New World Academy #1: Lost. in between. Together
29 Novemer – 1 December 2013
BAK, basis voor actuele kunst Utrecht
The New World Academy, founded by artist Jonas Staal and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst Utrecht, invites organizations invested in the progressive political project to collaborate with artists and students on the role of art at the center of political struggle.
Session II: Collective Struggle of Refugees: Lost. In Between. Together.
The second session of the New World Academy was taught by Yoonis Osman Nuur and Thomas, members of We Are Here, an organization of refugees who united in Amsterdam in order to bring their collective struggle in the Netherlands into public discussion. Consisting of 225 immigrants from approximately 15 countries, their search for asylum has failed, and yet for a variety of reasons they cannot be sent back to their countries of origin.
From November 29 to December 1st representatives of We Are Here worked together with about 25 artists and students to develop a new model for a cooperative between artists, students and refugees, entitled the “We Are Here Cooperative,” which was presented on December 6 2013 in cultural and political center De Balie in Amsterdam. The plan for the We Are Here Cooperative exists of a vacant building, in which artists, students and refugees would develop a variety of cultural programs in order to gain visibility and economic independence, amongst others in the form of the departments We Are Here Learning (lecture programs developed in collaboration with refugees), We Are Here Open Lobby (a lobby apparatus to advise politicians and inform refugees on their legal rights) and We Are Here Reporting (an independent media channel highlighting the daily struggle of refugee communities).