Talking with Places

In August 2014, the international Master of Theatre DasArts moved across the waters of the IJ and set foot in Amsterdam North. This part of the city  traditionally has been the ‘wrong side of the water’, but now things are changing. The North is booming and gentrification looms.

Within a timeframe of two months, Mentor Chris Keulemans and co-mentor Willemijn Lamp introduced the students in Talking with Places to the identity, rich history, relationships and network in North. The programme ‘Talking with Places’ was about getting to know the new environment and responding to it through art. How could we turn a new place into a home? Through field trips, workshops and assignments, the participants were challenged to intrude, discover and respond. In the magazine we share the experiences and insights that were part of that.

Regular sparring partners were Sébastien Hendrickx (co-mentor) and Lode van Piggelen (former director of the Over het IJ Festival). Guest lecturers included choreographer Michael Kliën, activist and artist John Jordan, artist Claudia Bosse, poet and essayist K. Schippers, sociologist Merijn Oudenampsen, philosopher Femke Kaulingfreks, director and curator Marike Splint (Winters Binnen Festival) and creative producer Sabine Pater (Theaterstraat).

Participants block

The participants of the Block were: Astrit Ismaili (Kosovo), Ogutu Muraya (Kenia), Eleana Alexandrou (Cyprus), Ahmed Khaled (Irak, Belgium), Jaha Koo (South-Korea), Aline Benecke (Germany), Mor Shani (Israel), Nina Boas (The Netherlands), Lucia Marneanu (Romania), Ana Wild (Israel), Noah Voelker (USA) and Alexander Giesche (Germany).

About the mentors
Chris Keulemans (Tunisia, 1960), mentor of this block, is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. His latest novel is The American I Never Was. To study the role of art after crisis, he has travelled to Beirut, Jakarta, New Orleans and Sarajevo. During the nineties, he was director of De Balie, a centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. He was the founder and artistic leader of the Tolhuistuin, a new arts centre in Amsterdam North.
Willemijn Lamp (The Netherlands, 1977), mentor of this block, is the founder and co-director of Read My World, a literature festival in Amsterdam. In the past she worked as a curator for the international literature festival Writers Unlimited. Besides her freelance activities as a curator of debates and festivals, she works as a journalist and theatre/literature critic. Lamp also sits on the Province of Flevoland’s advisory committee for performing arts and has been an advisor to the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK).

Sébastien Hendrickx (Belgium, 1983) works as a dramaturge for various performance artists, including Benjamin Verdonck, Thomas Bellinck, Jozef Wouters, Heike Langsdorf, Simon Allemeersch and Ula Sickle. He is an editor of the performing arts magazine Etcetera. Previously, Hendrickx was artistic director of the Bâtard Festival and a member of the artistic staff at the KVS City Theatre in Brussels. He studied dramaturgy at Ghent University and graduated from the Experimental Atelier Sint-Lucas Ghent.