About us

Who are we?

Schijnheilig is a nomadic collective dedicated to claiming neglected spaces and transforming them into creative, freely accessible and non-commercial places.  Schijnheilig is a social centre; our activities include visual arts, music, theater, poetry, lectures as well as everything that emerges within and around social and political practices.

Squatting & politics

Squatting is part and parcel of the history and development of Schijnheilig. For Schijnheilig, squatting is a political act, signaling housing shortage and the waste of abandoned space. At the same time we want to show that you can make a positive contribution in the city by using empty spaces in buildings that are otherwise simply left to waste away. Even more so, for Schijnheilig, squatting is part of an attitude that does not automatically accept the status quo (regarding authorities, commercial organizations and urban development).


Schijnheilig wants to engage in an open and mutual collaborative relationship. Our projects function as meeting places as much as spaces to perform and exhibit. Visual artists who come to organize a show in the exhibition space, for example, also help run the gallery during the course of their exhibition.


In July 2011, Schijnheilig was evicted from the Passeerdersgracht 23BG. In the heart of the Amsterdam ‘entertainment area’ this previously ruined school building became a buzzing meeting place for artistic, scientific and politically engaged people, which no VIP’s, entree prices or what so ever. On the 5th of July, the police violently arrested 150 people that protested against the eviction and handed 50 people over to foreign detention. We are still working on police complaints. For more information about previous projects, check this page.


At the moment, the Schijnheilig organises events in the Vondelbunker, an old atomic bunker in the Vondelpark. We organise weekly meetings on Thursday nights (KONTRA:BAR & Activistische Salon). Other events like music nights and exhibitions are published on the Vondelbunker website.

How do we work?

  • All our activities are publicly accessible and free of charge. The only exception are fund-raising events, during which a voluntary donation can be collected.
  • Our crew volunteers their time and energy. We support and stimulate projects initiated by organizations that function similarly. In principle, we prefer activities that can survive without big sponsorship, no matter how good the intentions of the organizing parties may be. In short, we operate on a non-commercial basis. There are plenty of other options if this is not what you are looking for.
  • If you want to organize a project with us for which you receive a grant or sponsorship, we have some additional conditions. All demands of the financing party regarding the use of our space and the surrounding area need to be communicated with us in writing. Display of sponsoring merchandise and material is not appreciated on the premises.
  • We like to make and keep contact with enjoyable organizations and projects that come our way. In order to maintain this approach, in light of the many requests we currently receive, we are unfortunately not able to accept all projects.