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​© Vladimir Opara 

The community Nieuw en Meer. Cool party.

September 24, 2018

Septemder 24, 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlads. Our work on the project "Holland" (Maya and Vladimir Opara) has opened an amazing place for us. The community Nieuw en Meer gave us the opportunity to do our project in workshop No. 61 from September 1 to October 31. This is a good opportunity to shoot our project. Friendly atmosphere and beautiful artists. Yesterday, September 23, there was an unceasing rain, but it did not stop to gather behind the table for dinner and a friendly conversation. The fun lasted until late at night. Nobody forgot about art. The history of the birth of the community is worthy of making a film!.

The community Nieuw en Meer. Cool party. Photo by Maya Opara

September 23, there was an unceasing rain, but it did not stop to gather behind the table for dinner and a friendly conversation. Photo by Maya Opara

 Caroline. Photo by Maya Opara

Photo by Maya Opara

openness and friendliness. Photo by Maya Opara

be between Vladimir (Opara) and Vladimir (Grafov) - you need to make a wish. Photo by Maya Opara

 

Photo by Maya Opara

Photo by Maya Opara

Photo by Maya Opara

Photo by Maya Opara

Photo by Maya Opara

Photo by Maya Opara

 

 THE COMMUNITY
For the past 30 years the Nieuw en Meer has functioned as a cultural free haven attracting artists, free thinkers, activists and cultural leaders to pioneer co-creation and inspire new ways of living while exploring the cultural spectrums of diversity & biodiversity, supplying the city of Amsterdam with fresh waves of creativity, art events and nature.
In response to Amsterdam’s housing crises in the early 1960s many people turned to squatting to secure themselves a home. This trend began when a number of local activists started to draw attention to the uninhabited apartments that were scattered throughout the city’s central neighbourhoods, these were allegedly kept in disarray by landlords in order to limit affordable housing and artificially increase renting prices…
At a loss and in need of space, artists were driven to the outskirts of the city to find creative solutions for a better life.
Originally a weapons and ammunitions depot, the Nieuw en Meer was once used for military defense. The first buildings date from 1918 and were part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam and after the last conflict in 1962, in what was then known as ‘Dutch New Guinea’, the military stores fell into disuse. Sensing a great opportunity in June 1988, Marco Van Basten instigated a wave of collective hope across the Netherlands by squatting the first house on the terrain, declaring the buildings at Oude Haagseweg 51 (the address of the collective today) as the official base for what was the become the Nieuw en Meer. Joined by a group of activists from the squat at Conradstraat 11 after having been kicked out of the city in 1988, this crew of outlaws it seemed had finally found their a place they could call home.
A month and a half later on August 10 1988, Stichting Nieuw en Meer was founded, paving the way for the official legalization of the property. The participation of Prof. Ir. Kees Rijnboutt, who a government architect at the time, as chairman of the first board of Stichting Nieuw en Meer was of no small importance for the eventual social acceptance of the squatted complex and for the legalization process of the property.
NEW HORIZONS -
The formal legalization that eventually took place in 1991, the lease contract between Stichting Nieuw en Meer and the City of Amsterdam inspired the beginning of extensive renovations of the space. The most dramatic of which were the two large warehouse buildings, a total floor space of 7200 m2 had to be.
transformed into more than 80 smaller individually accessible studio’s. The construction supervision was done by Casa Architects (Hein de Haan) but a large part of the work was carried out by the tenants themselves. By hand, they worked together to transform what was once an abandoned, unused ammunitions depot into a carefully divided creative hub for over 100 individuals to live and work; but more importantly, to inspire others to dedicate themselves to their vision...  (The establishment of the tenants association Niks Minder (Nothing Less) on June 24th, 1991 was the formal end of the legalization process of the former squats. The Association represents the interests of the tenants.) 
For the past 30 years the N&M has functioned as a free haven attracting artists, free thinkers, activists and cultural leaders to pioneer co-creation and inspire new ways of living while exploring the cultural spectrums of diversity & biodiversity, supplying the city of Amsterdam with fresh waves of creativity, art events and nature.

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