[hackerspaces] Abbenay hackspace building status

jaromil jaromil at dyne.org
Wed Dec 30 16:28:21 CET 2009

Hash: SHA256

hi Koen et al.

On Sun, Dec 27, 2009 at 12:46:41AM +0000, Koen Martens wrote:

> This is in The Netherlands, where there is quite a strong culture of
> squating places.   Even within the Dutch squatting  scene, there's a
> lot of  difference. Some do  it with the  ultimate goal to  make the
> world better, others  just to avoid paying rent,  yet others because
> they think having empty buildings is a waste.

right. but not just in .nl eh. I can tell you for one there are plenty
of  squats in  Italy  (esp. in  large  cities, often  affected by  bad
development choices that neglected  social spaces), in Switzerland, in
Germany,  in Spain and  Greece and  more, you  name it.   Even outside
Eu-rope there  are squats  in Turkey, Indonesia,  Egypt and  who knows
what...  and there are squats also in USA for sure, altough i've never
visited all of them myself :)

NL has a  peculiar story of public resistance of  squatters in the 80s
that hasn't  been drawned in its  own blood: the  state recognised the
function and need for squatting for the development of society, so far
that by now  the stances left are facilitated  and mostly folkloristic
... :^]  and still have in  custody a precious heritage  for those who
want to learn from it. of course in other places this is all kept more
underground to protect it from witch-hunts.

there are  fundamental differences about people's  goals and community
goals in making  squats, for instance in .nl i  noticed there are many
poor people  squatting for their own  living space, while  back in .it
(where  there are  even more  poor  people involved)  most squats  are
"social centers"  and not private  flats: places that are  ospital for
nomads  but  mostly running  public  activities  by  and for  cultural
minorities and weak strata of society.

while from a  top view they can be seen  as "cultural mediation" hubs,
from ground up they are seen as  a right to develop in a different way
if compared to the dominating  paradigm of capitalism, which has grown
to a  stall from  which is very  hard to  get out.

of  course such  a liminal  activity  is very  vulnerable to  attacks:
Italian  social centers  (and  hacklabs) for  instance are  constantly
infiltrated by  mafia (with drug  smuggling[1]) and by  fascists (with
aggressions against minorities).  I understand when someone running an
hackerspace tells  me that  he/she really doesn't  wants to  deal with
such  problems and  therefore keep  it "closed  to members"  - somehow
easier than  having thugs at  the door all  the time.  openness  has a
price, as  we all know, even on  the Internet eh; but  also closing up
too  much  will  present you  the  conto  soon  or  later: that  of  a
stagnating  and self  referring community  where nomadism  isn't aloud

i think the  first step for "the hackerspaces.org  domain" would be to
acknowledge   all   different   approaches   in  history,   like   the
hackmeeting.org (running since 12 years eh) and the hacklabs we talked
already about - still i  remember that when the hackerspaces discourse
was  gaining  momentum  on  mass-media  like Wired  and  on  important
congresses  like the CCC,  people in  this community  excluded "us"[1]
completely  from that  picture...

so there is still a lot  to learn from different approaches aamong all
of  us here,  thanks  for this  relaxed  mood, its'  great  to have  a
discussion space free from  trolling, censorship, prejudices and usual

let's  work together to  complete the  hackers communities  picture at
large - but no manifesto please, we really love the how-tos! ;)


[1]     historically    the     social    centers     movements    are
    anti-prohibitionists,  still  people   commonly  decided  in  most
    situations  to  ban systematically  hard  drugs  like Heroine  and
    "professional" dealers  making huge  profits out of  drug (ab)use.
    symbolically  in  Forte  Prenestino  in  Roma the  day  weed  gets
    harvested in  october (festa del  raccolto) there is a  huge party
    and  the marijuana is  given out  for free...  because is  not our
    business, is our culture!

[2] i really  don't see it as "us" and "them",  but firmly belive that
    experiences made  everyone sensible  to different aspects  of life
    and development, that's why this dialogue is important.

- -- 
jaromil, dyne.org developer, http://jaromil.dyne.org

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