werd het hele financiële systeem aan het wankelen gebracht. Een paar grote zakenbanken vielen om en de hele economie werd meegesleurd in een enorme inzinking, die achteraf de Grote Recessie wordt genoemd. Wie had gedacht dat de financiële wereld en de politiek inmiddels wel zouden hebben geleerd dat het geen goed idee is om met zoiets fundamenteels als huisvesting te speculeren, is bedrogen uitgekomen. Sterker nog, het lijkt erop dat men nadat de stofwolken waren opgetrokken onverdroten is voortgegaan op de ingeslagen weg. Zo gek is dat trouwens ook weer niet als je bedenkt dat vastgoed in ons huidige kapitalistische systeem nog steeds een van de veiligste beleggingen is. De Amerikaanse firma Blackrock is mede daardoor uitgegroeid tot de grootste vermogensbeheerder ter wereld met (in 2019) een belegd vermogen van ruim 7 biljoen dollar. Blackrock is nu ook op de Amsterdamse vastgoedmarkt actief. Op 1 april 2019 kocht het bedrijf voor ruim 250 miljoen euro 240 huizen in onder meer de Van Walbeekstraat in West, de Rijnstraat en de Van Ostadestraat in Zuid en de Bloedstraat in het centrum. Voor Blackrock en andere beleggers op de huizenmarkt telt alleen het rendement voor hun aandeelhouders; de belangen van de huurders en andere belanghebbenden interesseert ze niet. Ook in Duitsland lijden huurders onder het a-sociale beleid van deze firma’s. Onvoldoende onderhoud, te hoge energierekeningen, ruimtes die veel te dicht bebouwd worden, maximale huurverhogingen, schaamteloze rechtszaken tegen huurders – de schandalige handelspraktijken van grote woningbedrijven als Vonovia en Deutsche Wohnen zijn al jaren bekend. Daarom vinden sinds een paar jaar aan het begin van de lente in Berlijn en andere Duitse steden grote demonstraties plaats tegen speculatie op de huizenmarkt en vóór een humaan huisvestingsbeleid. Op 6 april 2019 gingen in Berlijn 40.000 de straat op om onder het motto #Mietenwahnsinn te protesteren tegen de hoge huren en het verdringen van mensen met lage inkomens uit de stad. Tevens eisten ze onteigening van de grote woningbedrijven. Ook in bijna vijftig andere Europese steden hebben op die dag tienduizenden mensen gedemonstreerd voor het recht op huisvesting. Veel deelnemende groepen maken deel uit van de “European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City,” een Europees netwerk van ruim dertig organisaties die samen strijden tegen de huisvestingscrisis in onze steden en landen. Dit jaar is de 28e maart uitgeroepen tot wereldwijde actiedag voor huisvesting, en die hele week tot internationale actieweek. De 28e maart is gekozen uit solidariteit met de huurders in Frankrijk, omdat op deze dag een einde komt aan de winterstop voor huisuitzettingen. Het Franse winterbestand begint elk jaar in oktober en strekt zich uit tot maart, maar vanaf april worden de huurders in Frankrijk opnieuw geconfronteerd met gedwongen uitzettingen en dakloosheid. In Amsterdam wordt op zaterdag 28 maart gedemonstreerd onder het vaandel Huizen voor mensen, niet voor de winst! Een bonte coalitie van groeperingen (onder meer de Bond voor Precaire Woonvormen, Fair City, de SP, FNV-Amsterdam en Huurdersnetwerk Amsterdam) roept op om de straat op te gaan met de volgende eisen: • de versnelde bouw van betaalbare sociale • huur woningen; • minder markthuren, meer volkshuis- • vesting: huren omlaag; • stop de verkoop, flexibilisering en • liberalisering van sociale huurwoningen; • schaf de verhuurdersheffing af; • woonzekerheid voor iedereen. De demonstratie begint