Base #EntreNous

Scheduled Sept. 2017 | help us?

Realization of this military base at Frederiksoord is currently being developed in close collaboration with Foundation KIK (Kunst in Kolderveen), TAAK, The Society of Humanitarianism, Gemeente Westerveld, Province Drenthe and the Ministry of Defence. We encourage corporate representatives to join this unconventional collaboration. With this project we aim to provide the infrastructure for a horizontal civil investigation after the current condition of our welfare state.

The words Entre Nous are French and mean 'between us', they refer to the title of an exercise during my obligatory time in the military that aimed to increase the fraternization among the conscripts.

Base #EntreNous derives from the interesting history of The Society of Humanitarianism (Maatschappij van Weldadigheid). It was a Dutch private organization set up in 1818 by general Johannes van den Bosch. This utopian initiative aimed to help the poor families in the aftermath of the Napoleonic French occupation by granting them farming land. From the whole of the Netherlands people were sent to Drenthe in order to get a better life. The experiment eventually lost its public support but it served as a model for the current welfare state. Today Dutch politicians argue that our model is also no longer efficient and too expensive, a clear alternative besides privatization of parts seems missing.

Base #EntreNous is a temporary laboratory, a test colony where the search for new sustainable possibilities for our welfare state is leading. It functions as an humanitarian military base where during a period of one month (instead of soldiers) several artists will be living and working. These craftsmen are residing today at the periphery of our society, lacking a clear market for their specific expertise. Therefore it is urgent to provide them the infrastructure in exchange for their craftsmanship and to activate their potential.

The residing artists will be shortlisted by art institutions throughout the Netherlands, like in the past the poor and homeless were selected by departments of 'The Society'. During their stay in this base they transform local qualities, expertise and resources towards future ideas & concepts for actual issues in the municipality Westerveld. It is possible that in a later stage these ideas will be developed further.

An active side program will be organized where multidisciplinary guest speakers will be invited to stay in this camp and share their knowledge with the audience. They will give lectures and fuel debates around actual questions the people in the municipality Westerveld are facing. To achieve our goals we collaborate for example with Netwerk Democratie dedicated to a resilient democracy where citizens are more involved by using technology to contribute actively. The Creative Care Lab from Waag Society which looks at the responsibility of artists and citizens with respect to the major and significant changes in health care. In cooperation with the military academy (the NLDA) questions about conflict studies and humanitarian missions will be highlighted. How do these missions in our world full of conflicts function?

Base #EntreNous follows the concept of #theorganisation and is meant to provide a real expirimental and collaborative space that stimulates informal exchange of human knowledge and resources to serve society. Its level of success is highly depending on the effort and generosity of all the 'shareholders' that help to realize and visualize the outcome of this research. Please get in touch if you want to contribute to its success. This is possible in a wide variety of ways, for example by showing and sharing what you can do best. Subscribe here.

For more information:

This project was mentioned in the following press: Noorderbreedte, De Star, RTV Meppel, De Westervelder, Steenwijkerland, De Stentor, Noorderbreedte, Drenthe Magazine.

Base #EntreNous can count so far on the generous financial support of: Province Drenthe, The DOEN Foundation, Bouwfonds Cultuurfonds.

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Best regards, Edwin Stolk.