Reclaiming space

On Saturday the provisional university took part in a discussion entitled ‘What do you stand for?’ About sixteen groups, mostly involved in the running of independent art spaces, had five minutes to present their projects. There were about eighty people present. The short discussion afterwards was welcome for the important questions that were raised, questions that went beyond the role of space in artistic or creative terms. There was an enthusiasm to pursue these questions, to see what more could be done practically in terms of occupying a building in the city. Another gathering will be held in the next couple of weeks.

In this context it is interesting to see that on Friday a group of 60 people came together in Paris to occupy an abandoned building belonging to the city.  While they were removed by the police the group have vowed that this is only the first step in their struggle “towards reappropriating our future.”

At the same time another new space has sprung up in London. A group have occupied the disused Deptford Job Centre as a response to the brutal cuts to public services. In their statement they write: “We aim to clean the place up and convert it into Social Centre Plus: a new public space for members of the local community here in Deptford and the surrounding area, that we can share, contribute to, and create a truly social building and a hub of local opposition to the cuts programme.”

As our own city is occupied by NAMA and the IMF, and people are forced to emigrate, it is up to us to reclaim what is rightfully ours. 

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