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From Freehouse to Neighborhood Co-op: The Birth of a New Organizational Form

28 may '15
Published in: Field 1 Journal
Essay by Sue Bell Yank

‘The co-op’s main challenge is to be exceedingly aware of how it changes and why. It must always be questioning what agendas are driving it forward and whether it is living up to its values. And because it is self-produced, the vast diversity of cultures, education levels, economic classes, and individual agendas it encompasses must also be self-critical and reflective. This kind of culture, the culture of a neighbourhood that is organized through cooperative methods, can only be built through millions of conversations, millions of interactions, crossing paths, and working together millions of times. It is an intricate dance with no end, the prospect of a self-run organization that can be focused and reliable, flexible and expansive. The importance of slow learning and cumulative change through an open and long-term process, is a difficult commitment for communities to retain in the face of the urgency, and even desperation that characterize the ongoing struggle for the right to live well.’

‘From Freehouse to Neighborhood Co-op: The Birth of a New Organizational Form,’ FIELD: A Journal of Socially-Engaged Art Criticism 1, no.1 (spring 2015), pp. 139-168.
related project:
Freehouse Zuid - Wijkwaardenhuis
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