The Antidote Movement – What we’re all about.

Antidote Festival is the first physical manifestation of The Antidote Movement – an international network of solidarity, collaboration and shared knowledge between artists, performers, choreographers, dancers, philosophers and other creatives. Antidote constitutes both a think tank and a transformative arts practice. Mobilizing the creative and intellectual talents of makers, thinkers and performers, we create online and physical laboratories in which we experiment with anti-capitalist strategies of creation and organisation.

We are looking for an alternative arts practice based on the values of interdependence, reciprocity, inclusivity and trust as opposed to competition, hipness, and an the concept of success as individual prosperity. We practice a vision that prioritizes process over product, and people over profit.By trying out different antidotes – by looking beyond the actual to find the possible – The Antidote Movement aims to find new (or forgotten) ways of co-creating, co-existing and collaborating. The movement focusses on two pillars in realizing this transformation. On the one hand we are building a sustainable network within which – through mobilizing questions, manifesto’s, shared litterature, essays and discussion – critique and ideas can be shared. This network constitutes the foundation for Antidote Festival.

Laboratory

The first edition of Antidote Festival is a three day happening that functions as a ‘laboratory’ where theses critiques and ideas can be practiced and where there’s space for experimentation. The dance festival makes our common project ‘pre-figurative’: through this manifestation we are directly bringing our research into practice. The antidote that we are looking for is immanent in the way we are building the festival. We’re experimenting with strategies of creation, curation and organisation that are democratic and non-hierarchical in nature. The fluid collective of the Antidote-makers exists of ‘commoners’: makers and dancers that approach their practice as a common good, a commons. The festival is also established through commoning. This means that the shared space will be democratically used and curated. Makers, performers and spectators not only engage with each other’s final products, but as well with each other’s processes and practices, and their common goal. Artists therefore will be challenged to synthesize their individual artistic needs and wishes with those of others and so are prompted to think and act in a connected, emphatic way.

No Backstage

The festival is No Backstage. By removing the material and philosophical separate ‘backstage’ area that is normally not accessible for them who are not artists, we want to strengthen the maker-spectator relationship. Mainstream producer-consumer relations between artists and audiences should be deconstructed in order to make their relationship deeper and more sustainable. The sharing of time, space, place, food and activities during the festival brings opportunities for conversation, discussion, one on one contact, and the posing of questions. How do we create a festival as public space for communal exchange, debate and inclusivity?

At Antidote Festival, mornings and early afternoons are dedicated to workshops, gaga-people classes, bodywork, rehearsals, technical build up, pre-performance stress and soothing forest hikes, open to makers and audience alike. Afternoons and evenings will be dedicated to sharing performance, music, food and drinks – to a new movement in dance & performance. Antidote Festival as utopian microsociety.

Contributors and audience

The first edition of Antidote Festival is a collaboration between professional makers & movers from Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Cape Town and Berlin. It’s a selection of people from a generation of young, professional artists and performers that want to “make it” in a capitalist world, while at the same time realizing that the current mechanisms of that world, with its neoliberal focus on competition, profit and individualism, are sustainable nor functioning nor satisfying.

By mobilising these people and through Antidote Festival showing them that there is an alternative, we will expand our shared intellectual capital and our social visibility. Naturally there is a larger audience that we hope to engage. Dance and theater lovers, dance and theater dummies, art experts, students, open minded business people, locals, tourists, treehuggers and last but not least the performing arts ‘establishment’ in The Netherlands for whom it will be important to be introduced to this new cultural force. They specifically will have to meet its potential, as it is them with whom the power now resides.

The Antidote Movement collaborates with the Herman van Veen Arts Center for its first edition of Antidote Festival. This arts organization was founded by the Dutch singer Herman van Veen in order to support young talent in the performing arts. The Herman van Veen Arts Center is located in Soest, where it has a beautiful green estate in which an art gallery and a landscape theater were created. The arts center aims to make (performing) arts accessible for underprivileged communities (such as refugees, financially underprivileged or disabled people). The Herman van Veen Arts Center forms the most beautiful location for our first happening.

Transformation

We realize that there is no short term satisfactory solution for today’s massive problems of growing inequality, economic precarity, polarisation, top downism and (intercultural) mistrust that are the consequences of decades of neoliberal governance. We need to make visible and then undo the internalized and neutralized ways of thinking and behaving that are installed within us by these structures. Then we can start to imagine and formulate more sustainable ways of living, creating and governing. And then we can show the world that there is an alternative. This is, as any real social change, a long and laborious process that needs a lot of groundwork that we are ambitious to do. If we want a transformation that makes artistic practices sustainable, we need to resist working against one another in the current competitive set up and start working together for a common good. Let Antidote Festival be a celebratory exercise in collectivity.

Join The Antidote Movement!