Ruigoord is a village in the Houtrakpolder in the Dutch province of North Holland, situated within the municipality of Amsterdam. Until the 1880s, it was an island in the IJ Bay. The village is nowadays partially closed in by the Port of Amsterdam.
In the 1960s the village was evacuated by the municipality of Amsterdam, which intended to extend its harbour, but the plans fell through. In 1973 the village was squatted by a group of artists who planned to make a colony there. As such it exists to this day, but is legalized nowadays. Full moon parties are regularly organised in the former Roman Catholic village church and every year there is the Landjuweel (Land Jewel) festival in August.
Since the early 2000s, the village has staged an annual poetry festival over the Whitsun weekend, Vurige tongen (Fiery Tongues). One of the festival’s three days is always devoted to international poets. From 2003 on, a yearly Ruigoord Trophy has been awarded to individuals who have selflessly dedicated themselves to maintaining the village as an important cultural stronghold. The first such trophy was presented to famous Dutch writer and radical thinker Simon Vinkenoog.
Self sustaining community of artists and free spirits:
Ruigoord has a well known legacy for integrating artistry with the communal experiment and self sustained living. The artist community and village are both idealistic and idyllic of nature, a refuge and hide out where artists can work on their oeuvre. However, the emphasis is put on working and creating together, which makes it a very unique place. The villagers and their many friends have created a stronghold for freedom of speech, artistry, creative expression, shared experiences and extasy, convinced that the self-centeredness and focus on materialism is in need of a rebalance and re-evaluation. The green oasis that is Ruigoord, completely resonates this urgency, away from the urbanized and industrialized world yet close to the fire.