Interview for WdKA

Here comes my teacher profile at WdKA!

photography Nora Börding

WdKA is delighted to welcome Selçuk Balamir, who joins our team of tutors in the academic year 2020-2021.

What is your branch of knowledge and subject?

I am theory tutor in New Earth / Social Practices, political agent provocateur in eco-social design.

What is your source of inspiration?

The movements fighting for Climate Justice. Disruptive troublemakers on the frontlines, resilient life defenders at the grassroots, and generous caregivers behind the scenes: together we dream, together we move, together we fight, together we change, and together we build. All my hope, all my trust and all my resolve springs from this togetherness weaved through struggles across continents.

What defines you as a tutor? Your strongest points?

Being a tutor is a new experience and a title for me. Relevant subjectivities that I inhabit are designer, commoner, strategist, facilitator and community-builder. I make people laugh, but I’m never really sure if they laugh with me or at me.

What is your dream/goal as a tutor?

I’d like to become a tutor who inspires students to take sound, daring and exemplary positions, leading us to and through the great transformations ahead. If successful, the designers of this decade’s rapid, just and comprehensive transition will be remembered for generations to come.

Name one item from your bucket list?

I have yet to find ways to cause lasting and irreversible reputational, logistical and financial damage to fossil fuel companies.

Whom would you call true innovator?

Past social movements that gave us the rights and freedoms that we take for granted. Think peasant uprisings, slave rebellions, abolitionists, suffragettes, pacifists, labour movements, resistance movements, civil rights, gay rights, just to name a few. They have all caused disorder in their times because they were all coming from the future.


Shell Must Fall! declaration

Before we pose our question, we would like to explain why and how Shell Must Fall.

As long as you remain a company that is dedicated to maximising profits and short-term shareholder value, we know you will not keep fossil fuels in the ground. We know you won’t decommission you own infrastructure, nor provide a fair transition for workers, nor compensate damaged communities, nor repair the countless ecosystems that your operations have devoured.

So this is why Shell Must Fall.

But don’t worry, we are not gonna question you on any of these things today.

Instead, we are here to announce that our coalition is determined to make YOU, Royal Dutch Shell, FALL, by any legal, economic, or political means necessary. We hereby commit to canceling any future shareholders meetings and call upon allies, society and the government to dismantle you.

We will tax you, regulate you, split you up, socialise you, nationalise you, expropriate you, prosecute you, and bankrupt you. And while we make your dirty business inoperable, we will make sure to build a clean, affordable and just energy democracy.

So you see, today is a historic day! Because today you are witnessing the last ever Shell AGM! Because in the midst of a climate emergency the last thing that we need is the shareholders of a gas and oil giant carrying on business-as-usual.

So we say: May 2020 be the first year without a Shell AGM!

So we wanted to finish by saying that, perhaps you may look down on us, and you may believe that your empire is too big to fail, or too big to fall. But at some point, so did the monarchs and the aristocrats.

It is time, not for you to be on the right side of history, it is time for your business model to become history.

And so really the only question that we have for the board and also for the shareholders: Since there will be no more AGMs, how are you planning to spend your free day next year?


Van Gogh Museum drops Royal Dutch Shell!

Here is a powerful idea whose time has come:

Yet history only advances piecemeal; some cling to the past to destroy the future, while others come from the future to destroy the present. Fossil fuel companies are doing all they can to stop the passing time. We are a threat to their status-quo, because we come from the future.

Sometimes rock-solid foundations melt away and tectonic shifts propel us towards forward. Suddenly a new idea emerges and makes age-old and all-mighty façades appear obsolete. Some may resist change, but history eventually catches up.

Such was the challenge we posed to cultural institutions. They would either choose comfort, prestige and establishment and forgo all credibility, or they would embrace change and stand in the right side of history. We left them with no choice but to take sides.

We argued that Van Gogh Museum had to side with climate justice and refuse Royal Dutch Shell‘s sponsorship. We were told there was nothing wrong with their collaboration and that their partnership was scientific, ethical and sustainable.

They are proven wrong. We are now vindicated. They may claim our actions had nothing to do with the end of their deal, but we know better. Hard to maintain a relationship with a toxic lover that nobody likes. Better to dump them and move on.

There is no shortage of struggles between right and wrong so starkly juxtaposed. What made Fossil Free Culture NL achieve this victory only two years after its inception is its dedication to creatively and strategically engage in disobedience. It brought the crisis home, where dissent was neither expected nor tolerated. It transformed the museum space, once unconcerned and unaffected by climate chaos, into a stage to perform, experience and expose fear, anger and grief in face of catastrophe.

What lessons can be drawn from its experience? And perhaps most importantly: where do we go next? We have certainly no time left to wait for the dust to settle. We are already on our way to join Code Rood to put an end to gas extraction in Groningen. We remain full of resolve and passion to pursue our creative and disruptive interventions until Shell is no more.


End The Fossil Fuel Age Now!

Life is fragile, and so is art.

Shell sponsors the Van Gogh Museum; the destroyer of life pretends to protect art. As a response, Fossil Free Culture NL unfurls a curtain of paper sheets in coordinated motion. Bodies are provoked and sheets are torn —but the action speaks louder than the words.

We will continue staging our anger until hypocrisy is eradicated from all cultural institutions. We will bring the End of the Fossil Fuel Age and usher a Fossil Free Culture that cherishes the fragility of life, and art.

And we are not joking.


Stand up for la ZAD.

La #ZAD in #NDDL is under attack. The French State, unsurprisingly, breaks promises, uses violence and destroys livelihoods —all for the fantasy of a “return to normal”. Because they are afraid of fresh organic produce, free wholesome bread and self-made dwellings. Because they cannot accept people living in autonomy, solidarity and harmony. Because they cannot tolerate another way of being, an art of living, the paths to utopias.

And yet, unsurprisingly, they fail to understand what la ZAD is all about. People will reoccupy this place and countless others because they are ungovernable. People will keep cultivating the land because they are nature defending itself. People will keep taking care of each other because they come from the future. No bulldozer, no tear gas and no army can ever contain the coming spring.

Stand up for la ZAD. Defend it, rebuild it and spread it everywhere.



We are at the very early stages of what could become our next great adventure: co-creating sustainable, collective living for ourselves and loved ones. Concretely, we are interested in applying for a tender to develop a self-built, circular social housing —right here, in Amsterdam Oost. Since this is wildly ambitious, we are aware we cannot do it alone: we need your wisdom, inspiration and perhaps even participation!

Could you take a few minutes to flex your network muscle? Think about who we should collaborate with, who may have the skills we need, or who is a great fit for the art of living we wish to create. Fundraisers, wordsmiths, inventors, facilitators, pirates —we count on your magic of free association!

Feel free to share this callout in your circles, and drop us a line if you’d like to follow future developments 🙂



Ursula K. Le Guin

“To die was merely to go on in another direction” remarks Laia Osaieo Odo, in The Day Before the Revolution, the day she passes away. Now that our very own Odo is gone, all we have left to do is to bring about her Revolution. Rest in power, comrade.

Ursula LeGuin.jpg