Daily Archives: November 5, 2009

Solidarity with Dutch Squatters

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(More news articles here and here)

European squatters show solidarity after Dutch ban

In Berlin, German squatters sympathising with the Dutch squatters movement threw orange and blue paint bombs and rocks at the Dutch embassy at the weekend. Solidarity protests also took place in Spain, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Austria.

The action was organised in protest against a ban due to come into force on 1 January. Squatting in the Netherlands has been tolerated since the climax of the squatters’ movement in the 1970s. Then a Squatting Act was introduced allowing squatters’ occupy buildings that had stood empty for at least 12 months. At the moment squatters can only be prosecuted for breaking in, which effectively means as long as they are not caught in the act they can legally squat a building. The authorities will leave them in peace unless the owner of the property could prove he had immediate plans for the premises.

Earlier peaceful demonstrations were held outside the German embassy. The vice consul Derk Oldenburg told RNW that two windows were broken. The night watchman saw it happen but was too late to intervene and the perpetrators got away. The building, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, was slightly damaged.

“It is very appropriate that they used orange paint, but this should not happen,” said the vice consul.In a press release, the Dutch squatters’ movement say “By demonstrating at Dutch embassies, they are showing their support for squatters in the Netherlands who have been confronted by the ban.”

Dutch squatters held National Squatters’ Action Days on Sunday in protest against the ban on squatting. During the protest 21 houses became occupied by squatters.

Under the new legislation squatters face a maximum prison sentence of one year. If violence or intimidation are used this could be doubled and squatters in groups could face sentences of up to almost three years. They can also be prosecuted without being caught in the act of breaking into a building. The stricter legislation shows a shift in attitudes to squatting in the Netherlands, Once squatting was seen as a legitimate means to combat speculation by property developers.

Thanks to the comrades at Reclaiming Spaces for the heads-up.

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Filed under activism, film and video, international affairs, urban movements (right to the city)

Transitland: Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009

Transitland: Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009

Transitland Destination Berlin

November 6th-8th, 2009

Collegium Hungaricum Berlin

www.transitland.eu

Transitland Destination Berlin (TDB), the partner presentation of Transmediale, takes place in Berlin at the historic Collegium Hungaricum (Haus Ungarn) in the days just prior to the European wide commemorations and celebrations of the events of November 9th, 1989 – the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the ensuing changes throughout Europe and the world.

The event celebrates the launch of the video archive, making it accessible to the public and contextualizing the work with a series of complementary discussions, performances and screenings. Highlighting the ongoing work of “New Europe”, the 6 commissioned video works of the Transitland project and the Transitland publication will be premiered.

Honoring video as an important element in contemporary cultural work, artists are invited to discuss the role of video in art and political work across Europe for the past Europe and the influence of East European work on Video art as a genre in general. Performative talks will illustrate how video is used by artists today. A continuous parallel screening program will present works from the archive. The archive itself will be available to the public: they can browse and view the works included on archive stations at the CHB.

To find a detailed programme for November 6th-8th please visit:

http://www.transmediale.de/en/transitland-destination-berlin-base-en

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Transitland Europa is a collaborative research and archiving project realised by InterSpace (Sofia) in partnership with transmediale festival for art and digital culture (Berlin) and ACAX/Ludwig Museum (Budapest).  Associated partners to the project are D Media (Cluj) and Videoaktiv (Berlin). The project is partially funded by the Culture 2007-2013 Programme of the European Commission.

InterSpace Association, Sofia 
www.i-space.org 

transmediale festival for art and digital culture, Berlin
www.transmediale.de 

ACAX | Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange 
Ludwig Museum–Museum of Contemporary Art
www.ludwigmuseum.hu  
www.acax.hu

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Filed under art exhibitions, contemporary art, film and video