(Un)usual Business Festival: Gat in de Markt

11 September 2016, 12:00–17:00 / Casco HQ

Festival of alternative economies at Casco

(Un)usual Business (UB) warmly invites you to their festival Gat in de Markt [“gap in the market”]. Gat in de Markt is a festival for and by commoners – people who have taken control over their daily lives and found ways to collectively organize basic needs. Stroll around an unusual marketplace where local practitioners like de Weggeefwinkel, VOKO, Taste Before You Waste, and de Koppelting present their wares and services. There’s a bookbinding showcase with designers Anja Groten and Karoline Swiezynski, and political bookstore de Rooie Rat has some of their favorite titles available alongside Casco’s bookshop, which has a discount on all its titles for this occasion. Artist Merel Zwarts gives a flag workshop for kids (ages 6-11) whose celebratory parade of flags will later mark the end of the festival.

Alongside the market there’s also a substantial program of talks providing a deeper inquiry into the theory of the commons in relation to practice. Philosopher Merijn Oudenampsen gives a lecture to discuss the tension between the practices of holding companies and the commons, and together with artist Annette Krauss we take a look at the commons through feminist perspectives, with a particular focus on the relationship between theoretical and practical approaches. With Gat in de Markt, UB is brings together the initiatives and people they’ve been working with over the past few years to show Utrecht that alternative economies already exist and that not only are they possible, they’re flourishing!

For the past three years, UB, the action research collective initiated by Casco in collaboration with Kritische Studenten Utrecht, has explored the potential for commons-based practice and developed case studies with local commoning practices. Rethinking the Commonsthe world is our home, not your property began as a reading group organized in collaboration with Kritische Studenten Utrecht in 2014, in May 2015 they formed a research collective and have subsequently been working together as a semi-autonomous group with a participatory budget from Casco. They have organized lectures, workshops, and the How To Get Together Series, where they spoke with various initiatives from Utrecht about their practices in the fields of food, care, and housing. A third research group, launched in October 2015, will have their research published in the second UB journal; to be presented with UB’s brand new website during Gat in de Markt.


12:00–17:00 hrs Marketplace with stalls by Weggeefwinkel, VOKO, Taste Before You Waste, de Rooie Rat, Casco, de Koppelting, and (Un)usual Business
12:30–12:45 hrs Opening welcome by (Un)usual Business including the official launch of their website and latest edition of the UB journal
13:00–14:30 hrs Lecture I: Waarom de participatiesamenleving een conservatief project is (En wat dat betekent voor zelforganisaties), by Merijn Oudenampsen, moderated by Steyn Bergs (in Dutch)
14:30–15:00 hrs Short presentation by Anja Groten and Karoline Swiezynski on the collectively assembled publication, open to all contributions throughout the duration of the festival
15:30–17:00 hrs Lecture II: Feminist Perspectives on the Commons, by Annette Krauss (in English)
15:30–17:00 hrs Een stad vol vlaggen, flag making workshop for kids (ages 6-11) by Merel Zwarts

More activities are still to be announced – stay tuned and join us in the gap in the market!


Casco’s program is made possible with financial support from the City Council of Utrecht, Mondriaan Fund and DOEN Foundation. Casco is part of Arts Collaboratory.

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