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New World Academy Reader #2: Collective Struggle of Refugees. Lost. In Between. Together.

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By Jonas Staal, We Are Here, Olive Martin, Audrey Chan, Immigration Movement International, Savannah Koolen, Elke Uitentuis, Cyriaque Kouenou, Yoonis Osman Nuur, Ahmet Öğüt, Martijn Stronk, Thomas

We Are Here consists of a group of about 200 refugees who first organized themselves into a political group in 2012. The group is based in Amsterdam and demands citizenship for all of its members, some of whom have resided in the Netherlands without official papers for over 15 years. Their key uniting principle is that the group accepts no individual solutions for its members—only full recognition of the legitimacy of the group and its members as a whole. Because Dutch law forbids refugees from performing labor—with “creative expression” exempt from this official definition of labor—art has played a significant role in shaping and exploring the political demands of the group since its founding.

With contributions by: Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin (artists, Nantes) with Audrey Chan (artist and writer, Los Angeles), Immigration Movement International (artivist platform, various locations), Savannah Koolen (activist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam) and Elke Uitentuis (artist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam), Cyriaque Kouenou (lead singer, We Are Here Band, Amsterdam), Yoonis Osman Nuur (representative, We Are Here, Amsterdam), Ahmet Ögüt (artist, Istanbul, Amsterdam, and London), Martijn Stronks (theorist, Amsterdam), and Thomas (representative, We Are Here, Amsterdam).

Table of contents


Maria Hlavajova


Jonas Staal


We Are Here

We Are a Political Group

Yoonis Osman Nuur Interviewed by Jonas Staal

We Exist

Yoonis Osman Nuur

We Are Here to Support

Elke Uitentuis and Savannah Koolen

Why We Are Here


Tout est un / Everything is One

Cyriaque Kouenou

The Paradox of Visible Illegality: A Brief History of Dutch Migration Control

Martijn Stronks


Immigration Movement International

The Silent University

Ahmet Ögüt

Artists at Work: Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin

Audrey Chan


Editor: Jonas Staal in dialogue with We Are Here

Associate Editor: Seyma Bayram

Coordinator and Proof Reader: Gwen Parry

Design: Remco van Bladel, Amsterdam with Andrea Spikker

Lithography and Printing: Drukkerij Raddraaier, Amsterdam

Language: English

Pages: 110

ISBN: 978-90-77288-19-1

Price: € 5

Unfortunately the printed copies of this reader are sold out. You can still view the reader online when you click here.


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