Vrankrijk is the historical center of the Dutch squatters’ scene – yes, Dutch, because it’s fame has exceeded the city of Amsterdam by far. Founded in the late 80′s, a place for political activism, live music, dance parties, discussions, a political home for people who are looking for orientation off the mainstream.
When I came to Amsterdam, the Vrankrijk gave me shelter, a harbor from where I could explore the city, a place where I could hang out unpretentiously, getting to know people, enjoying music and a beer.
Of course at some point I was settled elsewhere, and I grew out of this (pretty low-key) place and found new places for me. But still, from the beginning Vrankrijk felt like a home, and I was sad to hear that due to some incidents they had to close down all public activities.
Now, after being closed for several years, the Vrankrijk has been re-discovered by a young and vibrant scene, a new generation, so to say – the style hasn’t changed a bit – it’s the same people, or let’s say, a mix of squatters and hipsters now, just a younger generation.
I am happy for its return: It’s a statement because it’s the closest to the center (a 200 m from the dam, and the ‘Paleis’) squatted place in an environment that tends to get evermore commercial, evermore expensive. And it’s still here, after 25 years.