AltVisions Festival 2020

AltVisions: A Festival of Humans, Artworks, and Ideas

3-5 September 2020 Stroom Den Haag

Amidst a global stage that thrives on the insecurity of the many in order to support and enrich a few, we find ourselves constantly asking how we got here and how we can proceed towards a society based on mutual respect, solidarity and harmony with nature. The urgency for a new, different future to come is now felt across the world through the many uprisings and protests demanding a new system; a new way of being together; and a new way to live alongside the planet and other species. For this, new visions are required.

With this in mind, we are organizing a three-day festival of ideas, humans and artworks. Bringing together scholars, practitioners and artists we wish to create a temporary platform of commoning and exchange for the many visions and practices looking towards an inclusive and resilient future.

Day 1 and day 2 of the event will host various panels and workshops, and will showcase various visionary practices. We believe that art has the power to speak and shift attitudes, to present new ways of being together and to critically formulate a new future. Thus, the panels will be comprised of both speakers and artworks that in different ways surface new visions.

Day 3 of the event will feature four workshops exploring which of the visions and practices discussed over the three days is most likely to be a game-changer for an inclusive and resilient society, addressing the challenge from a philosophical, procedural, artistic and practical perspective.

This is an NWO-funded NWA Matchmaking Event within route ‘Towards a Resilient Society’. Day 3 is therefor designed to form a consortium together with our speakers and audiences, and to select and refine the agenda to feature in an NWA-ORC application.

Throughout the festival, all featuring artworks will be on display in an openly accessible exposition, which will remain open to the public for a fourth day on September 6.

Alternative Forms of Democracy: 3 September, 11:00-13:00

From Extinction Rebellion to #BlackLivesMatter, people are losing faith in the democratic process. This panel explores ways that democracy can be reimagined and how citizens are ‘taking back control’ of their future through bottom-up initiatives. From the perspective of feminist political ecology scholars, concerned citizens and activist artists, the panel will discuss how local communities seek to build resilient societies, with a focus on commoning. 


Wendy Harcourt, Professor of Gender, Diversity and Sustainable Development at the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University (ISS – EUR)  and Chizu Sato, Lecturer and Researcher in Sociology of Consumption and Households; both scholar-activists in the Well-being, Ecology, Gender and cOmmunity – Innovative Training Network (WEGO-INT)

Elly Rijnierse, member social co-operative The Natural City, member Economy of the Common Good, founding member CommonsLab Den Haag

Jay Navarro Oviedo, founder Just Common People, founder Den Haag in Transitie

Jonas Staal, artist (participant in panel and exhibition – work: Collectivise Facebook)

Iliada Charalambous, artist (work: What Could We Be? Visions)

The Commons: 3 September, 14:00-16:00 

First they stole our land, then they stole the world. This panel brings together social science and community farming to explore how the masses can take back control of their food production by removing land from market speculation. It brings art to this discussion to explore the potential of commoning in structures of governance, work, culture and sociality.


Tine de Moor, Professor of Social Enterprise & Institutions for Collective Action, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Binna Choi, curator, director of Casco Art Institute Working for the Commons, Utrecht, and Marianna Takou, researcher and organizer, producer of Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, both members of Arts Collaboratory

Bregje Hamelynck, founder of Permaculture Community Farm Us Hof, and of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Network Netherlands, Federation of Agro-ecological Farmers, Boerenraad, Voedselwerkplaats Netwerk Duurzame Dorpen

Ivanka Annot, Artist and civil society producer (participant in panel and exhibition- work: Commoning of Belonging)

Alternative Visions of Reciprocity: 3 September, 16:30-18:30

We are seeking to transition to a less growth-driven and more relational economy amidst increasing diversity. Old forms of reciprocity rooted in faith, flag or family may no longer suffice. What then are the technological, procedural and cultural ties that bind us?


Tim Stacey, Lecturer, Institute of International Studies, Leiden University 

Angus Mol, Lecturer, Institute of History, Leiden University (video installation)

Sara Pape García,

Naaierij, Fashion, clothes upcycling and clothes swaps

Conscious Kitchen, Vegan community dinners prepared with market leftovers

New Ways of Art: 4 September, 11:00-13:00 

Politicians and policymakers increasingly recognise that logic on its own doesn’t persuade people to change. This panel looks into alternative, contemporary artistic practices that contribute to, influence and transform attitudes and activate audiences.


