AA Talk: From Art Factory to Free Space

On setting up and obtaining collective living and working spaces aka ‘Free Spaces’.


On 25 November from 14:00 to 16:00, Amsterdam Alternative, Platform Beeldende Kunst and Kunstenbond will organise a public discussion on the status and future of free places in Amsterdam at OT301. A programme in which cultural workers, freeholders and other fellow city dwellers will talk about their joint actions, quests, obstacles and successes in the struggle for affordable and sustainable living and working space for art, culture and neighbourhood initiatives, in an increasingly expensive and inaccessible city.

The plea for more communal living and working spaces under collective management or ownership contrasts with the current hotbed policy in Amsterdam, in which temporary contracts are the norm, art and culture are used for gentrification, local residents have little access to the vacant properties in their neighbourhood for social initiatives and, ultimately, much social property disappears on the market. After 20 years of incubator policies, it is time for new policies that put the users at the centre instead of the property developer’s wallet.

This Talk is part of the collaboration between the Free Space Festival and the Envisioning Free Space conference organised by Amsterdam Alternative and Space of Urgency. A multi-day programme with lots of music, art, docu and discussions on night culture, inclusive urban development, and free space.

About Sepp Eckenhaussen

Sepp Eckenhaussen is a researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures. From 2020 until 2023, he and Koen Bartijn were the core team of Platform BK.