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We Are Here consists of a group of about 200 refugees who first organized themselves into a political group in 2012. The group is based in Amsterdam and demands citizenship for all of its members, some of whom have resided in the Netherlands without official papers for over 15 years. Their key uniting principle is that the group accepts no individual solutions for its members—only full recognition of the legitimacy of the group and its members as a whole. Because Dutch law forbids refugees from performing labor—with “creative expression” exempt from this official definition of labor—art has played a significant role in shaping and exploring the political demands of the group since its founding.

With contributions by: Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin (artists, Nantes) with Audrey Chan (artist and writer, Los Angeles), Immigration Movement International (artivist platform, various locations), Savannah Koolen (activist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam) and Elke Uitentuis (artist, We Are Here Action Center, Amsterdam), Cyriaque Kouenou (lead singer, We Are Here Band, Amsterdam), Yoonis Osman Nuur (representative, We Are Here, Amsterdam), Ahmet Ögüt (artist, Istanbul, Amsterdam, and London), Martijn Stronks (theorist, Amsterdam), and Thomas (representative, We Are Here, Amsterdam).

Table of contents

Foreword
Maria Hlavajova

Introduction
Jonas Staal

Manifesto
We Are Here

We Are a Political Group
Yoonis Osman Nuur Interviewed by Jonas Staal

We Exist
Yoonis Osman Nuur

We Are Here to Support
Elke Uitentuis and Savannah Koolen

Why We Are Here
Thomas

Tout est un / Everything is One
Cyriaque Kouenou

The Paradox of Visible Illegality: A Brief History of Dutch Migration Control
Martijn Stronks

Manifesto
Immigration Movement International

The Silent University
Ahmet Ögüt

Artists at Work: Patrick Bernier and Olive Martin
Audrey Chan

Colophon

Editor: Jonas Staal in dialogue with We Are Here
Associate Editor: Seyma Bayram
Coordinator and Proof Reader: Gwen Parry
Design: Remco van Bladel, Amsterdam with Andrea Spikker
Lithography and Printing: Drukkerij Raddraaier, Amsterdam
Language: English
Pages: 110
ISBN: 978-90-77288-19-1
Price: € 5

For inquiries or to order a copy of this publication, please send an e-mail to [email protected]