Provo, Autonomy, and Ludic Politics
:: December 10th :: The Foundry, 7pm ::
:: Foundry, London :: 86 Great Eastern Street ::

The legendary Dutch anarchist movement Provo staged political and cultural interventions into the symbolic and everyday spaces of Holland from 1965 – 1967. The rise and fall of Provo stretches from early Dutch “happenings” staged in 1962 to the “Death of Provo” in 1967. Although a small group they cast a disproportionately large shadow on the events of the time due to their skillful analysis of social unrest among Dutch youth. By tying their political program to the rich magical heritage of Amsterdam’s bohemian subculture they created political street theater that captured the pulse of Amsterdam’s population.

Come join us to celebrate the release of Provo: Amsterdm’s Anarchist Revolt by Richard Kempton, the first book length English history and analysis of Provo. We will be joined by several of the members of Provo including Hans Plomp, Auke Boersma, Luud Schimmelpennink and Nico van Apeldoorn. The evening will include appearances by members of Radio Joy as well as recently recovered and translated video footage from the period. We will explore the history and activities of Provo, tracing out their legacies and continuing influence in the realm of autonomist politics and ludic interventions in public space.

The Foundry :: :: 86 Great Eastern Street :: London EC2A 3JL: : Nearest tube: Old Street tube (exit3)

Raise the White Bicycle!

Auke Boersma was the author of three of the Provo white plans: the White Chicken Plan, the White Press Plan, and the White Houses Plans. In addition to this legendary legislative work he has single handedly navigated an ocean sailor, restored two 19th century cargo ships, written political fairy tales, performed poetry, and worker as a lecturer in psychology in various universities in Amsterdam.

Eljakim Borkent was active in the Provo movement, particular in the Kabouter Party, which grew out of and was founded after the dissolution of the Provo. He also opened the first organic shop in Amsterdam.

Eric Duivenvoorden is a philosopher and sociologist. He is the author of a number of very interesting sounding books about Dutch art and radical politics including Magiër van een nieuwe tijd, het leven van Robert Jasper Grootveld, a biography on Robert Jasper Grootveld. Unfortunately these are only available in Dutch.

Born in Amsterdam in 1944, Hans Plomp took an active part in the “Provo revolution” and in 1973 was part of the occupation of the village of Ruigoord, which for over 35 years has thrived as creative community of “spiritual anarchists” from different cultures and generations. He has published novels, stories, poems and essays, and organizes the annual Fiery Tongues festival of poetry and music at Ruigoord. His work has also been collected in Nine Dutch Poets (City Lights, 1982).

Arie Taal. Born 1946 in Onstwedde. Moved to Amsterdam in 1965. Started Jacobs Ladder Construction Company in 1967, transporting people, posters and LP’s, International Times and Oz magazine between London and Amsterdam. Invited Hapshash and the Colored Coat featuring the Human Host and the Heavy Metal Kids to perform in Amsterdam. The ladder fell on top of us. Escaped with the Human Family lead by Jack Moore, founder of the Arts Lab in Drury Lane, traveled all over Europe preaching applied pleasure principles and mind twisters. The 1970s were spent in Morocco mostly. During the 1980s I worked with Jasper Grootveld, the prophet of Provo. We built floating islands from recycled plastic, nylon and Styrofoam. They are unsinkable. Our future lies on the water.

During the 1960s and 70s Nico Van Appeldorn was a member of Provo, writer and designer for several members, as well as a poet and songwriter. Since then he has been the publisher of anarchist magazine Gramschap, a record producer for small political and punk labels, and the owner of a small anarchistic bar.