TAAK is working on a new edition of Social Capital in Amsterdam Oud-Noord

We are currently working on a new edition of Social Capital in Amsterdam Oud-Noord. In March 2020, we hope to start a varied programme at different locations throughout Oud-Noord, including the Sixhavenkwartier, the IJplein, and the Hyperion Lyceum.

Amsterdam has great appeal. Its tolerant, open culture seems to welcome everyone, and the growing economy with rising real estate prices makes the city extra attractive for certain groups. But against this background, a tragedy of the commons is taking place: an economic ‘overgrazing’, where public space is exploited by economic powers to such an extent that both residents and admirers of the city are losing out. 

How do we keep the city accessible and promote social cohesion? How do we deal with power, the detrimental side effects and whims of the large-scale tourist industry, and the real estate market? How do we keep the public domain an inclusive place with room for adventure and experimentation? Until the end of May 2019, TAAK was located in the Poortgebouw of the Tolhuistuin, until recently a creative free haven in Noord, where gentrification is now rapidly taking hold. Amidst the expensive apartments of Overhoeks, the renovations of the former garden village Van der Pek, and the Sixhavenkwartier, which is about to undergo a far-reaching redevelopment, we experienced first-hand the new hustle and bustle in Noord. 

Fascinated by the complexity of gentrification and the potential for novel artistic perspectives on urban development, TAAK started the long-term art programme Social Capital in early 2018. We invite artists to reflect critically upon the rapidly changing city, illuminate the processes that are unfolding, and draw new connections between past, present, and future. We joined forces with residents, partners and interested parties to speculate about unexpected forms of public space that allow room for experimentation and encounter. Social Capital includes research, interventions, presentations, workshops, performances, video’s and installations, all co-produced with partners and residents, and located at unexpected places in different districts.

In September 2018, the first edition took place in Amsterdam Noord. In May 2019, Amsterdam-West provided the backdrop for a two-day programme. Currently, we are working on another edition focusing on Amsterdam-Noord. We collaborate with artists Marinella Senatore, Joke Robaard, and SAM (the Social-Artistic Museum for Amsterdam Noord, initiated by Merel Noorlander and Arthur Kneepkens).