A look at the proposal of Coop Himmelb(l)au for a new parliament

As Vincent already pointed out in this earlier post, there have been plans to erect a new parliament in the middle of Tirana. Those plans come from the probably most renowned architecture firm of Vienna, Coop Himmelb(l)au.

It is interesting to see how the protest surrounding the buildup of this massive project is being viewed at by the architects themselves, within the Austrian media. The first interview that comes to my mind is one being shown in der standard. Here, “front-man” Wolf D. Prix gives an interview where he talks about the lack of student revolts in Vienna, which according to him are not fierce enough and show symptoms of a generation that has become lethargic and lazy. Continue reading

An evening in Qendra Sociale

Coming Saturday, on March 11th 2012, Moritz, Fred and Pim will give open presentations about different political subjects that relate to their personal fields of interest. This evening will take place in Qendra Sociale, a laboratory for left wing political activity in Tirana. Aim of the evening is to make those who are interested familiar with from the ground up organization in The Netherlands and to evoke discussion afterwards; about how these themes can be meaningful c.q. adaptable in relation to the current political situation in Tirana. The presentations will start at 17:30 and after there will be the opportunity to get drunk.

Program for presentations from Dutch students at social center*

Moritz Geremus: The value of trade
Money has been used since ancient times as measurement of wealth, as an indicator for intensity of factors, and in later times as means of identification for classes. When does trade turn into exploitation, and is there a common measurement for trade that guarantees a fair one? What are the main problems with money as a tool for trading goods and services? I have been a member and driving force for the Timebank in the Netherlands, a
bank that uses an alternative currency based on different values than the “normal” money. Additionally I’m investigating how different money systems throughout history have changed the idea of ownership, and the moral attitude towards trading. By presenting some historical facts combined with present studies, I want open up discussion to get closer to the answers of these questions.

Pim van der Heiden: Squatting in The Netherlands – the struggle for autonomous space in the capitalist city
The Netherlands know a vibrant history of people organizing themselves in and around unofficial groups, fighting for space to utilize to their needs by occupying buildings that are being abandoned for a long time. In this talk I aim to give you a general idea about squatting in The Netherlands, principally speaking from my personal perspective as a squatter. I’ll discuss different motives and political views that might drive people to consider squatting as an option and how the story of a squat generally reveals itself; both from a theoretical and practical point of view; in present and past times.

Fred Francisco: Studentmovements in The Netherlands – organization and protest
A presentation about the student movements in Holland. I will do a short general overview of the history of the Dutch student movements, followed by a closer look on the situation as it is now. Since 2010 The Netherlands has seen a revival of student movements as a reaction on new government legislation. I would like to give an insight in the organisational structures within the movement, the new legislation and it’s concequences for students, and I will elaborate on the different forms of activities, protests and tactics that we have seen recently, also in a broader view connecting it to other social struggles.