The Gentrification of Amsterdam

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The Gentrification of Amsterdam

In the last decade or so this beautiful, sleazy, wicked and wonderful city has become yet another victim of the all-powerful and unstoppable gentrification process that has been unleashed by the powers to be on any major city on the planet, anything that does not deliver a maximum return on the investments has to be destroyed and replaced with yet more luxury apartments, fancy shops, hotels and one fakking BioOrganicStarbucksFashionPopUpSandwich shop after another, creating places around the world where only tourists and people with excess money will feel comfortable, while the locals are being pushed out of the center by the high rents and cost of living. This week the squats on the Spuistraat, Amsterdam’s most colorful street, have been forcefully evicted by the riot police to make way for more of all the sh*t that we already have too much of and that is ripping apart the very fabric this place is made of…

If you’ll visit Amsterdam in the future, the only local people you’ll ever meet are the ones that serve you at the touristic highlights that you and everybody else will visit, because that’s all there is to do, no alternative and diverse culture anymore, no streetart, no out-of-the-ordinary, unexpected craziness, no galleries that are not filled with established artists, because that’s what sells. You’ll spend your time in the exact same shop- and restaurant-chains that dominate your own city. You’ll have this eerie feeling that everything looks exactly as it did in Paris/London/LA, because it does. You’ll go home with an empty feeling of not actually having been anywhere else, because in reality you haven’t, you’ve just visited another city shaped by the money-masters with your tax-money poured into their koffers as subsidies from our generous governments and the fakking EU, a boring world where everything is the same, the food, the clothes, the culture and the music, all streamlined to get you to spend as much money as possible on sh*t you don’t need and that is destroying the resources of this planet, just so that you can have the latest gadget from Apple/Google/Microsoft, regardless of the people who suffered to produce it for your convenience under slave-labor conditions…

The Spuistraat was one of the very few remaining alternative parts of Amsterdam and it hurts to see it destroyed and converted into yet another Starbucks-boulevard for the short-term financial interests of those who could not give a bigger f*ck if a city remains a loveable place to live in, it’s all about the money, bigger and bigger piles of it, you as a human being are replaceable and useless, unless you spend, spend, spend…feels great, doesn’t it? I have a very strong personal connection with the Spuistraat in general and ‘De Slang’, the Snake House, in particular, I have lost a large part of my own artistic history, I’ve had my biggest and best exhibitions there, I’ve spend manymany happy days surrounded by awesome people in and around that building, I’ve shown the wicked streetart to many visitors and have shared storied with them about this lovely part of town that is now being torn down…I’m sad, I’m devastated and I wish there was something I could do about it besides sharing my anger and frustration with you…I think it’s time for a Revolution, time to tell the Motherf*ckers on the top that their game is over and that we’re coming to drag them out of their mansions and give them a spongebath in the deepest, coldest canal in the (formerly) best city in the world…

F*ck you 1%, F*ck you Investment companies, and F*ck you very much ‘De Key’, you are supposed to help people find a home, not kick them out in the street just so that you can make a little bit more money, you suck, big time!!

© AmsterSam 2015

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— bij Slangenpand.

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