"Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces."

Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces is a first of its kind -- an anthology of voices from the post-1968 squatting movement in Europe which is focussed on creative production and cultural innovation. Is squatting art? It is certainly a tactic which has enabled a tremendous body of collective work in culture to be done, and new kinds of lives to be lived. Making Room lays it out in the words of those who did it and study it.

The dark matter undercommons of disobedient culture surveyed in this book begins its roam in a theoretical introduction including autonomist theory, the ways of "monster institutions" and simple economic justice. Then it moves from north to south, portraying by country the specific local conditions of an international movement.

In the Netherlannds, we visit the strongholds of the hippies, the festive "temporary autonomous zones," and the rough-and-tumble conflicts of the Amsterdam squatters who once had that city in their hands. Later squatters were artists, forging international connections, and facing up to government recuperation and a new capitalist stratagem to hold them down.

A cultural manifesto and timeline of the venerable Christiania kicks off the section on Denmark. Then texts roll on to the war of the punks to save their youth house, and the "candy factories" of today's artists.

The last 30 years of squatting in London is surveyed, the flaming boil on the resistant body of the United Kingdom, as well as a close look at the deeply weird communes and squats of underground art cults.

The famously crusty German movement is examined in detail, from its beginnings and imbrications in violent resistance in Berlin, to its house projects and collective workplaces -- its "rainbow factories," "red islands," and Queeruptions. Mural artists who directly support this political movement are surveyed, as well as a series of close brushes with high institutional art culture, and the most recent hipster-squatter alliance in Hamburg.

Italy is the wellspring of the social center idea, which is expertly surveyed in terms of its results -- its places, not only its theories. The legendary street media movement is explained, and the new resistant occupations of precarious cultural workers in Rome and Milan are discussed by participants.

Paris, as we might expect, has developed a cultural policy to integrate the "art squatters" into a new form of bohemia, a house brand of French culture. This institutional recognition is explained, as well as its resistance, the legacy of Situationist positions. One text covers the very strange underground occupations, and another closely portrays a renowned music venue in the days before its certain eviction.

The Spanish movement has been one of the most active in Europe, and here it is examined in its ideological dimension, and in terms of its mediatic images, both negative and self-affirming. The rich cultural production of the movement is examined in a text on "ciclocostura," bicycle based self-fashioning, solidarity research groups with domestic workers, and anti-gentrification campaigns. The struggle of the Casa Invisible to legalize is told by them, as is the story of the wall poem revealed by demolition in Barcelona.

Making Room departs from the national frame in a section called "Everywhere: Transnational Movmeents, Networks and Continuities." Here authors discuss Puerto Rican occupations in New York City, the uses migrants in Europe make of squatting as well as activists' solidarity in a "universal embassy" occupied in Brussels. The culture of the large Ljubljana squat Metelkova is discussed at length by the programmer of one of its major punk venues.

The book concludes with a group of texts, "Anywhere: Media, Virtuality, and Diffusion." Texts treat of stereotypes of squatters in mainstream media, and the media squatters make themselves -- a steady stream of zines and films, many online. Another author considers the ideology of punk music and the economic networks it has generated. And finally, the book includes a major piece on the development of hacklabs in squatted spaces in Europe, precursors and anti-capitalist runalongs to the rise of the commodified internet.

Nearly all the texts in Making Room could be the germs of books in themselves, so resolutely has the subject been ignored over years by mainstream media, publishers and academia alike. This book is opening a long-locked door on the tremendous untold achievements of the disobedient movements. It's the beginning of a look at worlds created outside of rent, waged labor, and bureaucratic control; a response, in Brian Holmes' words, "the great unanswered question of a society with no imagination."

Download the compressed PDF at the bottom of this page...

Order a physical copy in the EU here.

The book was presented in May at the Barcelona conference of the SqEK group. Many authors were present. Activities of the conference are, and will be uploaded here.


