In current times of global and local crisis, uncertainties and insecurities are embedded into our everyday existences. More and more people are left out of the ways in which their environment are formed, shaped, governed and financed, as well as of the so called “succesful” futures that are projected onto them.
Together with visitors, neighbours, thinkers, artists and walk-ins we will explore: How can we imagine spaces where we can common our uncertainties? It’s OK will use the spaces of the Oude Kerk to prefigure the ways in which a Drop In for Common Uncertainties might work, and form different groups around such themes as insecurities <> security, neighbouring, (dis)tress and caring.
It’s OK… Narrating Different Realities is a collective durational undertaking working towards Amsterdams 750th anniversary, taking place in- and around the Oude Kerk and related territories. The Oude Kerk is located at the Wallen: an area where many different people, ideals and uncertainties exist side by side, and where current realities are under pressure of dominant notions of a what a thriving neighbourhood entails.
Drop-in for Common Uncertainties was born in conversation with Katia Krupennikova.
JEANNE VAN HEESWIJK AND YVONIQUE WELLEN
Why is the Oude Kerk and the Red Light District such an interesting place for the project?
Jeanne: The Oude Kerk invited me to get involved in thinking about its position in the area. With It’s OK we look at the narration of different realities that together form the communal tissue in the area surrounding the church.
Yvonique: It’s a tremendous area where various histories come together. Historically many people who had nowhere else to go, came here. Specifically the Oude Kerk has originally functioned as a place of refuge. In the area there have always been communal efforts to build structures and networks to take care of each other, and communities formed – and still form – in this process.
What does It’s OK aim to address in this context?
Jeanne: It’s OK wants to not only work with these different realities and forming communities, but also find ways of creating cross-connections.
Yvonique: The Oude Kerk already has many different functions, it’s a church, a museum, a kind of place of refuge. It’s OK aims to offer safe space for bringing different, new and old, groups and realities together, finding common ground or simply accepting each other’s differences.
Jeanne: The area is in constant transformation. WIth It’s OK we want to emphasize that these unstable, moving and shifting relationships are ok, that we inhabit this space together and that we can try to shape it collectively.
What will the drop-in be about?
Jeanne: Yes, I think that in our current times of global and local crises, uncertainties and insecurities are embedded into our existence, and we think it’s ever more important that we can common these uncertainties. Normally, commoning is referred to in the context of resources such as food, water, housing. We are very interested into how commoning uncertainties would look like. During Common In we will test and try out the drop-in center, which will host different narratives and gatherings around different realities, subjects and anxieties. We will open up the Sebastiaanskapel of the Oude Kerk and work closelly with artists, activists and locally invested people around topics such as insecurity versus security, anxiety and forms of care, this stress or distress, communal wellbeing and many more.
Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to “radicalize the local.” Her long-scale community-embedded projects question art’s autonomy by combining performative actions, discussions, and other forms of organizing and pedagogy in order to assist communities to take control of their futures.
Yvonique Wellen works as a freelance writer, researcher, fundraiser and collaborator in the realm of culture and society. Her interests lie with social movement(s), archives, intersectional feminism, social justice, policies/politics, contemporary culture and more.