om 14 uur op het Jonas Daniël Meijerplein bij de Dokwerker en eindigt ongeveer twee uur later op de Dam. Daarna is er een informatief programma over vervolgacties in het Vrijpaleis aan de Paleisstraat 107. !!!Gecancelled vanwege Corona virus!!! Op 10 maart vindt er naar alle waarschijnlijkheid alvast een opwarmactie plaats, als de vastgoedbeurs MIPIM in Cannes van start gaat. Volgens de uitnodigingstekst biedt de beurs “ongeëvenaarde toegang tot het grootste aantal vastgoedontwikkelingsprojecten en kapitaalbronnen ter wereld.” Laten we de start van de beurs gebruiken om het vastgoedkapitaal en zijn lobby te laten zien dat er sterk verzet bestaat tegen hun winstbejag – en tegelijkertijd solidaire groeten sturen naar alle stedelijke initiatieven en groepen in heel Europa die strijden tegen de huurgekte en de verdringing. Laten we op dinsdag 10 maart een bezoek brengen aan grote woningbedrijven en investeerders in het hele land! Zoek ze in je stad op en loop vast warm voor de “Housing Action Day”! Maak het “spook van de onteigening” zichtbaar, ontketen vette-huur-feesten, organiseer ludieke prijsuitreikingen voor bijzonder belabberde verhuurders of laat met andere creatieve acties zien dat onteigening het halve werk is. Maak foto’s, maak korte films – en deel je acties via sociale media: #Mipim2020 #HousingActionDay2020 #rent waanzin Zie voor meer informatie: Facebook event In Duitsland (Mietenwahnsinn): Internationaal:
Issue #029 Published: 11-03-2020 // Written by: AA
Music tip top 4
Picked with care but you can do the judging yourself. Tips and links to releases are always welcome (  For music listening go to our Spotify page or Soundcloud page for DJ mixes. Squarepusher Be up a Hello Label: Warp Release date: 31-01-2020 Genre: Electronic, Drill & Bass, Ambient Format: Digital, CD, Vinyl On the album, Jenkinson decided to reuse analogue synthesizers that he used in the early 1990s rather than his own technology that he developed and used on albums like Ufabulum (2012) and Damogen Furies (2015). Many of Be Up a Hello’s tracks were recorded in a single take, giving the album a loose, freewheeling feel that suits the music’s generally manic nature. DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess Saturate The Market, Now! Label: Jahmoni Music Release date: 28-02-2020 Genre: Rhythmic, electronic, experimental Format: Vinyl, digital Marcelle pinballs between pumping outsider house, brilliantly weird acid and musique concrète experiments where anything could happen at any given time. Zea + Oscar Jan Hoogland Summing Label: Makkum records Release date: 07-03-2020 Genre: Sound collage Format: Digital, Vinyl A hypnotic groove under a playful song next to an arabic melody on top of an improvised sound collage; the music made up of independent parts, all recorded in one take. The songs are percussive and move on the poly rhythms of two parallel switched turbines. Floating Points Crush Label: Ninja Tune Release date: 10-2019 Genre: Electronic, IDM Format: Vinyl, Digital His most eclectic album till now, a rich pleasurable balancing act between brain and body, academic seminar and nightclub, cerebral experiment and sensory feast Mhysa Nevaeh Label: Hyperdub Release date: 2020 Genre: Electronic, acapella, experimental Format: Digital, Vinyl Nevaeh is Mhysa’s intimate reflection on the black femme experience from multiple vantage points ranging from sex and sexuality, self-love and self-discovery, black empowerment and lineage, pleasure and lack of it.
