What is De Sering
De Sering is a people's kitchen, public space, and host to many different initiatives in one.
De Sering aims to create public space. Space that is available free of charge, or as cheaply as possible, for the ideas and initiatives of the community. We are home to the People's Kitchen, experimental restaurant TestTafel, coffee pop-up Subcult, and loads of events organised by our guests.
De Sering is a work in progress. Any help is always welcome!
Our goals & mission
De Sering was originally created with the idea that it is critical for activism - and for the political left in general - to rebuild communities. It is our belief that, as we live in the most isolated and lonely time and place in history, it is by no accident that we also live in the most isolated and impotent time in activist/leftist history.
In order to rebuild communities, we believe it is best to start off by sharing food.
We therefore serve meals as cheaply as possible - cheaper than most people can cook for themselves - and offer space for free to people from the community and to activists.
We believe that by sharing food, people from very different communities can meet and bond more easily. By offering a free space, we make it possible for a community to organise their own events and we create an opportunity for activists to connect with this community, thereby offering a chance to people that normally cannot participate in activism and politics to claim their space. Besides this, we offer cheap large scale catering - think thousands of meals - for protests, actions or meetings of activist organisations.
In the future we want to build a network of locations based on the same principles. These locations will be sociocraticly organised and led by their participants. At the very least, we hope to have a positive impact on society by combatting loneliness and hunger, and by offering free space for the activities from the community. Ideally, we construct the foundation for a true future workers movement.
In order to make this a reality, we want to expand our activities beyond cooking and serving food. We believe that if we want to make a community and activism/politics as accessible as possible we need to be able to offer other services. Things like childcare, so parents can attend meetings or visit just to connect, or, for example, courses in public speaking, reading and writing so that access to politics and activism can be broadened.
In order to fund all this, we are building a network of non-profit businesses. Organisations that operate within the market but don't have owners and have a hard cap on salary. The first example of such a business is TestTafel, operating out of the same building as De Sering.
As an association, De Sering has no owners. The financial decisions are made by a board elected by the members. At the moment its not yet possible to become a member of De Sering. We hope to change this in early 2023.
We want to make our finances as public and transparent as possible. To make this a reality, we are working on tools that give anyone access to our financial numbers, updated week by week. We hope to have this ready in mid 2023.
De Sering is supported by TestTafel. TestTafel is set up as a foundation, with its goal being to fund De Sering. Over time, we want to open more businesses operated on this basis, in order to fund more and more community kitchens and public spaces like De Sering.
In 2019, De Sering began as a neighborhood kitchen in the east of Amsterdam. Within five months, De Sering grew from a few first visitors into a real meeting place where we served 350 meals a week. Due to Covid we unfortunately had to close our doors in March 2020 and De Sering was silent until June 2021.
In June 2021 we reopened our People's Kitchen from community center NieuwLand. Here we found our audience again despite being restricted by Covid measures. De Sering also got its first little sibling, TestTafel. What started as a limited fundraising dinner grew quickly, until it had its own group of fans, workers and volunteers. TestTafel became the financial cornerstone of the project and operates as such to this day.
In 2022 we got a chance to get our own location. We were offered a space at theatre community De Sloot, and on December 31st, 2021, we moved all our stuff to a dusty old factory hall. What followed was a crowdfunding campaign and an accelerated education in construction.
In May it was finally time, the doors opened (although we are still building to this day). Since then, we've served thousands of meals, catered to actions, hosted techno parties, welcomed the famous queer chess club and much much more.