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in collaboration with HET WILDE WETEN

Public lecture and presentation ‘We Are Here’ refugee collective:
Tuesday May 10, 19:00.
Location: Blaak 10, main hall

artists in residence

From May until July 2016, Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) welcomes ‘We Are Here’, a collective of refugees, as the new artist-in-residence to its premises in Rotterdam.

The artist-in-residence program is new to the Willem de Kooning Academy. It introduces an alternative method of education within the academy, based on exchange of knowledge and experience. By inviting inspiring artists for a working period of several months, the academy facilitates committed and sustainable relations between professional artists and students. This creates a dynamic breeding ground for new and challenging ideas to flourish.

Through inviting the ‘We Are Here’ collective as artist-in-residence, the Willem de Kooning Academy addresses current issues of mass migration, national identity and political borders. This collective visualizes these issues by bringing them to the personal level of refugees. By expressing themselves through art and protests the members of the collective take a strong stand and offer alternative ways of dealing with the current crisis.

For this residency, the academy collaborates with Rotterdam-based artist collective ‘Het Wilde Weten’. This group welcomes ‘We Are Here’ by providing a place to sleep and creating connections with local communities.

The residency is organized by Willem de Kooning Academy’s so-called ‘Autonomous Practices’. Working together with ‘We Are Here’ fits in with the academy’s mission to keep in pace with rapidly developing professional practices and to question and challenge contemporary issues within society.

We Are Here ‘We Are Here’ is an Amsterdam-based collective of refugees that was formed in 2012. They are ‘stuck'; their asylum requests got rejected, however they are not able to return to their home country. The government doesn’t provide them with shelter or any other basic human needs, nor allows them to work or enroll in education. The group decided to no longer hide and make visible the inhumane situation they are in.

We Are Here develops strong gestures of protest to keep themselves on the forefront of the political debate and to improve the situation for all refugees ‘in limbo’ in the Netherlands. Currently, the main focus within their protest can be defined as ‘the right to be political’.

During his residency, Mohamed – one of the We Are Here members – will develop new gestures of protest in collaboration with fellow members. Mohamed will work on campaign material and attributes, more specifically a carriage to be used in parades and street protests.

The outcome will be presented in a public presentation in July (tba).

Public program

  • May 10 2016, from 19.00-21.00hrs: introduction evening artist-in-resident at Willem de Kooning Academy (open to public)
  • July 2016: presentation work artist-in-residence

Live updates: Tumblr


Vanaf 1 maart 2016 is iedereen van harte uitgenodigd om kennis te maken met de eerste artist-in-residence van Willem de Kooning Academie Hogeschool Rotterdam: Ivan Henriques.

Ivan gaat twee maanden lang de gastruimte betrekken op de begane grond van de Blaak (links van de hoofdingang). Ivan krijgt van ons de mogelijkheid om hier geconcentreerd te werken aan een project, terwijl onze studenten en docenten van dichtbij kunnen kennismaken met zijn artistieke praktijk.

De artist-in-residence wordt georganiseerd vanuit de Autonomous Practices in samenwerking met de stations. De bedoeling is dat de kunstenaar breed aansluiting vindt in de academie: zowel binnen de practices, de vakstudies en de stations.

Ivan Henriques is te volgen op Tumblr. Via deze pagina krijg je ook een live update: