Clearly Kabouter

Press Release:

The Gnomes March On

“Break out the nose flutes.
All Power to the Nature Spirits of the True Revolution.”

― Hakim Bey, author, TAZ

Autonomedia is proud to announce the launch of Clearly Kabouter: Chronicle of a Radical Dutch Movement, 1969–1974 ― our English-language edition of Coen Tasman’s magisterial historical study, Louter Kabouter: Kroniek van een Beweging, 1969–1974 (Amsterdam: Babylon-De Geus, 1996).

Clearly Kabouter is the fourth Autonomedia title to concentrate specifically on the political movements of what curator Annemarie de Wildt calls Holland’s radical “mythical” era. Among the movements of that era, the Kabouter Movement’s whimsical, nonviolent interventions served to coordinate impulses that ultimately transformed post-War Dutch political thinking.

“What makes the Kabouter Movement unique in comparison to other social movements of its time,” writes Coen Tasman, “is the ephemeral clustering of social currents and initiatives which, before Kabouter existed and after it finished, all tended to pursue separate tracks.”

Actuating any generalized “impulse-to-change” requires activating large groups of people to imagine new ways to enable their individual selves to reimagine the “Realities” they inhabit. When political action becomes fearlessly playful, any latent violent tendencies can be joyously transformed. The transformation of Reality requires real physical risks, and true change demands a visionary adventurism capable of gazing with a pure heart at all impossibilities. The Kabouters truly were the adventurous, revolutionary, vanguard of a utopian Orange Free State.

And so, for the first time in English, with real pride New York City’s Autonomedia Collective offers you the opportunity to explore our vision of the charismatic brilliance of this uniquely transformational historical movement, in all its warty glory.