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Creating an Appropriate Space

Change life!

‘Change society!’

 These precepts mean nothing without the production of an appropriate space. – Henri Lefebvre

What is an appropriate space?

A space for sponteneity, creativity, and experimentation.

A space that welcomes new ideas, new forms in all its kinds; musical, creative, political, ecological.

A space for community, a collective carried by horizontal organization and consensus making.

Check out the Presentation by one of our monkeys about our urban gardening project!


November Happens like this

We’re using the webpage again. Its been a little silent on here for a while. We haven’t sat still, in fact, we do not sit still EVER, at least not long enough to write an update. Today it was raining the ENTIRE day, this day asked for sitting still. Anyway, lets discuss the future: here’s whats going on in November.

So below should appear a poster that I photographed. That has our weekly events for this month announced. Just to make sure I’ll type it out too.

Dance Impro at 19:30
Meditation Wake-up Sangha at 18:30
Acro Yoga at 19:15
Guitar lessons with Pierre at 14:00


Psytrance and OddPop on Friday 11th of November at 22:00

Coffee Cakes and Politics on Saturday 12th of November at 16:00

Salutogenesis workshop on health on Tuesday 15th of November at 10:00

General Assembly (a.k.a Monkey Moshpit) on the Thursday 17th of November at 19:00


And more.. We are working on an updated calendar. In the mean time, lets monkey it out with this good stuff.


Relocation and Revival of the Mandril!

Dearest monosapiens, friends, family, lovers, haters and ideal shapers.


We’re more than thrilled to be able to reconnect with you all here again and bring you some of the latest updates from Mandril land. We are aware that after April, after the eviction from the former home of the Mandril at Boschstraat 5, we have shown very little online presence. Luckily online silence doesn’t reflect offline activity and we can inform you that we’ve been working with small but dedicated crews on the new location of the Mandril Cultural and Political Centre, at Cabergerweg 45. Even though the structural damages are turning out to be less severe than we had initially speculated and lots of work has been carried out already, a lot remains to be done. It’s proving a lot of fun to breathe small queefs of life into a building that’s been in serious need for some tender loving care for such a long time. Boxes and couches have been moved, some floors have been cleaned and others thrown out, walls have been made mould-free and painted and all, tools have been organized and ideas and dreams have been shared. At the top of our to do list is the insulation, connecting electricity and water, launching our crowd funding campaign and many other tasks. To make this all happen we are organizing working days every Wednesday and Sunday, followed with a nice dinner. Excited to co-create with all of us? Come along and help out so that we can open and start hosting all the great events very soon. Keep an eye on this virtual space for further details and exact time!


Even though there’s much to be said about the “experiment with the city” (aka, the first cooperation between spontaneous idealist squatters and rule-abiding municipality officials) that we’ve embarked on for a full year now, the facts on the ground are that we can actually continue the Mandril project. We can confidently announce that over the next five years Maastricht will have this space to manifest alternative and free expressions of culture and political engagement, which has always been our number one priority. As such, the very definition of the word “experiment” entails that this process must essentially go through trials and errors, where each error serves the noble function to – ideally – learn and emerge improved and wiser from. Since government and squatters come from opposite sides of the political and practical spectrum, we’ve learned a great deal about each other’s worlds in the past year and eventually that can only lead to better forms of cooperation in the future. And we should aim for that, since at the core of both of our worlds there is an inherent interest in the improvement of our collective living and working spheres – i.e. the city.


On that point, there’s certainly also room for constructive criticism when it comes to the cultural/artistic ambitions and policies of our city, which have – in less than one year – gone from trying to attain the title of Euregion’s Cultural Capital 2018 to cutting subsidies of more than 40 cultural initiatives to the point of extinction for some. One, ironically small, consequence of this cultural schizophrenia is thus that the Toneelgroep Maastricht will no longer move into the previous Mandril location on Boschstraat 5, and so this building will remain empty until December. As such, we assume no ill intentions on behalf of the city in this process of collaboration, and as it is in fact really the very first time that such an experiment between squatters and politicians has ever been embarked upon, we mention this fact merely in light of the cultural direction that the city is heading towards than for some indirect spiteful comment to be thrown subtly at the city managers, which is effectively not our intention here and now. This fact does, however, emphasise the need for more autonomous cultural centres, or freezones, where people have the potential to manifest independent, self-sustaining forms of culture and art, free from the unreliable twists and turns of top-down financial systems which unfortunately still inherently influence the existence and functionings of many artistic and cultural initiatives.

