Diatoms, Alex Hyde, digital photomicrograph

Haarlem Artspace Manifesto

6 Aug, 2020

Cover Image: Diatoms, Alex Hyde, digital photomicrograph

HAARLEM ARTSPACE is a space for artists, cultural workers, curators, educators, freelancers, makers, producers, writers, art and culture lovers. Our mission is to champion rural contemporary art in all its forms. We do this through an environment of care, exchange and collaboration and through the provision of good studio space for creatives. We recognise that all these things are interconnected and need ongoing attention. With that in mind we commit to upholding the following values in all our work:

1. We pledge to take urgent and continual action to create a sector that celebrates diversity, respects difference and promotes equality of opportunity. In order to dismantle systems of oppression we have ANTI-RACISM policies and ask that our community sign an anti-racism agreement.

2. We are Curators in the original meaning, pertaining to CARE actively, approaching professionalism with an anti-patriarchal lens. We care about who does the work, striving to be realistic, flexible and considerate to human needs and caring commitments, including neurodiversity and any other ability needs.

3. We seek to work in a caring, collaborative environment and to CONNECT with other international rural organisations and practitioners, respecting and valuing all kinds of indigeneity.

4. We recognise that in order to support and advocate for INTERSECTIONAL ENVIRONMENTALISM, transformational structural change is needed. A healthy planet can’t exist without racial justice, equity, civil rights and empowered communities. As artists and as an arts organisation, we consider the needs of the Earth, and in promoting environmental awareness, we respect the Earth.

5. We draw attention to the need for FAIR pay for artists and a fairer distribution of wealth and opportunity.

6. We see FEMINISM as collective work by all parties, irrespective of identification with none-gender or gender. We won’t tolerate discrimination.

7. We LISTEN and are committed to openness in discussion of the barriers that affect land, animals, and people, recognising lost histories and hidden voices of all kinds.

8. We will work together to address the inequalities that exist in the arts and creative industries sector. This includes challenging hierarchies and POWER structures where culture is produced, resisting classification and hierarchy.

9. We are RADICAL in our belief that access to land is a right for all, as a shared common and cultural space. We are politically rural in that we view it as a shifting multiplicity, a practice, an identity, and an ideology.

10. We believe that RURAL ART and CULTURE is vital to the wellbeing of society. We recognise the rural as a multiplicity with conflicting paradigms, and value other knowledge and its systems of production. Beauty crosses boundaries.

We use art and our thinking as artists as one way of addressing continued and disrupted relations, feelings of belonging, longing and indifference”…advocating for “a rural art practice that breaks with more traditional modes of gazing. It is reflective, partitive, and performative at once, which means it reviews the relation to the rural, and artists relations with the rural.

Rural - Documents of contemporary art.

With thanks to our Partner Studios Instituto Procomum in Santos Brazil for helping us form this definition of the Commons.

Cover Image, Diatoms by Alex Hyde, digital photomicrograph