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The world we live in is marked by global and local crises. From these flow uncertainties that affect our daily existence. Increasingly, people feel excluded from the ways in which their everyday environment is shaped, governed and financed, as well as from the so-called 'successful' futures projected onto them. It's OK takes place in the Oude Kerk, on De Wallen, an area that is constantly contested in its current reality. Neighbours, visitors, tourists, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and stakeholders often have opposite desires, dreams and needs. What does it mean to be or become communal, with friction and contradictions?
During the manifestation, more than 30 public gatherings will be organised over the course of ten weeks. Since 2020, under the title It’s OK…, Van Heeswijk has been exploring in the Red Light District around the Oude Kerk how a sense of community and collectivity can contribute to a more liveable social fabric, especially in the city centre. In which – with diverse groups of Amsterdam residents – beyond the layer of tourism – we look at what is going on in the area. It’s OK… does not want to be an exhibition as a mirror to the social questions of today, but a place where these issues can be freely discussed by the people it (affects).
Jeanne van Heeswijk is a Dutch artist living in Rotterdam and is considered an important representative of wider social engagement in art. Jeanne van Heeswijk is an artist who facilitates the creation of dynamic and diversified public spaces in order to "radicalise the local. [or: Her large-scale projects focus on creating communities that take control to shape their future]. Her work links art with social design, social issues and political activism. Her projects have been part of international biennials in Liverpool, Shanghai and Venice. She initiated long-term local initiatives in recent years in Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Liverpool, Edinburgh, among others. In 2014-2015, she was Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism at Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY and she was BAK basis for contemporary art Fellow, Utrecht in 2018-2019.
It's OK is curated by Jeanne van Heeswijk, Yvonique Wellen, Isshaq Albarbary, Kateryna Filyuk, Ola Hassanain, Gijs Stork, Alejandra Ortiz, LiL, Charlotte, Joy Mariama Smith, SNAP, Ben Dragstra, Katia Krupennikova, Nathanja van Dijk, Gerbina van den Hurk, Lennard Roubos, Ravenna Westerhout, Viola Renate, collectively with many others.