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!

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