Su 13 Dec 09
Open City Debate - Squat Politics
A debate on the past, contemporary and future social implications of squatting
During the past twelve months squatting has been given a lot of attention in media and public discussions, not in the least because of the impending law. However, most of the debate has been revolving around clichés. This Sunday we would like to offer you a broader account of this important historical part of Dutch society than what has been given so far. After all, squatting is still a way of life that is practised by thousands of people in The Netherlands.
In particular, the debate will focus on the legitimation crisis of squatting. An often heard argument is that squatting is a relic of the past. Contemporary squatters, it is said, have lost the ideals upheld by their counterparts in the 1970s and 1980s. But the debate does not only value contemporary squatters negatively. Also the recent past is subject to changing historical views, as the affair surrounding the squatting and activist past of GroenLinks politician Wijnand Duyvendak has shown in the summer of 2009. Therefore two main questions will lead us on this Sunday afternoon: ‘What has the historical significance of squatting been for Dutch society?’ and ‘In light of the impending prohibition, what will the near future look like for squatters?’ Four speakers will each shed light on an aspect of these issues, after which the debate will start.