Saturday, November 14, 2009

Amsterdam wil haar Vrijheid terug! - video from the yesterday demo

Tolerant Amsterdam is ontstaan naar aanleiding van de dramatische sluiting van de kunst- en cultuurtempel de Stubnitz, de boot der 100 subculturen.
Een aantal Amsterdamse initiatieven zijn bij elkaar gekomen en hebben dit voorval aangegrepen om Amsterdam opnieuw een spiegel voor te houden. Daartoe is een manifest geschreven met als titel "Amsterdam wil haar vrijheid terug !". Dit manifest is inmiddels door vele bekende kunst- en cultuurinstellingen, dance organisaties, politici, theatermaker- en groepen, muzikanten, beeldend kunstenaars en andere creatievelingen onderschreven.
Stubnitz: Vrij Amsterdam?

For centuries Amsterdam was proud of being a tolerant city. Its recent “vertrutting” undermines this.

MS Stubnitz, ‘the ship of 100 subcultures’, is a representative of the diverse and tolerant cultural spirit of Amsterdam. For unjust reasons the ship has been shut down by the City of Amsterdam, leaving this independent cultural hotspot and its crew in limbo: unable to operate the ship and unable to leave Amsterdam.

The very survival of the project is in imminent danger.

Please join our protest in support of the Stubnitz, its crew, and Amsterdam’s “onttrutting”.

Save the Stubnitz from capsizing!

What is this Stubnitz?

The MS Stubnitz is a former East German fishtrawler that in 1992 was rescued from being scrapped by a group of artists that turned it into a exhibition space.

Over the years the spaces were further developed and the ship was now turned into a mobile cultural platform, traveling to harbors as diverse as St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Malmø, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Szczecin, Riga, Bruges, Newcastle, Dunkerque, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. In every city collaborations with the local cultural scene resulted in uniquely diverse programs of local and international bands and performers from the progressive end of the cultural spectrum.

Since the last ten years all performances were structurally documented in video and audio, creating an archive that is unique and relevant.

The crew consists mainly of volunteers from the home harbor of Rostock, but has also attracted enthusiasts from literally all corners of the world. They man the many different tasks, inculding schipbuilding and maintenance, gastronomy, office duties, video and audio production and editing, archiving, graphic design, event booking and organization, cooking, and sailing. Some students have their training on board as part of their education.

For 17 years now, the stubnitz has been a safe haven for sub cultures of all kinds, a cultural meetingplace, meltingpot and
laboratory. A place where creative people from diverse cultural backgrounds and nationalities work towards new forms of expression and communication.

The urgency for such projects can not be stressed enough in a political environment where subcultures are seen as unmarketable and unprofitable.

What went wrong?

The Stubnitz came to Amsterdam for the first time in 2002 and moored at the NDSM in Amsterdam Noord. Since 2005 she has been coming to Amsterdam every year with increasing succes and no incidents to speak of and with no financial support from the city.

This year the Stubnitz was closed down on arrival. Only after she arrived accusations were made that in the beginning of the year the police had observed drug use on some of the events. However, neither the Stubnitz nor Amsterdam Noord were notified back then, and still to this date no documents have been shown.

Then after a lot of effort by the Stadsdeel Noord, the ­Stubnitz could open for one weekend as a test. After one night she was closed again. On an audience of 300 there were 12 undercover agents to see if drugs were being used. Even though no drugs were confiscated and nobody was arrested and despite highly diverse and contradictory police statements, the license was taken away. The next day the same event was continued on a second ship, by the same organisation, with the same security, but only the Stubnitz had to be closed.

Since then no discussion has been allowed. There is a clear case of unequal treatment. Further reading of the legal material also makes clear the closing of the Stubnitz was illegitimate.

Having been closed since arrival in September the Stubnitz has lost massive amounts of money and is now unable to retain its status as a ship and leave for Copenhagen where the program is due to start in December. The stubnitz will not be able to survive this. Amsterdam will be the end of this registered cultural monument and 17 years worth of world culture, all in the name of regulation gone haywire.

The Stubnitz is in dire need of help.

Without your support the Stubnitz will not survive the hostile waters of Amsterdam.

We ask for you to sign the petition that can be found via a link on the Stubnitz website.

Also, even though the stubnitz has always taken pride in being self sufficient, we ask you to consider making a donation to your liking. This link can also be found on the Stubnitz site.

It’s all hands on deck now and all efforts help and are appreciated and much needed.

Another way of supporting is to visit and join in on the public debate about the increasing suppression of cultural and personal freedoms in Amsterdam in de Balie this Saturday 14 ­November starting 20:00.

The Stubnitz also invites you to visit the ship on the NDSM in Amsterdam Noord to have a look yourself what the big deal is about. On Saturday you will be treated to a musical program with dance performances and workshops organized by Power vs Power, and videos from the Stubnitz archive. For more info, check the site.

As it happens the NDSM will also have an open day so there is much reason to take the trip up north. The ferry behind the Central Station will bring you there every half hour.

For more back story information, the petition, donating, visit:

As always: See You aboard!

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