Save Ungdomshuset or The Youth House

My good friend Maja just sent me an email about the riots that have been happening in Copenhagen. People have been protesting against the Danish government’s decision to demolish the Ungdomshuset or The Youth House.

The Ungdomshuset was constructed in 1897 and was used primarily as the Danish socialist group’s headquarters. The place is significant to the history of the Danes—the International Women’s Conference was held there in 1910 and both Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg delivered speeches there. In the 1950’s, Brugsen offered to buy the building so it could tear it down and build one of their supermarkets. The local government at that time, recognizing the historical significance of the building, decided to sell it instead to a group of folk musicians. Unfortunately, due to financial reasons, they had to sell it back to the government in the late 70’s. The building slowly became a squat for young people, musicians, and artists. In 1982, the government chose not to evict the people living there and instead made an agreement with them that they could remain there for free if they use the building as a venue for concerts, exhibits, seminars, and other cultural activities.

In 2001, despite the agreement and the popularity and success of the cultural center, the government sold The Youth House to Faderhuset, a Christian fundamentalist right-wing sect. Efforts have been made to buy it back, but the religious group, with the government backing them up, has rejected all the offers. They’ve also announced their plans to demolish the place and turn it into a parking lot.

Although I have never been to The Youth House (or even Copenhagen), I want to help stop this atrocity from happening. While I was living in Barcelona, Maja and I, along with 3 other friends, approached a similar alternative “cultural center” and made a deal for an art studio space. They gave us permission to use a huge gallery/area for free, and in exchange, we had to conduct free art classes to the public. It was a really good arrangement, not only for us, but also for the community.

Please support alternative art centers. Go to http://www.thatswhy.dk/ and sign the petition against the demolition of the Ungdomshuset.

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One Response to “Save Ungdomshuset or The Youth House”

  1. Nicole Smith Says:

    Steph,

    I have signed the petition and will send it on to others so that we can stop this immediatly. It is so good to hear you guys around the world fighting for something you believe in. Besitos

    nicole

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