The Freethinkers’ Space was an exhibition space created in July 2008 by the Dutch conservative-liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the ultranationalist Freedom Party (PVV) in their party offices in the national parliament building of The Netherlands in The Hague. The aim of the Freethinkers’ Space was to offer a platform for artists who were affected by what the initiators termed as “Islamic censorship” and who, in the VVD's and PVV's view, were not represented – or protected – by existing art institutions.
The Freethinkers’ Space was an attempt to create a contemporary “Salon des Refusés.” Framed in the context of the War on Terror and its manufactured clash of civilizations, the Freethinkers’ Space aimed at creating a frontline of cultural warfare between the so-called liberal democratic West and a conservative-fundamentalist East.
A proposal by Green Party (GroenLinks) MP Tofik Dibi to also include artworks that suffered from right wing censorship was accepted by the conservative-liberal party, but rejected by the ultranationalist PVV, leading to a break between the two parties that originally founded the Freethinkers’ Space. In 2010, the Freethinkers’ Space was closed when the conservative-liberals forged a government with support of the ultranationalists, claiming that freedom of expression could now be protected through government once more.
The project consisted of an exhibition of the Freethinkers’ Space in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, who subsequently purchased the complete installation for its collection. This further included selected books from the Freethinkers’ Library and video registrations of the opening speeches by the curators of the Freethinkers’ Space, Mark Rutte (VVD) and Fleur Agema (PVV). A publication documenting the artworks and the history of the Freethinkers’ Space was offered to visitors for free.
The Freethinkers’ Space included works by Theo van Gogh, Gregorius Nekschot, Ellen Vroegh, Aram Tanis, Jaffe Vink, T., International Socialists, Kurt Westergaard, and Gerrit van Kralingen.