If There's Something Strange in Your Neighborhood Art, Gentrification, and Housing Politics

10549947_10206259259620838_1287226016870501325_oOn April 15 and 16 it will be done "The Front Line"” organized an event about art, gentrification and housing politics. The BPW will also contribute to this on 15 April. The sound of a sprouting Right to City movement in the Netherlands. What is the role of “creatives” who are explained away to moving livestock and real estate pawns. Who owns the city? How can we show solidarity?

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April 15th and 16th
Lectures, workshops, and film programme
Location: M4gastudio and Dijktheater, Da Costakade 160, Amsterdam

With the recent surge of artistic activity in the urban periphery, the word 'neighborhood' has made an unexpected comeback as a trope in the contemporary art world. Artists, or more generally speaking, creatives, nowadays take in a central place in policy-friendly models for urban growth (Richard Florida; Charles Landy), and their site within this paradigm is, well, the local. Urban planning departments, policy-makers, and housing corporations are keen on inviting artists and social designers to the table when planning neighborhood redevelopment. Simultaneously, the new and much-debated funding program: The Art of Impact further officialises such projects by focusing on art that has – to cite the website – a “clear social impact”.

Rather than applauding or reproaching specific art and social design practices, we want to explore this “local turn” in relation to other questions as well. Namely, how is art's spatial shift from the urban center to the periphery tied together with city branding policies? How is this shift linked to the drastic neoliberal restructuring of the Dutch housing system and to the privatization of social housing? What kind of art practices does the ever-expanding Creative City frontline foster? What is art's social or economic dividend in processes of neighborhood development and can this be converted into sustainable change to the benefit of the entire local community? And is solidarity desirable, or even possible, between the parachuted–in members of the footloose, de-territorialized art precariat and the postfordist blue-collar back markers who are “doomed to be local”, to paraphrase Zygmunt Bauman?

Organized by the Front Line, in collaboration with Kulter.

April 15, from 19:00 hrs.
Gentrify this! How have neoliberal modifications to the housing system been accelerating the pursuit of gentrification? Are artists necessarily catalyzers of such processes or can they be agents of deceleration? With sociologist Wouter van Gent (UvA), Precaire Woonvorm and Nikos Doulos (Expodium), Adelita Husni-Bey and others TBA.

Apr 16, Afternoon.
Movie program @ M4 Guest Studio
Limited seating, please make a reservation by sending an email to The schedule will be send to you in advance. If you have suggestions for movies (maybe your own?), let us know.

Apr 16, from 19:00 hrs.
The Artist and the Other(-s). Who are the discontents of urban renewal processes, and how can we read their “discourses of displacement”? With anthropologist Paul Mepschen (UvA), Claudia Zeller (teacher at Sorbonne), Johanna Schipper (Bookstore Project), and others TBA.

The program is subject to change. Details will follow shortly.

The events are organized by and with volunteers. A voluntary donation is asked to cover for basic production costs.

The Front Line explores current intersections of art and politics through talks, dinners, publications, and curated encounters with artists, activists, and researchers. It is initiated by Rana Ghavami, Alejandro Ramirez, and Roel Griffioen. Their residency period in M4gastatelier (1 Feb-1 June 2015) will be used to set out a series of small-scale public events. Please visit our website for regular updates of the program:

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