Tools for Action is a tonic between non-violent resistance, tactical frivolity and poetry.
Tools for Action develops tools and scores for assembly, holds skillshare workshops and realises large scale participatory performances and spatial interventions. Lately, the focus is on communal dreaming as a healing practice and as a complement to collective action. The underlying question is how to support social change from an arts perspective.
Tools for Action frequently draws on the paradoxical qualities of inflatable objects: their monumental lightweight size, ephemeral, soft, fragile and erotic appearance. These qualities combined with their pop-up character make them interesting to use in manifestations, functioning as visual symbols and objects to play, to de-escalate, to create liminal and poetic environments to dream. Most sculptures are built in a participatory setting, weaving community support, catalysing self-organisation resulting in a public action or tactical media intervention. Often the sculptures are produced and left to the community, and blueprints of the pattern are shared as a commons. Tools for Action aim is to Reclaim Dream Space by creating examples to follow.
Tools for Action was founded by visual artist Bambi van Balen in direct collaboration with the international climate movement since 2009. For the past decade, Tools for Action has been working with social movements, schools, universities, theatres and arts spaces on different issues: climate justice, anti-facism, trans* visibility, commemorative performance and other forms of civic engagement.
Since 2019 the Tools for Action Foundation supports the Tools for Action activities by giving advice in long-term plans and providing a legal and financial basis. For the coming years, we will be working in Netherlands and Eastern Europe with a special focus on rituals, education and public intervention weaving new communities for commemorating the past and shaping the future.