Issue #029 Published: 09-03-2020 // Written by: Gaby Fradin, Chris Kelly
We Are Here & The eviction of the garage: Amsterdam’s failure to help refugees
On 15 March  2020, the safety and welfare of around 100 Amsterdam residents & community members will once again be left to chance. The Garage was supposed to be a temporary solution to the lack of infrastructure available to undocumented refugees who have come to the Netherlands in search of support and the possibility of a better future. Instead, The Garage has become a permanent reminder of the lack of empathy towards refugees that pervades contemporary society and international immigration policy. The reaction of the city government is truly tragic, particularly if one considers its past progressive attitude to squatting. Today, what remains is a romanticised notion of middle class squatting that inspires the docile practice of creative kwartiermakers while the desperate need for infrastructure to support refugees and the political squatting that goes along with it is conveniently ignored. The Garage currently serves as home to over a hundred people, including a politically conscious group of undocumented refugees called We Are Here. We sat down with them to talk about the upcoming eviction, the reality of life as an undocumented migrant in the Netherlands and the future of We Are Here. The Garage The Garage is cold, dark and wet. Left exposed to wind and rain for decades, its structure is crumbling and the graffiti covered wooden walls are beginning to peel and flake off onto the tents below. One of the key injustices in this story is that the residents of the garage are being evicted from a location they inhabit out of necessity, not choice. “To evict or not to evict”, should not even be the question. Rather officials should be asking themselves how and why it is that these human beings had nowhere else to go and nobody to turn to? Why was an empty parking garage at the outskirts of Amsterdam the only home that these people could find? And why is it now that they have found somewhere to take shelter from the storm, they are once again being told to move on and return to the streets? As we walk up the stairs of the abandoned parking lot, the biting winter winds continue to whip at our necks and don’t stop once we are beyond the rotting plywood walls that have been erected by the refugees. As we close the cut-out door behind us and entered the cave-like living area, all light is sucked out of the room and smoke fills the air. In the fog and dust we can make out 20 ramshackle tents, tucked and squeezed onto every crevice of concrete floor available. Even with the support and assistance of a provincial council this space could never be deemed suitable for human habitation. Upon entering the first tent, 10 sets of eyes turned in the darkness towards the door, looking up from the 3 bunk beds that skirted the walls. It takes but seconds for the group of young men to welcome us in with open arms, offering their seats to strangers without hesitation. It would be easy to think that for those in circumstances as unjust and challenging as the residents of The Garage, anger and sadness would be the default emotions. In reality, it is almost the complete opposite. Their laughter is infectious and heartfelt, whilst their stories of home remain open and honest, as if told between distant friends. People too often look at refugees as broken spirits defined by the situations that they are trying to leave behind. However, what these guys embody is the idea that all the things that actually make us human – such as laughter, convocation, creativity, music and mutual respect – are all necessities for survival in the darkest of circumstances. Sitting with them reminds me of being back home with my friends in London, many of them being the same age as the residents of The Garage. These guys are wearing the same kinds of sneakers as we do, listen to the same music, watch the same football teams and laugh at the same jokes. Yet, whilst I have been welcomed by this country and been given an opportunity to grow, the residents of The Garage have not. We are Here Leaving the tent, we enter the ‘main area’ where two shaky tables and a few chairs are put together. The muffled reggae music playing inside the different tents, as well as the monotone sound of a generator accompanied us as we sat down and started our chat with three of We Are Here’s main coordinators. Most Amsterdammers who are somewhat politically engaged have heard of We Are Here. This refugee-led group formed in 2012 after the eviction of the informal refugee camp in Osdorp. After some initial media interest, attention has now waned, whilst, unfortunately, We Are Here’s mission is still more relevant than ever. Striving to find a place to stay for undocumented refugees in Amsterdam, the organization boldly confronts a recurring problem: where are we going next? Indeed, squatting in Amsterdam, and especially when carried out by undocumented people, has become a ticking-clock exercise constantly apprehending the next eviction and looking out for the next temporary refuge to somehow get some rest from this continual harassment. Ironically, the Groen Links (Green Left) city government that is now leading these evictions was once in support of the Movement. In fact, one of our interlocutors shows us an open letter he wrote to the mayor in which he reminds her and her party that there was a time when they came to visit them in the squats, thus supporting each other, campaigning and gaining public attention. What’s left of this now that the same people are in power? Talking about potential solutions to the refugees’ unbearable situation, I come to mention the winter shelter, that opens during the harsh winter months when the municipality has a legal obligation to keep people off the streets. Still, as they explain to me, these places only accept people on a temporary basis, whilst screening them. In short, you can stay a few days until you are processed as ineligible to stay and put back on the streets again. A central issue here is the impossibility of finding any sustainable, long-term solution. As a consequence of the refusal of the municipality to enter any meaningful discussion, the organization is still obliged to pursue quick fixes, going from one ‘illegal’ temporary squat to another. Even more worrying is that their ‘options’ are getting worse as it is debatable whether squatting in an open parking lot for survival can qualify as ‘squatting,’ as most people would understand the meaning of the word. It is clear that local politicians refuse to face reality and offer a sensible and sustainable solution for undocumented refugees in Amsterdam. Conclusion After concluding our discussion with We Are Here, we return to Kraaiennest station. At the exit to the station, police dressed in civilian clothes stood eagle eyed, watching the crowds disperse. Communicating to each other through their headphones, they worked in unison to corral and ID check anyone they deemed to look like an undocumented immigrant. Upon earlier consultation with We Are Here, we learnt that such action was an everyday occurrence. Such presence at Central Station would be unthinkable. However, at the end of the M3 line, discarded far beyond the easily distracted gaze of visiting tourists, reality is far harder and more unjust than the Tweede Kamer cares to mention. As we are writing this article, the eviction date of mid-March is drawing closer every day for the people we met at the Garage. Still, in their struggle for recognition and with the help of the church, it looks like the Garage has, at the 11th hour, got the attention of the raadscommissie AZ (a citizens council that advises the commission of general affairs in making decisions regarding different topics including order, security and undocumented people in the city). The council is due to come visit the place in the coming week in the hope to find a sensible solution. Sadly, with no assurances being offered by the government, the lives of all residents of The Garage still depend on the whims of local enforcement agencies.