Preface -- Miguel Ángel Martínez López

Whether You Like It or Not -- Alan W. Moore

Beneath the Bored Walk, the Beach -- Stevphen Shukaitis

Mental Prototypes and Monster Institutions: Some Notes by Way of an Introduction -- Universidad Nómada

Squatting For Justice: Bringing Life To The City -- Miguel Ángel Martínez López


Creativity and the Capitalist City -- Tino Buchholz

The Autonomous Zone (de Vrije Ruimte) -- Vincent Boschma

Squatting and Media: An Interview With Geert Lovink by Alan Smart

The Emerging Network of Temporary Autonomous Zones (TAZ)

Aja Waalwijk


Christiania: How They Do It and for How Long -- Jordan Zinovich

Christiania Art and Culture -- Britta Lillesøe, Christiania Cultural Association 

Bolsjefabrikken: Autonomous Culture in Copenhagen -- Tina Steiger

On the Youth House Protests and the Situation in Copenhagen -- Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen


Partisan Notes Towards a History of UK Squatting (1980 – the Present) -- x-Chris

‘Our Enemy is Dreamless Sleep!’ – on the Cultic Creation of an Autonomous Network -- Kasper Opstrup


We Don´t Need No Landlords… Squatting in Germany From 1970 to the Present -- Azomozox

Autonomy! == Ashley Dawson

Stutti -- Sarah Lewison

Regenbogen Fabrik – the Rainbow Factory -- Alan W. Moore

A Stay At The Rote Insel In Berlin -- Alan W. Moore

Gender and Squatting in Germany Since 1968 -- Azomozox

Gängeviertel, Hamburg -- Nina Fraeser

Activism and Camping in Documenta 10, 11 and 13 -- 

Julia Ramírez Blanco

The City For All! The Appropriation of Space and the Communication of Protest -- Tobias Morawski


Centri Sociali (Social Centers) in Italy -- Eliseo Fucolti

Not Only Liberated Spaces: Italian Social Centres as Social Movement and Protest Actors -- Gianni Piazza

Teatro Valle, Rome -- Assembly of Teatro Valle

Telestreet: Pirate Proxivision -- Patrick Nagle

MACAO: Establishing Conflicts Towards a New Institution --

Emanuele Braga


Situationism and its Influence on French Anarchist Squats --

Margot Verdier

Emergence and Institutional Recognition of Artistic Squats in Paris

Vincent Prieur

Paris: With the Artists of La Générale en Manufacture on Their Terrace... -- Alan Moore

UX -- Jon Lackman

Vive La Miroiterie: A Preemptive Elegy -- Jacqueline Feldman


Urban Movements and Paradoxical Utopianisms --

Miguel Angel Martínez López

Managing the Image: Squats and Alternative Media in Madrid (2000-2013) -- Julia Lledin

Ciclocostura: From the Engine to the Body, Collaborative DIY Textile Crafting -- Elisabeth Lorenzi

¡Porque sin Nosotras No Se Mueve el Mundo! La Esclavitud se Acabó (Without us, the World Does Not Move. Slavery is Over.)

Julia Lledin

Patio Maravillas’ Anti-gentrification Campaign against the TriBall Group -- Stephen Luis Vilaseca

Málaga’s “La Casa Invisible” -- La Casa Invisible

The Wall Poem -- Stephen Luis Vilaseca


Puerto Rican Occupations in New York City -- Alan W. Moore and Yasmin Ramirez

Fake Tabloid Headlines -- Gregory Lehmann

Squatting as an Alternative to Counter Migrant Exclusion

Sutapa Chattopadhyay

Metelkova, mon Amour: Reflections on the (Non-)Culture of Squatting -- Jasna Babic

The Universal Embassy: A Place Open to the World --

Tristan Wibault


Fair Trade Music -- Spencer Sunshine

Hacklabs and Squats: Engineering Counter-Culture in Autonomous Spaces -- Maxigas

Squatting in Media/ Media in Squatting -- E.T.C. Dee and Galvao Debelle dos Santos

Alan Moore,
Jun 11, 2015, 3:32 AM