Mandril Cultural and Political Center
The Mandril Cultural and Political Center (MCPC) is a volunteer-run, community-based space for creative expression, collaboration, and political discussion in Maastricht. Established as a squat in 2009 and forced to relocate in 2014, the MCPC aims to maintain itself as a non-commercial island in an increasingly exclusive, consumerist, and gentrifying environment. The Mandril is self-organized, relying on bottom-up structures and initiatives. Everyone who enters is considered a volunteer (monkey) and invited to contribute to, transform, and reinvent the space. Decisions are consensus-based and taken collectively. The goal is to create an open space for inspiration, experimentation, and creation in which everyone is empowered to organize, host and facilitate events - a creative playground in which the learning from each other is celebrated and possibility of failure and imperfection embraced. We are a collective of dreamers, doers, and thinkers that is built on values of inclusion, diversity, sharing, and mutual support. We strive to create a safe space in which discrimination has no room, by cultivating a culture of respect and mutual practical and emotional support. We aim to promote alternative approaches to art and politics, allowing people to challenge norms while continually engaged in critical reflection on our own values and practices. We connect people and initiatives from different backgrounds and facilitate an exchange of skills and ideas. At the same time, we reach out to a variety of groups and initiatives to encourage collaboration and promote awareness for crucial political issues. Additionally to fostering social sustainability we aim to inspire a culture of environmental awareness. The physical space is largely built through reusing, recycling and upcycling existing materials. Similarly, we continually work on keeping the day-to-day running of the place environmentally sustainable by repairing rather than replacing and making use of products considered as “waste”. We invite you all to the Mandril to share your passions and ideas, to join us to play music, paint, discuss politics, garden, dance, and celebrate life together.