Issue #029 Published: 06-03-2020 // Written by: Plein Theater
The highlight of ICAF (International Community Arts Festival, Rotterdam) 2020, Nacer / Birth, will be shown in Plein Theater in Amsterdam at the 20th and 21th of March. The performance is a co-production between corporations Humor y Vida (Ecuador) & Theatre Embassy (Berith Danse) and will be shown in the Netherlands for the first time. Corporación Humor y Vida [‘humor and life’] consists of women artists from Ecuador and Colombia. They work on the contested borderlands between their two countries, an area frequently used for illegal crossings, also by guerrilla fighters. Berith Danse, director of Plein Theater, is director of the play that is made in 2015. Where has the play been made? The theatre play Nacer, which means Birth, was made in Quito and Otavalo, which is in the north of Ecuador. This is a very spiritual region where the native people have been able to survive the suppression of the Spanish colony. The Otavalo people still speak their native language and are very well known for the travels all over the world with their products and handcrafts. The secret of their strength is the strong believe in their community and in their cosmovision. Corporacion Humor y Vida works in remote and rural areas and got inspired by their culture and visions. They wanted to make a play about the midwives and their spiritually and medical knowledge, as their lifes as modern urban women is so much diferent. In the capital of Quito 60% of the delivery of babies is through the cesarian in the hospital. The indiginous midwive works at home, like the midwives in the Netherlands. But she has to operate in secret due to the discrimination of the indigionous people . Recently there is an revalution of her knowlegde and important role for giving life. Where is Nacer/Birth about? The play is an ode to these midwives. In the recent years she got her position back and in the hospitals of Otavalo she was given a position too. In the play we see the two worlds of the western labour and the more spiritual labour of Otavalo. We see the struggle of modern women with the cold cesarian and the dialogue with the native midwife. The play is made with different theatre technics to communicate in different layers about these different perspectives. What was the urgency to make this play? The momentum the play was made was when the midwifes were recognized as real medics and became part of the hospital system. We were present when they received their certificates. We elaborated workshops and encounters with the women before we started to create the play. When it was ready we made an elaborate tour across the villages and shared our results. Since three years you are the artistic and business director of PLEIN THEATER, a theatre in the east of Amsterdam. How does your international background (Theatre Embassy) influence your plans with PLEIN THEATER? Well thats a big question. But when i started as a director at Plein Theatre, it was the first time in my life I had to run an indoor theatre. Before I worked in areas where there are no theatres at all. Or we decided to create the play in the open air at a significant site, like the Nile in Sudan or the desert in the south of Peru. For me the Plein Theatre is a location. And it can be used in diferent ways. We are surrounded by a city district that inhabits people from all over the world. I would like to see the reflection of this world of people in the programming of the theatre and our café/ restaurant Eetlokaal. We program different disciplines so that different likeminds will find their way to the theatre. In the programming of theatre, dance, contemporary music, visual arts and performances, artists from everywhere come to perform. In the years to come we would like to have a lot more programming from profesional groups from different disciplines and invite theatre artists from abroad to come and play too. Because I believe that this will bring the residents to our theatre. Info: 20th and 21th of March at 20:30 hrs Plein Theater Tickets can be bought online at:
Issue #029 Published: 06-03-2020 // Written by: AA
Books tip top 5
