Radio Voorwaarts puts a spotlight on urban renewal

Radio Voorwaarts puts a spotlight on urban renewal

May 16, 2018 |  by  |  Art, Event, Lifestyle
About the author
Jerry is the name, online is my game. I'm a digital enthusiast, ranging from old skool gaming and Space Invaders to iPads and social media. The integration of digital elements in everyday life and art have my particular interest, and besides that I'm part time rockaholic.

There’s hardly any part of town that can escape the emerging trend of urban renewal. The city center shifts from the Dam to West, Noord and other spots. And that’s exactly why Mateo Vega and Yannesh Meijman, two graduates from Amsterdam University College, decided to create a short fictional film, which takes place on the eve of the eviction of an (anti)squat community.

The movie is partly a product of our frustrations about Amsterdam, but it’s also an ode to the city.

The community was home to Radio Voorwaarts, a pirate radio and namesake to the film itself. There’s hardly any fiction that artistically explores the subjective and emotional dimensions of the feelings of loss that undoubtedly accompany urban renewal, which makes this project all the more welcome. The film isn’t featuring any main characters but merely locals, and it’s structured as a chain reaction of encounters between different people who all have their own emotional connection to the space.

Hedonism vs. activism

It has become almost impossible to find affordable housing in Amsterdam, and there is increasingly less space, literally and figuratively, for otherness in the city. “The story was actually born while we had a massive hangover in Berlin, last summer. Although the movie is partly a product of our frustrations about Amsterdam, it’s also an ode to the city. When a place that we dearly loved ceases to exist, we are sad and melancholic, but also grateful for having had the opportunity to experience it. Our film is about this feeling, the bittersweet beauty of fleetingness.”


The makers didn’t do the film academy or similar studies, but both have a university background. It was difficult for them to maintain the balance between hedonism and activism, but it has been and still is an enticing rollercoaster for the both of them. In order to finish their movie and bring it to the public, they still need to make some crucial steps in the post-production and distribution. For this purpose they’re running a crowdfunding campaign, which ends in a few days in order to have the movie première in June at Kriterion.

Interested in how you can support Radio Voorwaarts? Or would you like to know more? You can contribute to the crowdfunding project here, or email to for more information!

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