As the government withdraws from public space, small initiatives become visible, holding on to values such as sharing, self-sufficiency and sustainability as well as social and community development. Groups co-organize neighborhood care, safety net projects, children’s daycare, solar energy cooperatives and food cooperatives. Here the definition of economy develops beyond the concepts of work, money and consumption. What is happening in Utrecht? What kinds of initiatives are emerging here? How are you and I part of this? And how does all of this influence the meaning of “economy”? 

We call these initiatives “community economies.” In the words of feminist economic geographers Julie Graham and Katherine Gibson, authors of 'A Postcapitalist Politics' (2006), “The economy is something we do, not just something that does things to us.” At the 'Conversation Market', which, as its name reveals, takes the shape of a marketplace, we explore various alternative forms of “business” and in place of money, conversations are exchanged. Research has so far included conversations with Utrecht-based initiatives In De Ruimte, De Rooie Rat, Repair Café, Het Ruilrestaurant, Stichting Solidair, De Achtertuin and others.  

The 'Conversation Market' is part of '(Un)usual Business', a long-term research collaboration between Casco - Office for Art, Design and Theory and Kritische Studenten Utrecht that explores “community economies.”  

Join us at the 'Conversation Market' and share your knowledge and experience! 

The 'Conversation Market' is organized in the framework of Call of the Mall, the art manifestation at shopping mall Hoog Catharijne. It is a collaboration between Casco, '(Un)usual Business', Call of the Mall, artist Aimée Zito Lema and designer leRyan, as well as various cooperatives, collectives and self-organized initiatives in Utrecht.