The tip top 5 is a small selection of books and/or magazines. We will share these titles with you but you’ll have to do the judging of the books yourself. Tips and links to releases are always welcome.  Verruim je geest Michael Pollan Publisher: De Arbeiderspers Release date: 10-2020 Pages: 480 pages // in Dutch Price: €26,99 ISBN: 9789029525770 Wie dankzij psychedelica in een andere werkelijkheid verbleef, zal dat nooit vergeten. Onderzoeksjournalist Michael Pollan beschrijft zijn eigen existentiële ervaringen en onderzoekt de grenzen van wat we begrijpen van de geest, ons bewustzijn en onze plek op deze wereld. Tot in de hemel Richard Powers Publisher: Atlas Contact Release date: 09-2019 Pages: 608 pages // in Dutch Price: €17,50 ISBN: 9789025458393 “Tot in de hemel’ is Powers ten voeten uit: een verrassende fusie van natuurwetenschap en literatuur, een monumentale roman over bomen en mensen. Het is een meeslepende vertelling over activisme en verzet, en tegelijkertijd een loflied op een wereld naast de onze. De acht grote lessen van de natuur Gary Ferguson Publisher: Ten Have Release date: 10-2019 Pages: 240 / in Dutch Price: €21,99 ISBN: 9789025907334 In De 8 grote lessen van de natuur laat Gary Ferguson zien hoe we weer in contact kunnen komen met de natuur. Er heerst een groot verlangen om meer in harmonie met de natuur te leven. Ferguson beschrijft aan de hand van nieuwe wetenschappelijke inzichten dat we niet losstaan van de natuur: we zijn zelf natuur, maar zijn dat vergeten. Een goede nachtrust Peter Buurman Publisher: Das Mag Uitgeverij Release date: 01-2020 Pages: 220 // In Dutch Price: €22,50 ISBN: 9789492478870 ‘Een goede nachtrust’ vertelt het verhaal van de onwaarschijnlijke vriendschap tussen een man en de inbreker die zijn huis ‘s nachts betreedt. Een humoristische, magisch-realistische roman over slapen en wakker liggen. Mens/onmens Bas Heijne Publisher: Prometheus Release date: 01-2020 Pages: 1286 // in Dutch Price: € 19,99 ISBN: 9789044641479 In Mens/Onmens onderzoekt Bas Heijne de twee grote obsessies van onze tijd: waarheid en identiteit. In een heldere stijl stelt hij de vragen waar het om gaat: hoe kunnen we solidair zijn in een wereld die steeds meer versplinterd is, waarin iedereen op zoek is naar iets groters en het algemeen belang het zo vaak aflegt tegen het eigenbelang?
Issue #029 Published: 04-03-2020 // Written by: Casper Vuurmans
Het Filosofisch Diner
Hoe verhouden mens en aarde zich tot elkaar? Op 4 maart begint een serie filosofische diners die deze vraag centraal stelt. In vier avonden, georganiseerd door Vuurwerk Filosofie, krijgen deelnemers de kans om tijdens de maaltijd over deze en verwante vragen met elkaar in gesprek te gaan. Sinds een paar jaar breng ik met Het Filosofisch Diner mensen samen rond de eettafel, met het doel om hen aan te moedigen om in gesprek te gaan. Dat idee ontstond toen ik me afvroeg hoe ik mijn ervaring in de horeca op een zinnige manier kon verbinden aan mijn studie filosofie. Nu, vier jaar een vijfentwintig diners verder, is het voor mij een bewezen methode: de maaltijd is een geweldig bindmiddel voor een goed gesprek. Eerdere edities behandelden thema’s als zingeving en empathie, waarin de relatie van de mens tot zichzelf en tot anderen centraal stond. Vanuit daar was het een interessante stap om de verhouding van mens met zijn omgeving te onderzoeken. We zien onszelf namelijk maar wat graag als het logische eindpunt in de ontwikkeling van de planeet. Hoe meer we echter leren over onszelf (en over de aarde), hoe meer we beseffen dat we echt niet zo belangrijk zijn. Tijdens elk diner komt een bepaald aspect van de relatie mens-aarde aan bod. Een deskundige filosoof werpt in een korte lezing stof voor discussie op. Zo zal Pouwel Slurink ingaan op de vraag wat de evolutietheorie eigenlijk betekent voor ons zelfbeeld en presenteert Henk Oosterling zijn nieuwste boek, dat nieuwe manieren van een duurzaam leven onderzoekt. De diners vinden plaats in Café MidWest, dat sinds 2012 gevestigd is in een oud schoolgebouw midden in de Baarsjes. “MidWest is een sociale onderneming, ontmoetingsplek en werkplaats met als doel sociale impact in de buurt te creëren,” aldus de website. Het eten wordt verzorgd door volkskeuken Robin Food Kollektief, al sinds jaren de achterburen van De Nieuwe Anita. Informatie: Organisator: Vuurwerk Online: Data: elke eerste woensdag van de maand Prijzen: €35,- (en €24,50 voor studenten of €13,50 voor leden van We Are Public) Tijd: 19:00 – 22:00 Locatie: Café MidWest= Catering: Robin Food Deze serie is bedacht in samenwerking met Stichting Vitamine Z Programma: 4 maart – Aardse mystiek Spreker: Arnold Ziegelaar Waarom zijn wij op aarde? Deze vraag houdt ons al sinds mensenheugenis bezig. In vroeger tijden werd uitgegaan van een kosmische eenheid, maar de opkomst van de moderne wetenschappen heeft de mens grondig losgeweekt van zijn omgeving. Van het antwoord op Grote Vraag ontbreekt elk spoor... en misschien kunnen we juist in die mystieke verhouding tussen mens en aarde iets van zin vinden. 