After 35 years since Kaus Australis’ foundation in 1985, 25 years in our self-built studiocomplex, years and years of international cultural exchange through our Artist in residence programme, countless amazing presentations, memorable events, unique spaces for artistic production that will be missed greatly.. we have sad news. After the last 4 years spent in vain trying to persuade the Rotterdam Municipality that this added value for the city should be cherished and relocated, it turns out this message has fallen on deaf ears. There is no room for dialogue, there is basically one message: The building and everything in it and around it has to be gone by January 2nd 2021 or there will be severe judicial consequences.
Faced with a battalion of eager lawyers threatening to drain our savings which we so dearly wanted to invest in a new building, in this city and its inhabitants’ civic and cultural pride, Kaus has no other choice but to start evacuating. Our struggle to find a new home will continue despite the odds that we are facing: A city that seems to be governed by the sole focus on selling every piece or real estate it owns to the highest bidder (which means project developers with big wallets) and because of that, a growing number of artists and cultural entrepreneurs being driven out of the city and into unemployment. No matter what will happen to the social and cultural fabric that these people and institutions have so carefully built up over many years, it seems the only answer we keep getting to our question why this is happening is: No.
Kaus’ very reason for coming into existence was also born from trying to overcome difficulties in creating a space for artsistic creation. Back in 1985 It was founded by artists leading a diasporic existence untill they came up with a plan to create their own perfect studiobuilding, self-developed, self-owned, self-run and self-financed to prove to the world that this could be done. In a city that prided itself on the fact that there was room for such experiments, room for strong self organising groups of people to change the city bit by bit into something better. Into what it has become now, where we, who made an even more ambitious plan now just get to talk to a brick wall. For good or worse, we still take great pride in our achievement and are convinced that there is a place somewhere where we can rise again. Maybe for current lack of a physical one, let’s call this a visionary space, unrestrained by the shortsighted economic mantras that seem to have a firm grip on our elected officials.
But before we start breaking down the actual building we want to invite you to our final event which very fittingly takes on the shape of a clearance sale event. We have to get rid of a lot of “stuff” accumulated over the years: art, books, furniture, materials, tools, containers, plants, plumbing, cuttlery, a portrait of a dog..: everything must go! For this sale many forms of payment are welcome. Since we want to invest in a new building, money is obviously greatly appreciated but we also need space for storage and anyone willing to lend a hand during the moving can count on the famous Kaus Australis hospitality and cuisine. We also need people to help stand up against the policy that has led to this dreadful event and is erasing large parts of this city’s cultural capital. We will petition the municipality by means of an open letter and your contacts and support might just make a difference. Let us know if you can and want to help out in any of these ways and we will be in touch.
Most of all though we need you to let us know you care, share and make aware and the best way to do this is to come by on saturday and sunday the 19th and 20th of September and check our instagram an facebook pages for updates.
See you soon!