Cargo in Context is the successor of Cargo, a non-profit project space, that was founded in 2001 on de Realiteit in new town Almere. After having made quite a detour via Rwanda, Cargo has now landed in de Houthaven in Amsterdam. With an attractive project space that is based in de Bonte Zwaan (the Multicoloured Swan), a former ship for the shipper’s exchange, which in the last 10 years has become a vital new area for artist’s and creatives to nurture and launch their projects.
De Houthaven in Amsterdam is a typical pioneer’s area, perfectly fitting to the expertise of founder and producer Lia Gieling with all of her history carrying forth from projects in new towns like Almere (De Paviljoens), Nieuwegein, as an independent advisor and as curator in The National Art Gallery in Rwanda.
Only recently De Houthaven has been reinvented as a residential and a (creative) industrial area; its history as a huge port at the waterfront makes it a very inspiring neighbourhood. Where once ships from all over the world were coming here for trade, gradually a new area has been constructed from that, where people from all walks of life will be able to live on or near the waterfront. Besides De Bonte Zwaan is located at the border of Het IJ and the North sea Channel, which can be seen as a significant metaphor for a site where cargo from all over the world was once easily unloaded.
Cargo in Context has only site specific-projects on display. For this goal at least four times a year one or more artists will be invited, based on their existing body, so artists who witness a kind of responsibility towards society, to what is going on in the city, the country and in the world. With these projects Cargo aims to contribute to the social debate and the role of art and artists in it. The result will be on display in Cargo for six to seven weeks. During this period Cargo will also organize a public program, which can vary from a performance, a lecture, a film or possibly an excursion.