The Autonomous Fabric: on Self-Organisation

Apr 12 2019

Register for this event here!

Running self-organised spaces and platforms has become an artistic-creative practice in its own right. In Rotterdam, there are more than one hundred of them. This symposium aims to strengthen their network and create space and time for addressing issues that concern all self-organisers: which kind of autonomy do we have? Which types of participation - of living, working and being together - can we develop? How open are we to larger communities and changing demographics? How do we relate to the gentrification of the city? And how should established cultural institutions - including art schools like the Willem de Kooning Academy - adapt to facilitate self-organised practices?

These questions will be explored in six workshops organised by and taking place at six different self-organised initiatives in rapidly changing neighbourhoods in Rotterdam. The outcomes of the workshops will be shared over a collective dinner and discussion at the Willem de Kooning Academy in the evening.

The Autonomous Fabric is a long term research project on artistic self-organisation, initiated by Willem de Kooning Academy in collaboration with partners from the intricate network of self-organised initiatives in Rotterdam. The first symposium took place in February 2017.

In 2018 & 2019 this research project is supported by SIA/KIEM and Pictoright Fonds, together with partners Leeszaal Rotterdam West, HipHopHuis, Showroom MAMA and Stager.

Seven locations & six workshops:

Open for everybody, attendance is free! Registration is mandatory, lunch and dinner will be provided. Registration opens soon.

Programme (view in PDF here):

  • Morning

Location: 'T Klooster, Afrikaanderplein 7


Doors open & registration

10:00 - 12:00

Welcome and statements by Demy Koetsier, Tara Lewis and Sami Hammana. Looking back at the previous Autonomous Fabric symposium, February 2017. Introduction to the six afternoon workshops. Moderation: Nathalie Hartjes and Florian Cramer

  • Afternoon: 

Locations: Niffo / Poortgebouw / Rib / Tante Nino / Varia / Wolfart

12:00 - 12:30

Move to six different locations for breakout workshops (walk or bike)

12:30 - 13:00

Lunch at the location provided by WdKA Food Station


Workshops taking place at six self-organised initiatives (workshops programme).

  • Evening: 

Assemble at: Willem de Kooning Academy, Research Station, Wijnhaven 61

18:00 - 21:30

Collective dinner provided by EAT ART Collective. Sharing the outcomes of the 6 workshops and group discussion. Moderation: Teana Boston-Mammah and Maurice Specht.


Performances by students of WdKA. Underbelly shop.



Participating initiatives:

Chicks and the City, De Player, Eat Art Collective, WdKA Food Station, Niffo, Poortgebouw, Rib, Stichting NAC, Tante Nino, Varia, Wolfart (more to be confirmed).

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