Collective Struggle of Refugees. _Lost. In Between. Together.
This session is taught by Yoonis Osman Nuur and Thomas, members of We Are Here, an organization of refugees who unite in order to bring their collective struggle in the Netherlands into public discussion. Consisting of some 200 immigrants from approximately 15 countries all around the world, their search for asylum has failed, and yet for a variety of reasons they cannot be sent back to their countries of origin. This session studies in detail a proposition developed by the We Are Here Cooperative, where members are brought together with artists and cultural workers into an active project of cohabitation and cooperation.
Drawing and learning from the experiences of projects such as The Silent University (Ahmet Ögüt), X et Y c. Préfet de… Plaidoirie pour une jurisprudence (Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin), and Immigrant Movement International (Tania Bruguera), the participants deliberate on an alternative model for cohabitation between the refugees and artists as a proposal for an instance of “co-citizenship.”
Coordinators: Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin (artists, Nantes), Emily Fahlén (representative, Ahmet Ögüt’s The Silent University), Savannah Koolen (activist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam), and Elke Uitentuis (artist and activist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam).
The accompanying publication, New World Academy Reader #2: Collective Struggle of Refugees: Lost. In Between. Together., includes contributions by: Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin, Immigrant Movement International (activist platform, various locations), Savannah Koolen & Elke Uitentuis, Cyriaque Kouenou (lead singer, We Are Here Band, Amsterdam), Yoonis Osman Nuur, Ahmet Ögüt (artist, Amsterdam, Istanbul, and London), Martijn Stronk (theorist, Amsterdam), and Thomas.