1 april – Evolutionair denken Spreker: Pouwel Slurink Sinds Darwin wist te verklappen dat wij apen afstammen, is er in ons denken veel veranderd. We hebben ander zicht gekregen op fundamentele vragen over de mensheid – waarom we bestaan, wie we zijn, wat we willen en mogen doen. De evolutietheorie is daarmee veel meer bepalend voor ons wereldbeeld dan we vaak geloven. En kan ons misschien wel van antwoorden voorzien op vragen waar we al eeuwenlang mee rondlopen. Eindelijk zekerheid? 6 mei – Andere aardbewoners Spreker: wordt nog aangekondigd Descartes meende dat dieren niet meer waren dan geavanceerde automaten. Tegenwoordig weten we wel beter; maar trekken we daar ook lering uit? We zijn er nog altijd niet in geslaagd om ze simpelweg als medebewoners van de aarde te beschouwen en ze op basis daarvan dezelfde rechten te geven, die we elkaar als mensen toekennen. Waarom zouden we dat niet doen? 3 juni – Eco-panische tijden Spreker: Henk Oosterling We moeten iets doen, anders is de planeet verloren! Dat hoor je de laatste jaren steeds meer. Maar wat, in godsnaam? En: wíe moeten dat doen? Als ik de auto laat staan, geen plastic meer gebruik en alleen nog groenten uit eigen moestuin eet, merkt de aarde dat echt niet. Tijd voor een duurzaamheid waarin niet het ego, maar het ‘eco’ centraal staat?  
Issue #029 Published: 03-03-2020 // Written by: Gary Custard
Paper Jam print collective is looking for bigger space
Paper Jam collective, an Amsterdam based anarchist printing crew, is calling upon everyone. We need a bigger space to accommodate rising demands. We are looking for an affordable and social political space. What we are looking for • A space of more or less 40m2 • Maximum rent of around €300 p/month • Preferably in a political space (such as • political community centre, woongroep, • legalised infrastructural building etc.) What can we offer • Cheap printing possibilities • A very extended international political • network and infrastructure • Experience with self organised buildings • and performing collective tasks Paper Jam Collective is a completely donation based printing collective that started out four years ago in a garage in Amsterdam Noord. In the last years we have grown to have a vast network of activist individuals and organisations that we print for. We continuously strive to grow this network to become not only the movements printing press, but also to serve as a nucleus in the movement where we can link people from different struggles and share different ideas around. We believe that by exposing intersecting groups to different works and ideas, the best sort of cross pollination can happen. In this way we have made quite some friends not only in the Amsterdam squatting and anarcho scene, but we also help out our comrades in the mass climate movements and queer, peace and labour struggles. Our network extends way beyond the A10 and we’ve made connections internationally by taking our zinestand abroad and being involved in different political book fairs around Europe We have also expanded the range of products that we’re able to offer people. Starting out with merely printing flyers and zines, we now also make buttons, books and offer individualized help to people or collectives who want to set up a distro. Because of all this, we have outgrown our current office above the public space in social political centre the Nieuwland. We are currently looking for a bigger office that will host our printers, book binding machine and mountains of paper, but more than that a space that will allow us to expand our services even more. We’ve reached the literal and proverbial ceiling in our current set up. So, are you or do you know someone who has an empy space in a social centre, neighbourhood centre or other social political space? Please send us a mail to and let’s talk. We would also kindly ask everyone to send this message over mail lists that they think are relevant. Thanks to everyone for helping us out! More info: