Home and Belonging
28 February 2017, 20.00 hrs
While the ongoing war in Syria has caused millions of people to be displaced rendering them homeless, questions of identity and home have become acutely topical. Castrum Peregrini and the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux are organizing a discussion event on the topic of “Home and Belonging”, investigating mobility of people and belongings. The panel of speakers will discuss the process of the formation of value and function, but also the utopias and realities of human migration.
The discussion event is part of the Finnish Cultural Institute’s artistic project Mobile Home(less). The institute has commissioned a new artwork, Street View (Reassembled), from Finnish sculptor Anssi Pulkkinen. The art work is dealing with present day homelessness, and takes as its starting point ruins of a destroyed Syrian home, to create an installation that brings a caravan-like, mobile, temporary street view into an urban European city space. The work brings homelessness from behind news images into our everyday reality. The artist will be present at the event.
Castrum Peregrini’s exhibition Emerging [Hi]-Stories also looks at the symbolic value of material and objects as they move from one place to another. The exhibition (open 27.1.-10.3, Tue-Fri, 12-18 hrs) shows objects chosen of refugees to take with them on their journey and the stories they tell.
Umayya Abu-Hanna is an Amsterdam-based journalist and writer. Originally from Palestine, Abu-Hanna spent many years living and working in Finland prior to her re-location to the Netherlands. She has worked at the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Yle, as a columnist for the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, as a multi-cultural expert at the for the Finnish National Gallery and a board member of the Finnish Central Art Council. At the moment she works as an adviser in Pakhuis de Zwijger, a cultural organisation in Amsterdam.
Özkan Gölpinar is publicist and a member of the Dutch Cultural Council. The Cultural council is the legal advisory organ of the Dutch government on the arts, culture and media. He was attached to the Leiden University Center for the Arts in Society on the research program Contemporary Art Beyond Boundaries. As program maker he was attached to the Mondriaan Foundation and the Foundation for The Arts, Design and Architecture (BKVB). He has 20 years’ experience as reporter with: Volkskrant, Trouw etc. Gölpinar has written several books, essays, theatre plays, and documentaries.
Aleksi Malmberg is the director of the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux. Amongst other things, he has worked as the programme manager for the Helsinki Festival, the largest cross-disciplinary art festival in the Nordic countries, the managing director for publishing house Tactus, as well as the executive director for Our Festival. The common thread of his manifold professional history has been the relationship of influence between art and society, and he has, for example, edited the history of Kulttuuritalo, a concert venue in Helsinki that has functioned at the collision point of politics and culture.
Castrum Peregrini, ‘the fortress of the pilgrim’, is the nom de guerre of a WWII safehouse in the city centre of Amsterdam. Driven by her beliefs of art and friendship artist Gisèle van Waterschoot van der Gracht (1912 – 2013) helped young intellectuals and artists survive the war by offering them refuge in her house. Many parts of this canal house remain unchanged, making its history palpable. The human values of the House of Gisèle have grown and deepened in post-war years. On this background, Castrum Peregrini has developed into a lively house which organizes debates, publications and exhibitions.
The Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux is an independent, non-profit cultural organisation located in Brussels. As part of the network of Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes abroad, it serves as a liaison between stakeholders in the field of culture from Finland and the Benelux countries. The Institute is an expert organisation which offers artists and organisations opportunities to create discussion, new projects and new possibilities of collaboration.