Who is KONTRA?

KONTRA is a Rotterdam based grass-roots project that explores the boundaries between art and activism while seeking alternative ways of art-making, partying and art management. We search for countercultures- Is there still anything that could classify as a counterculture, that breaks free from established norms of society to the point where it stimulates reflection?

Fully conscious of the existence of a positive relationship between art and activism, we believe that critically analysing the normative society in which we find ourselves inserted in, will end up blossoming in sub-cultural movements such as this one. We strongly believe positive societal transformation can be achieved through art and thus, this project has given us the opportunity and space to express this without the usual discussions related to the context behind an artwork. We believe that art is here to make statements and help society become better as a medium through which people express their beliefs and ideas, connected to their current life while commenting on the past and imagining the future.

Through KONTRA we feel that we can contribute to the (re)creation of a better society by opening a path through the combination of various visions and stories. Because, KONTRA is about reshaping the future, making a statement in regard to the contemporary situation, tearing down stereotypes, barriers and biases. Through KONTRA we invite everyone to think, participate, and act towards a better future shaped by the now and with the knowledge of the yesterday.

We are KONTRA art being isolated from the social landscape; we believe it has the power of changing perceptions and therefore is a vital push for cross-[insert anything] understanding.

We are KONTRA singular artistic projects where the artists and the organizers stay separate; we invite everyone to be part of our creation, to share skills and ideas in a community we hope to keep on expanding.

We are KONTRA inertia and safety in expression, looking for fresh minds with strong heads and a desire to shape their surroundings, to explore new layers of their own potential.

We are KONTRA the reality of ‘artmaking for exposure’, striving for fair pay within our means and transparency in business.

We are KONTRA the notion that success depends on the lottery of one’s birth; that said, we strive for including every nationality, every gender, every disability, every mental state, and every material status equally and with respect.

We are KONTRA the mundanity of partying, mixing visuals, music, and vibes in a kaleidoscope of artistic expressions.

KONTRA is about giving voice to the wall-flowers.

KONTRA is about raising your voice and not being afraid- because also you are not alone.

KONTRA is about hope.

KONTRA is acknowledging our differences while celebrating them too.

KONTRA is about triggering and questioning the mainstream culture while creating a sense of communal individualism because we will only be free until every single one of us is free too.

We aim to keep activating and stimulating those who make political and socially engaged art. Creating events that celebrate freedom of expression and question mainstream society. KONTRA will exist as long as there is a need for it to exist. As long as it creates a useful space within society while creating a sense of communal individualism.

~co-written by Joana Cavaco, Kolijn Jagersma, and Nikki Georgiou~