small but cozy place was in the North of Rotterdam on the 'Gerard
ScholteStraat'. The small squat still exists but only as a home for
people, it has not operated as a cafe for quite some years.
used to be open every sunday from +/- 14:00 to +/- 21:00. Varied vegan
and delicious meals were to be had. We usually had music, soup, bread,
tea, and a main course. The cost was up to the individuals. If you had
no money it was free, if you had money and you ate a lot 5 guilders was
check out the excellent art by Tomek. His art covered and still covers
nearly every wall of the cafe!!
was a photocopied magazine (very similar to the Trammelant) which
focused on squatting in Rotterdam as well as other issues. This
magazine appeared irregularly for about 5 issues. I may post more info
about the Sientje in the future.
Ye Olde KSU
As stated before the KSU R'dam
has been around for as long as anyone can remember. Many of those years
it was located in the same office as the JIP. But for some time it also
had the following other locations: infowinkel Phoenix (gone),
Gallery Slaphanger (gone) and ProJo. The last two locations were
not exactly a success, people had trouble finding them and the KSU went
downhill until it was returned to the JIP office and "resurrected".
During maybe half of it's
existence the KSU had an advisory role only. This meant that only
information was given and little or no practical help was available.
time the KSU has seen lots of people pitching in and being
active in it, perhaps more than 30 or even 50. Some people stayed for a
few weeks some for years.
was also a period of several years that the KSU was in essence one
person! A few of you will know
who i am referring to. When this person finally found some more people
that also saw the importance of having a KSU he stopped doing it. We
happy and grateful he kept it going for as long as he did.
That more or less brings us up to date, the KSU now consists of several
members and takes an active approach, which is not to imply that all
squatting is done through us. There are many groups and people
squatting themselves, some very successfully, some not.
predecessor of the Fridge.
The Fridge / The Butchery /
At the time of writing the fridge is still in existence but it looks
like a matter of weeks before it will be demolished. After being around
3 years.. ( i think..?) the owner is now getting around to demolishing
I was one of the six people that initially squatted it. I loved this
house, it was very large and had some extraordinary possibilities. For
some time i very much enjoyed living there but unfortunately i am far
neither are people or groups of people. After about a year i felt i
would be much happier in another new squat. This proved correct, at
least for a while. More about that squat (the School) later. After
moving out i very often visited the Fridge. This was because one of my
friends and some acquintances of mine lived there. I also had a band
practice and tool/storage space there.
For the most part the residents actually had a very good understanding
with the owner -Sterner
struck a type of deal with him. The owner's long term plans were to
make more and better housing as well as a "buurthuis" on the site of
the building. Since these are fairly decent plans and the owner has
always been very easy going, there is not much reason to contest his
Over the course of the fridge's existence perhaps as many as 35 people
lived or stayed there. Usually the amount of people that truly lived
there and had their own room fluctuated between 5 and 8. There were
often many guests that stayed quite long and this was actually an issue
on more than one occasion.
Not only was it a great place to live, it also had a warehouse out
back, a very large garage underneath and a type of roof terrace. As a
result the various spaces saw use as:
Food Cafe, Punk Cafe, 80's party venue, works space for artists, bike
repair shop, band practice space, material storage, art gallery and
Tekno party venue among others.
This perhaps sounds more grandiose than it actually was, but even so it
must be said that it was quite nice!
A major problem that plagued this house from the onset was the fact
that the people within the group often had rather major differences in
opinions, interests and lifestyles. Sometimes these differences
spiraled into conflict, some minor, some major. Altogether these
factors prevented the fridge
to be all it perhaps could have been. Unfortunately this seems to be an
all too common problem with living groups of more than 3 people.
On the positive side many if not all of the people that lived in the
Fridge had a creative
side, they were painters (Richard, Tomek and Others), sound
artists/DJ's, musicians, handymen and the like.
More about this one soon.
is not a typical crowbar)