WANTED: New members for collective and creative living and working space in the yet-to-be constructed permanent broedplaats of Bajesdorp

We, the Bajesdorp community, are building a permanent living-and-working space for artists and activists on the terrain of the former Bijlmer prison in Amsterdam. Once the building is realized it will be in collective and solidary ownership, which means it stays in the commons and that no one, not even we ourselves, can make a profit from it. For us, this is one way to fight against gentrification in Amsterdam. In the building, we are realizing 11 apartments and 9 working spaces. On each of the three floors, there will be a common space and on the ground floor, we are building a small theatre. The expected opening date is the beginning of 2023.

There are some places available in our collective at the moment! You can apply to come live or work with us in the ‘broedplaats’, or apply for a combination of the two. You can also apply to join the collective of artists that will be running the theatre on the ground floor.

In terms of living space, there is space at the moment for people who apply alone or for couples that are willing to live together in small apartments. In terms of working space, there is space for either solo artists or collectives. The building will be handed over to us hull, which means we will finish the construction on the inside ourselves.

Diversity and Equality

A stronger focus is put on diversity and equality from this application round on. We base this focus as much as possible on an intersectional perspective. Therefore we are especially looking forward to applications from BIPOC’s and persons with disabilities who are motivated to become an active part of our group.

Until now the majority of the group is predominantly white and without disability. We are aware of the structural privileges and disadvantages and their effects on the housing market. And we want to actively challenge this. Although on a small scale, our project is a unique chance to realize affordable and permanent living- and working spaces for a community that encompasses a broad spectrum of ethnicity, class, gender, religion sexuality, and bodies.

Now that there are some new spaces available in our collective, we feel particularly motivated to make a commitment in the direction of a more inclusive city that is affordable and safe for everyone and in which everyone feels ownership self-evidently and on equal terms.

To realize a new building like this is an intense and intensive process. We are therefore looking for people who share our values to a large extent (creativity, autonomy, solidarity, and sociability) and are willing to invest time. At the same time, we find it important to challenge, inspire, and surprise each other. This is the base of our artistic, political and personal convictions.

Current Group Composition

We are a group of activists and artists working in the worlds of theatre, sound art, film, photography, education, communication, technique, and mental health care. We are former squatters, housing activists, sustainability visionaries, and feminist advocates. At the moment the group is made up of 14 people, including three couples – two with a baby. Some of us are part of the LHBTI+ community. Our youngest member is four months old and our oldest 50 years, which gives our group an average age of 35. The members of the group share different passions and interests, such as making music, playing basketball, swimming, reading and writing poetry, gardening, or taking long walks.

Wanted

We are looking for artists and activists who complement our collective on a social, cultural, personal, and artistic level.

Next to differences, we are looking for personal and political affinities: we will be very busy brainstorming, meeting, designing, organizing, building, and cleaning with each other now and in the near future. We make decisions on the basis of consensus, which means that not ‘the most votes count’ but that we take the time to find a solution with which everyone can agree or at least can live with. This is something you would need to be up for, and that we need to find out whether it works out between us. This is also why we decided to introduce a ‘connecting period’, in which we get to know each other, to our application procedure. Hence, you don’t have to commit to our group before really getting to know the ins and outs.

The goal of the project is the creation of affordable living- and working space. We mainly realize social rent apartments (<750 euro) and a small number of middle rent apartments (<1000 euro). If your income is exceeding the legal limits for these types of housing, you do not qualify. See also: https://www.wooninfo.nl/vraagbaak/woning-zoeken/huisvestingsvergunning/

Because the new building will be an official broedplaats (breeding ground for creative/artistic activities), we will have to base our decisions in the application process partly on the total number of CAWA-recognized artists in the group. See also: https://www.amsterdam.nl/kunst-cultuur/ateliers-broedplaatsen/voorwaarden/

Application Procedure

Apply in any form you want to via meedoen@bajesdorp.nl. If you are an artist send us also your portfolio or something else that can give us an impression of your artistic work. In any case, it is helpful if you relate to some of these questions in your application:

  • Who needs us? What needs or desires drive your wish to become part of Bajesdorp?
  • Who do you think we need? What experiences and qualities do you want to bring to Bajesdorp?
  • Why do you want to live and/or work in a collective? Do you have experience in living/working in a collective? What kind of expectations do you have of that?
  • Are you a CAWA-recognised artist? Or do you expect to be eligible for CAWA? If yes, can you tell and show us more of your work?
  • In case you want to rent an atelier/workspace, what requirements does this space have to meet?
  • In case you want to rent a living space, what is your living situation? Do you live alone, with a (part-time) child, with (a) partner(s), or a pet? Do you have special living needs?

Deadline is 21st of May 2021.

Next to people that want to rent a house or a studio in Bajesdorp, we’re also looking for people that want to develop a new stage for experiment, exchange and encounter with us. More information: https://bajesdorp.nl/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Bajesdorp-open-call-groundfloor.pdf