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We Are Here – Cooperative

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On December 6, 2013, a plan was presented at De Balie in Amsterdam for we are here – cooperative, a project in which artists, students, and undocumented refugees, will live and work together in a converted office building in Amsterdam. The plan was developed in cooperation between refugees from the We Are Here group in Amsterdam, which has been publicly protesting the treatment of asylum seekers since September 2012, the New World Academy, and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst. A video of the presentation (1:42:39) can be watched on Vimeo.

There is no lack of empty office buildings in Amsterdam that can be converted to other uses. A preliminary analysis suggests that the plan is economically feasible, yet many obstacles will need to be overcome to turn it into reality. But if this can be realized, it can serve as an important model for more such projects, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, and help to turn around the public perception of what refugees can contribute to society.

Discussion 3 Comments

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 7th Dec 2013

    Thanks for this, Lambert, great idea.

  • LedSuit ' 9th Dec 2013

    I second Peter, Lambert. We usually just throw 'em in detention centers and use "illegals" (a lie) as political footballs.
    I really like this,

    "In establishing New World Academy, artist Jonas Staal and BAK conjoin their efforts to launch a new academy that invites political organizations invested in the progressive political project to share with artists and students their views on the role of art and culture in political struggles. Together, they engage in critical thinking through concrete examples of transformative politics and develop collaborative projects that question and challenge the various frameworks of justice and existing models of representation. The Academy proposes new critical alliances between art and progressive politics, so as to confront the democratic deficit in our current politics, economy, and culture."

    Ok, ok, so you're reasonable at hockey!

  • Zane Hannan 17th Dec 2013

    Like this a lot. Liked the page & will contact. Will be following goings on when I can.

    Big hi you, Lambert, with big hugs also to James and Peter.

    Let's all keep the pot boiling in our own ways. ;)