Prologue: Squat/Anti-Squat [2016]

film installation in two parts
each 17 min.

Abel Blom
André Reeder
Gina Lafour
Juanita Lalji
Hellen Felter
Kees Visser
Khadija al Mourabi
Lucien Lafour
Mc Rational
Quinsy Gario
Roel Griffioen
Tirza Balk
We Are Here

Smina Bluth

Titus Maderlechner

Tripolis, Amsterdam
designed by Aldo van Eyck, 1994

produced by
Schuldenberg Films ︎

comissioned by
Frontier Imaginaries ︎
with Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD ︎

click here to access
the review by Ana Teixeira Pinto, March 2017 ︎

click here for the essay
‘Asset as Set: Filmmaking in Relation to
a Certain Realness of Site’
by Wendelien van Oldenborgh ︎

Made in two parts that mirror each other in form and content, Prologue: Squat/Anti-Squat (2016) is a filmic engagement with the structure of its architectural location, Aldo van Eyck’s Tripolis building in Amsterdam. In a condensed two-day shoot Van Oldenborgh brings together over a dozen individuals from different generations with various backgrounds in activism and architecture, whose fragmentary conversations offer a glimpse into rapidly changing conceptions of housing and belonging in Dutch society. The film sheds light on a squatting action in the Biljmer district in 1970’s Amsterdam by a group of Dutch Caribbean activists, juxtaposing it with two recent episodes of occupation. Bearing traces of a recent squatting action by We Are Here, an action collective of undocumented migrants, and currently being used as an anti-squat facility, Van Eyck’s visionary and strikingly empty building resonates with questions of agency that underlie the concerns and visions of young activist groups like the University of Colour, who set out to decolonize the curriculum of the University of Amsterdam. 

Production stills by Daria Scagliola 


Installation view at daadgalerie, Berlin, 2016. Photographs by Jens Ziehe

Installation view of Cinema Olanda, Dutch Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017. Photographs by Daria Scagliola

Dialogues and appearances by:
Abel Blom, architect, who worked with Aldo and Hannie van Eyck designing Tripolis in 1994.

André Reeder, filmmaker, social worker, former activist with LOSON and SAWO equal rights organisations, run by the Surinamese community in the Netherlands in the 70s and 80s.

Gina Lafour, social sciences student engaged in social projects and active in the student platform Amsterdam United.

Hellen Felter, award-winning scholar, activist, anti-racist trainer and student mentor.

Juanita Lalji, adult educator and former activist at LOSON in the 70s and 80s.

Kees Visser, squatter and activist involved in anti-gentrification campaigns, in actions by the We Are Here group and in the 2015 Amsterdam student occupations.

Khadija al Mourabi, holds degrees in Philosophy and Logic and Brain & Cognition. Active in student network Amsterdam United, which engages with diversity in the broadest sense.

Lucien Lafour, architect with succesful practice in the Netherlands and Surinam. Studied and worked with Aldo van Eyck; active in student movements in the 1960s.

Mc Rational, student and activist within University of Colour movement, founder of the first Decolonial School.

Quinsy Gario, poet and performance artist, researcher of the post-colonial condition.

Roel Griffioen, architectural historian and writer on new housing policies.

Tirza Balk, active in University of Colour, the 2015 student occupations, the intersectional-feminist Radio Redmond and actions by the group We Are Here.

We Are Here, action group of undocumented people with various backgrounds, who squatted rooms in one of the buildings of the film's location, Tripolis, in March 2016