The Netherlands is known as progressive and open. An old colloquial name for Amsterdam
is Mokum, meaning Free Haven or Safe Place. This identity goes back centuries, to the
dominance of the Dutch presses and publishers, who distributed banned and groundbreaking ideas —all while democratizing print. Yet, The Netherlands, as all “developed” nations, struggles with its flaws and dark chapters. Social and economic inequality, and the one-sidedness of how value is attributed to facets of culture, amongst other vices, taint societies in more ways than one. Actually, in many ways at the same time.
Do accessibility, and evenly re-attributing value in our society lay the conditions for a free and safe place to emerge? Is such a place even possible? There are no easy answers, if any at all, but it is paramount to continue the critical discourse and introduce new, honest perspectives.
Vrijhaven is a series of (video) interviews and essays with practitioners from various fields in Japan and The Netherlands. These will be published on a dedicated website and in a printed publication series made available in both countries. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the exhibition “Common Future” (Tokyo), is postponed till it is safe again to come together.