The 11th edition of 2.Dh5 will take place in Maastricht. The perfect location for the next edition’s topic: ‘grenzen’, which is the Dutch word for boundaries, borders, and limits. They are important for many aspects of activism and changing the world, often with a negative connotation. Just think of borders and laws and how they form an obstacle to a world with more liberty, justice, and humanity.

Migration activists even put the struggle against borders and for free migration into the center of their activism. We want to take a look at the future of this struggle in a time when the deadly effects of the walls-up policies, the imprisonments, and the deportations become so obvious, especially at the gates of Fortress Europe.

Borders are often source and symptom of problems: (armed) conflicts on border demarcation, the continuation of arbitrary colonial borders, unjust international trade. In a different area, the boundaries of the law seem to be pushed further and further in the name of security, enabling further repression and limiting our privacy more and more.

Still, in our practice we often want to put up boundaries and limits, ‘draw the line’. Think of limits of growth. Earth has been pushed to the limits in many terms by the continuing expansion of production and consumption. E.g. the limits of natural and environmental resources for intense farming, urbanization, and industrial growth. Theoretically, many people agree that we cannot go on like this, but how do we transform this into practical actions? Is it for instance possible to stop climate change without stopping capitalism as well?

There is no limit to imagination, but on other topics there are intense discussions about limiting for example freedom of speech, just think of hate speech. Is there a right to hate speech? Where are the limits of technological advances? What is the difference between limit and abolishment?

Of course, boundaries and limits we respect (or don’t) are a topic as well. Changing the world can be frustrating and despairing. Also when it comes to how our movement(s) work: taking responsibilities and acting out agreements, we often draw up the limits for others which we ourselves cross from time to time. But then, of course, crossing our own limits might lead to burn-out and leaving the movement. How do we prevent burn-out, how do we respect our own limits, how can we be sustainable in our activities and activism?

Speaking of personal limits, how do we prevent and how do we react to the violation of personal boundaries, e.g. sexual assaults? Do we need to find our own ways of dealing with such violations, without engaging repressive institutions? The way violations were handled in the recent past shows how difficult a proper reaction can be, so how do we improve in this area?

There is another type of boundaries and limits: these that are within us but which are influenced strongly by society. When it comes to gender and sexual identities vast progress seemed to have happened in the deconstruction of dichotomy and predefined identities. But how deep are these changes? And will they just redirect progress to the level of the individual and help create new boundaries?

Speaking of society, there is the question of limits to our actions: of course, militant vs non-violent. But  what about how to line up at actions and demonstrations, for instance in terms of strategy and tactics or taking into account co-participants. And what to do we think about legal limits to our actions?

When it comes to the question of ‘society and us’, what about our openness for ‘outsiders’? How can we be approachable for non-activists, how can we reach out to them without cutting on our ideas and messages? Do we do the right actions? Did we do the right actions and need to get back to them? Do we need to do completely different actions and need to radically re-think activism?

These questions and many more will be asked at the festival. As always, we will be trying not to concentrate on the problems but on possible solutions. On finding ways out of dead-ends. And on how to strengthen our different movements together. We can’t push the limits to far in this one!

What is 2.Dh5?

Ten years ago we started organizing such a festival because we thought it would be good to organize space for the exchange of information and knowledge about methods, tactics and strategies to achieve change. The name 2dh5 stems from a bold and mostly fatal chess move.

We like to move around with the festival and choose a new city every second year. This time, for the first time it will be held in Maastricht.

The festival is all DIY and low-budget, but we also try to ‘offer quality’. But we expect participants to help out and play an active role in the program. The festival starts on Friday Febuary 19th with a quiz and some cultural fun. On Saturday evening there will be a party, with also some serious elements. But workshops and presentations will continue at the main location on Sunday again.