Free Cultural Spaces Symposium Amsterdam 13-15 September 2019

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      Alan Dearling

      To:                            Amsterdam, 19-08-2019


      Dear friends,


      We hereby invite you to participate in the Eighth Transnational Futurological Symposium on Free Cultural Spaces on 13, 14 and 15 September 2019, which will take place in Amsterdam at Nieuw en Meer, Ruigoord and Vrij Paleis.


      After three symposia at Ruigoord (NL) and others in Boom-Land in Portugal, Christiania in Denmark, the Republic of Užupis in Lithuania and the ADM (NL), the eighth symposium is descending on three different cultural centres in Amsterdam. Decentralisation is of general importance for free cultural spaces and an important aspect of development of cooperation. This symposium can be viewed as a follow-up to the 7th Symposium (on degentrification) and the manifestation “Priceless Capital (Onbetaalbaar Kapitaal)” presented by the Cultural Defence Line of Amsterdam (de Culturele Stelling van Amsterdam, C.S.A.) at De Zwijger in Amsterdam in June this year. The symposium theme will be Reframing the Environment.


      We expand our usual definition of “environment” to include those places we call “home”: our streets, neighbourhoods, communities. At the three locations we will focus on three subthemes; respectively: Hybrid Space (Nieuw en Meer), Space and Time (Ruigoord) and Recentralisation (Vrij Paleis).


      The final day of the 8th Symposium is intended to present a statement to the city of Amsterdam in word and deed by parading to the old Provo-Totem Het Lieverdje. The parade will commemorate 50 years of Kabouterbeweging (the Gnome Movement).


      At the moment we do not have funding to pay your travel expenses. If absolutely necessary we can take care of your lodging, if you request it up front, and we will ask a fair contribution for food.


      We hope you will find this invitation interesting enough as a former participant to join us again in ‘the Kosmopolitical Parliament’ next month. However, if finances or other limitations in life are making it impossible to come, you can view the presentations through our Facebook/YouTube-channel approximately one month after the Symposium ends. If you can’t come but would like to add some thoughts on the subject, your text will be read by one of us. (For more details on the sub-topics, please see next page.)


      If you feel you need more info please view the Free Cultural Spaces Facebook page and send us an email or give us a call.  (+31 (0)20 6828353 and




      The Free Cultural Spaces Amsterdam team:

      Patrick van Ginkel, Menno Grootveld, Valal Dupont, Hay Schoolmeesters, Inge van Ulden, Myra Driessen and Aja Waalwijk


      Invited International Cultural Free Spaces:

      Amongst many others: Barcelona, Christiania in Copenhagen, Gängenviertel Hamburg, Autonomedia New York, Doel near Antwerp, Užupis Republic in Vilnius, Institut for X in Århus, Thylejren in Jutland, UFA-Fabrik in Berlin, Proyecto Nuovo Mundo in Mexico, Shiram in Russia, The Poortgebouw in Rotterdam, Landbouwbelang in Maastricht and the Cultural Defense Line of Amsterdam.*


      *The Cultural Defense Line of Amsterdam consists of: Het Domijn, Ruigoord, Zaal 100, OT301, Tetterode, Bajesdorp, Urban Resort, Nieuw en Meer, Rijkshemelvaart, Nieuwland, Kunstfort Vijfhuizen, 1800 Roeden, Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen, Filmhuis Cavia, ADM 2.0, Einde van de Wereld, NDSM, OCCII, het Veem, Plantage Doklaan, Krux, Vrankrijk, Heesterveld, Vrij Paleis, Namasté, Mobile Arts, former Schijnheilig and Villa Friekens.


      8th Futurologic Symposium On Free Cultural Spaces:
      Reframing Environmentalism


      The three sub-topics we will be exploring are:


      1. [Friday September 13, 17:00-21:00] Hybrid spaces (Nieuw en Meer), offering examples of and visions towards synergetic concepts/projects like the Anthropocene Forest (Nieuw en Meer), The Eco-polder (Lutkemeer) and other ground breaking extensions of existing free places (Ruigoord beyond the limits).


      1. [Saturday September 14, 14:00 – 20:00] Space and Time (Ruigoord), viewing durability and organic growth as aspects of forward-looking spatial planning. During this day we will pay special attention to international developments in this area; political, social, trans-cultural, physical, mental and economical approaches, examined in terms of shorter and longer periods of duration. The Dutch authorities newly introduced term permanent temporality, regarding new free cultural spaces, opposes the concept of undefined spots on the map, spaces where nothing is planned. These permanently temporary places don’t fall under the categories of natural or cultural territories, but could form a third category, the White Spot.


      1. [Sunday September 15: 14:00-21:00] Recentralisation of Urban Space (Vrij Paleis); by dividing cities into districts hardly any attention is payed to already existing centres outside the historical city centres – viewed from the perspective of the trans-industrial landscape, there is not one centre but many, all of which lay within each-others periphery. We can also view them as in line with each-other.


      On Sunday the symposium will close with a noisy procession from the Vrij Paleis to the Spui, where an apple tree will be placed or planted beside the Lieverdje statue. The apple tree is an homage to the apple symbolizing Magic Centre Amsterdam and the Kabouterbeweging (Gnome movement) that started 50 years ago.


      The ‘Kabouters’ strived for a car-free green city. They removed tiles from walkways to plant trees and taught us to deal with city space in a different way. Their aim was – and our aim is – a lifestyle that matched the Gnomish ideal of being in harmony with nature.


      We will actualize the simple past of the Kabouterbeweging in the present tense, becoming one with our surroundings.



      Text: Aja Waalwijk, with thanks to Patrick van Ginkel,

      Edited by Jordan Zinovich

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