DasArts is moving across the river to set foot in Amsterdam Noord. And so is its fresh community of talented individuals from all over the world. Inevitably, this block is about arrival, getting to know the new environment and responding to it through art. How to turn a new place into home? How to become familiar with its history and people without losing the outsider’s lucidity? How to illuminate the place through art without evaporating it in the process?
Noord was traditionally the wrong side of the river. Amsterdam dumped everyone and everything here that it had no use for. But things are changing. The outside world has discovered this poor but proud little republic. Gentrification looms.
This block will challenge its participants to intrude, discover and reply. It will ask them to look carefully, notice nothing out of the ordinary, then look again. It will introduce them to real places and real people. It will invite them to make art in the real world, a world that is tough, uncompromising and full of unrealized dreams. It will require them to make conscious choices: dive into your new surroundings or neglect them, but in either case: understand your choices and make others understand them too.
Chris Keulemans, the mentor of this block, is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. His last novel was called The American I never was. To study the role of art after crisis, he traveled to Beirut, Jakarta, New Orleans and Sarajevo. During the nineties, he was director of De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. He is the founder and, until the end of July, artistic leader of Tolhuistuin, a new arts centre in Amsterdam Noord.
For this block, he will invite theatre makers, thinkers, artists and locals to join us in starting up a conversation with the people and the places that give shape to DasArts’ new home. www.tolhuistuin.nl
Willemijn Lamp is the founder and co-director of a new literature festival in Amsterdam: Read My World. In the past she worked as a freelance curator for the international literature festival Writers Unlimited (before: Winternachten). Besides these festivals with a literary focus, she also is responsible for the opening of the cultural season in the city of Utrecht (Het Uitfeest). This is an event in which all the cultural stakeholders of the city take part. Next to her freelance activities as a curator of debates and festivals, she also works as a journalist/theatre-literature critic and as an advisor for the arts for the province of Flevoland and the city of Amsterdam. www.readmyworld.org
DasArts Block 2014 'Talking with Places'