Heske ten Cate, Artistic Director NEST 

Miriam Meissner, Assistant Professor Literature and Art, Maastricht University, Researcher of project “From Minimalist Forms to Post-Growth Economies?”(tbc)

Ivanka Annot, Artist and Civil Society Producer

Cathy Wilcock, Researcher at the ISS – EUR and musician in Gymnast (with the song ‘Ghosts’), with Chris Lyon

Extinction Rebellion Arts Circle, climate activists (tbc). 

Rosa Mulder, Representative of the Unda Foundation, which manages and protects the conceptual artwork Flag of Compassion

Flag of Compassion ( Artwork)

Reconciled to the Earth: 4 September, 14:00-16:00

Drawing on visions from beyond the West, philosophers have recently speculated that prioritising human thought and human rights may be at the root of our devastating social and economic practices. This panel explores ways of re-valorising the earth to the centre of ethical reflection. In particular, the panelists will discuss the possibility of assigning legal rights to nature. 


Daphina Misiedjan, Fellow at NIAS-KNAW (on the project ‘Legal Mobilization, Rights of Nature and Changing the Status Quo through Earth Jurisprudence’), assistant professor in Human Rights and the Environment at the ISS – EUR

Matthias Kramm, PhD Candidate Philosophy, Fair Limits Project, Utrecht University

Jessica den Outer, Earth-centered law expert UN Harmony with Nature Network; jurist and founding member of Earth Advocacy Youth; independent consultant Rights of Nature

Semuel Sahureka, Founder Nusu Alifuru Foundation

Esther Kokmeijer, artist (participant in panel and exhibition- work: Agreement with Nature)

New Economic Visions: 4 September, 16:30-19:30

Is there an alternative to the capitalist economy as we know it? Many scholars and activists tell us that what is really required is de-growth. But is growth essential for human welfare? And what would degrowth look like in practice? This panel tackles these questions head on, and reflects in particular on the consequences of degrowth for the extraction industry, from sand to fossil fuels. The panel will be followed by an interactive workshop by Our New Economy, to help us reflect on the question of what needs to degrow, and what needs to grow instead. 


Giuseppe Feola, Associate Professor in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, Member of the Community Economies Research Network, Founding member of the Dutch Degrowth Platform Ontgroei

Arpita Bisht, Activist – Researcher on post-extractivism in India at the ISS – EUR, founder of Degrowth Initiative India

Femke Sleegers, Activist at Fossielvrij NL/Reclame Fossielvrij. Campaigns for a law that bans fossil fuel advertisements and child marketing by fossil fuel companies

Damaris Matthijsen, Economy Transformers 

Maarten van den Eynde and Musasa, Artists (with the work Ils ont partagé le monde)

Amber Oskam, Artist (with the work: Sand Exchange)

Maarten Nijman en Sam de Muijnk, Our New Economy (ONE), workshop on Degrowth – Growth 

Schedule Summary 

Thursday 3 September

Coffee 10.30 

Official opening 10.45

Alternative Forms of Democracy 11 – 13

Lunch 13 – 14

The Commons 14 – 16

Coffee 16 – 16.30

New Forms of Reciprocity 16.30 – 18.00

Borrel & Clothes Swap 18 – 19

Conscious Kitchen Dinner 19.00 – 20.00

Friday 4 September 

Gathering at NEST 09.30

Private tour of NEST Exhibition A Fair Share of Utopia with artistic director Heske ten Cate 09.45 – 10.30

New Ways of Art 11.15 – 13

Lunch 13 – 14

Reconciled with the Earth 14 – 16

Coffee 16 – 16.30

New Economic Visions 16.30 – 18.30

 ONE Workshop (with Borrel) 18.30 – 19.30

Leftovers Dinner 19.30 – 22.00

Saturday 5 September

Workshops 11.30 – 18.00
Drinks & Dinner 18.00 – 22.00

Sunday 6 September 

Exposition (BinnenUIT Festival) 12 – 17