geuzen on Sun, 7 Feb 1999 23:18:17 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Amsterdam Hand-over

An anonymous contribution to "UNLIMITED.NL-2", an exhibition curated by
Hou Hanru about the process of urban transformation in the Netherlands.
De Appel
Nieuwe Spiegestraat 10
1017 DE Amsterdam 

Declaration of the Amsterdam Hand-over

Let us face the facts: the majority of the inhabitants and cashflow of
the Amsterdam city state is of non-Dutch origin. This makes all the talk
about 'integration' of 'communities' into the Dutch nation obsolete. 


Because there is nothing to integrate with!  The Dutch are a hidden
minority in Amsterdam.  The more they hide, the better it gets. Start by
rewriting city history.  Amsterdam was always alien to its immediate
surroundings.  For centuries it was inhabited by extra-provincial
immigrants, (from De Vecht and de Amstel to Lelystad, Purmerend and
Bakkum).  These clever yokels were forcing the locals to leave even back

Reinvent the future: develop Amsterdam as a dynamic migrational
mainport, the prime hub for all the unwanted refugees and nomads heading
towards Europe. This transparent business concept will not only deal
with facilitating influx but will also make arrangements to solve the
Dutch Question. Every newcomer will be matched by the opting out of a
Dutch aboriginal. There should be no need to use force.  The opportunity
to flee Dutchness will be irresistible.  Simply celebrate a farewell to
Dutch History and its paraphernalia, (street organs, Anne Frank,
Rembrandt, canals, Casa Rosso, kabouters, human sex). Let us skip the
Long March through the worn-out Dutch institutions.  Let us stop
projecting demographic fantasies into the toxic fog of the North Sea. 
No Marathon but a short and instant sprint. Stop clinging onto your
clogs. Burn them - or sell them to a tourist.  Then leave while you
still have some pitiful dignity.

This is how we will do it.  The Handover of Amsterdam to exogenous
elements will occur on April 30, 2000. The conclusive evaporation of
Dutchness requires both an exit strategy and an appeal to the
post-colonial spirit of what will become a global human capital.

The Ceremony. That very day, all the Dutch who have not been evacuated
will rush to Dam square and happily hand over their identity-cards and
passwords to the first non-Dutch they bump into.  This will symbolise
the voluntary withdrawal of Dutch administration.  All Dutch tourists
who normally flood the town on this day will be subject to a lock-out
and diverted to so-called Go-Areas from where they can either return
home or move on to camp-sites in the province.  Once the final element
of Dutchness has left, the multitude will throng the streets in
celebrations which will last forever!

A truly global city goes beyond images of shared identity and
connectivity. It transcends the heritage industry and the relics of the
nation-state. The free flow of capital and information will finally boil
down to a concrete sovereignty.  All claims will be formalised
immediately. All desires will be realised on the spot.  Amsterdam will
go beyond subordination to meaningless local mindsets of cultural,
national identity.

This structural adjustment program for the new city requires and begins
with the eradication of multi-cultural discourse and its routines of
normalisation and conditional legitimacy. This will not be a mere change
in speed for the exhausted process of adapting people and principles to
the disintegrating fiction of controlled transformation, but a radical
letting go of legal, democratic and mediated acts and procedures
designed to maintain the grip of Dutchness on Amsterdam.

Dutch cultural heritage is a serious obstacle because it keeps the
fiction of integration alive. Amsterdam will have to liberate itself
from being an endless replica of itself in the 17th Century. All
museums, monuments and facades are empty simulacra of this heritage,
casting a spell of authenticity and legitimacy on the local
social-democratic order. An auction will be held to repossess them to
the lowest bidder. They can be transported, dematerialised or
transformed at random. Amsterdam has nothing to lose but its historical
chains. The imperfect noise and litter of the world will then reveal
itself to the tyranny of goodwill and progressive pastoralism. A
theme-park reservation will be designed for the Dutch in the Amsterdamse
Bos. There they can relish their nostalgia without fear of leakage.  The
city itself can finally realise its potential of becoming a laboratory
of intra-cultural lifestyles, post-national enterprise and sublime
planetary consciousness.
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