As such, we’re happy to announce the rebirth of the Mandril Cultural and Political centre on Cabergerweg 45 (and truly hope for more freezones to emerge from the cultural rubble of the Capital2018 fiasco from now onwards!). You can contact us on this page for more information, questions, comments or feedback regarding the project. You’re also more than welcome to co-create this freezone with us in any way you see fit; from offering your helping hands and creative minds during the open work-days on Wednesdays and Sundays, ideological inputs and constructive criticisms we’re looking forward to receiving during the bi-weekly Asambleas (follow this page for more info) or through a message on any other mediocre week day for that matter. There are many, many ways of getting involved and shaping this project with all of us. Looking forward to seeing you hearing from you!


Information about the eviction of the Mandril Cultural and Political Centre (MCPC) and its future!

As some of you might know, the Mandril will soon get evicted – on the 1st of April we (the MCPC and the people who live here) must have left the building.

This is because the area will be renovated and new projects will inhabit these buildings. Our cultural freezone siblings the Hotel the Ossekop needed to be demolished for this, a big part of the Cultuurfront (also a cultural freezone) was also eaten by the bulldozer in a surprising turn of events and so the Mandril too must make space. Our own building will be filled up by the Toneelgroep Maastricht (theatre group), and soon the indie film house Lumiere will be relocated to another empty building on the terrain, next to the Muziekgieterij.

To many of us who have spent great moments in these buildings (Hotel and Mandril), this news might be sad and it is a loss for what these places have been and could have become. However, as such, having also to find a sustainable solution to the problem at hand, we’ve been working very hard together with some of the more enthusiastic people (especially Gerdo van Grootheest from the municipality and political party GroenLinks and Marcello Presenza, from IPAL/Belvedere) to constructively work on a way forward.

Squatting has recently been made illegal in the Netherlands, so we might need to look for alternative ways – squatting 2.0 one could say. We have therefore been lobbying for more than a year and as a result we have entered a process of collaboration with the municipality in order to still be able to continue co-creating a space for cultural participation and open, accessible political engagement in Maastricht. To this end, a decision has been made to move into a building located at Cabergerweg: the Kunstfront – one of the existing cultural freezones in Maastricht. This building is for many reasons (including political obstacles they’ve faced, insufficient resources and lack of communal help), in dire need for some good care, structural work and a lot of renovation, which will take some time but can also be seen as an exciting challenge.

Essentially, we could spend many units of electricity, virtual ink, real tears and polarising protestations here focusing on all the specifics which make the world an occasionally unjust, incoherent and unequal space to inhabit.. instead, we’d rather pour our blood, sweat and cheers into the creation of our new beautiful space, a fusion between the Kunstfront, Mandril and all those who care for culture, social freedom, and experimenting with new ways to live and interact with one another! For this we’d like to invite you, your friends, grandparents and imaginary lovers to join us and co-create this new home and cultural centre together!

BUT(!), we will not just leave without a celebration of all the many things we have enjoyed in the last 5 years of Mandril! Check our facebook page and event for more info about the upcoming MANDRIL FESTIVAL that will take place on 14th, 15th and 16th of March with workshops, music, food and much more! And, your helping hands and ideas are very, very welcome, so please contact us if you are interested.

And on a very concrete note, we will also need a lot of help in order to move everything out of this building in time and into the new space. For that we will be working full-time from the 5th to the 9th of March in the Mandril – and part-time many weekends before and after. If you could, please help with a few hours. We will post on this page when help is needed. As a joined effort this will be much easier and more fun!

For any further questions, please approach us at any event.

Have a good day and thanks for reading!

Mandril on TV

A while ago K.I.M. which stands for art in Maastricht (in Dutch that would be Kunst in Maastricht) and is a local tv program made a short documentary about the Mandril Cultural and Political Centr. The video is a compilation of different projects and people in Maastricht, but at minute 7.26 you can see the part about Mandril

Website is up again!

It took quite a while, because organizing actual events were a priority, but now the website is working again!

For now you can find a short video about the Mandril and the collectively written Manifesto.

Soon(er or later) there will be more info on this website. If you want to know what is going on at the Mandril at the moment, have a look at the facebook page

For questions and suggestions write an email to info [at]

Mandril flier small