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Active Space Camp x Platform BK

Platform BK kicks off the new cultural season with a three-day workshop on art, solidarity, and self-organisation in the Amsterdam art space W139 and surroundings on August 27, 28 and 29, 2021. Read all about the event and how you can participate below.

Active Space Camp is a 48-hour workshop organized by Platform Beeldende Kunst and W139 for local residents, workers and entrepreneurs of cultural and social organization in De Wallen. The subject of the event is art, solidarity and radical imagination in an urban environment. In addition to the neighbours of W139, this program is for the members of Platform BK, the public and the community of W139 and anyone who is committed to this theme.

Photography by Jeroen de Smalen.


For 48 hours, the Platform BK team and the participants will take up residence in the art space of W139, right in the centre of Amsterdam: a district characterized by over-tourism, increasing monoculture, degradation of the quality of life and displacement of art, culture and other social facilities. In our search for new future scenarios, P BK, together with urbanist and theatre-maker Jens Brandt, organizes a unique, participatory workshop, in which a group of 40-50 participants learn to respond in a creative way to the complex situation in their neighbourhood and jointly reinterpret it. We will collect all new plans and insights and present them on the last day in a public event to local residents, entrepreneurs, social workers and all other interested parties. With this event, P BK builds on the program, No City Without Art, a national campaign for affordable living and working spaces for artists. Another goal is to emphasise the importance of art and artists who work and live in a city: No City Without Art!

The workshop

The three-day workshop is tightly organized in the implementation of the available time as well as space, with exercises of discovery, meeting, creative development, joint actions that follow one another in quick succession. W139 forms the base camp from which we enter the city in the morning and where we meet again and again to share our findings.

During the workshop, the participants are always in the search for space in the neighbourhood to be able to live, work, coexist, set up new neighbourhood- and art initiatives as individuals, but especially as a community, and take care of others. In this way, the program forms itself as a creative neighbourhood initiative, in which we jointly create space for art, culture, solidarity and community in the city.

We offer the participants and ourselves the tools and imagination with which we can then continue to work in any form of self-organization of living and working together, in any place in the country. It will thus form the basis for long-term solidarity-based working relationships in this city district and beyond. The outcome of the participatory event will therefore not be concrete knowledge about policy, which can be adopted by the municipality or housing corporations and imposed from above on the residents. We are not literally creating more space for art and social initiatives in the crowded alleys of the Red Light District.

For three days, the W139 will become a place of gathering and meeting, where knowledge, experiences and insights about living, working, art and culture in the Red Light District will be exchanged and new scenarios for our shared city will be discovered.