Chaos and Conflict – The Netherlands – Workshops/lectures/debate about the role of art in a conflicting and chaotic world

Chaos & Conflict

Workshops/lectures/debate about the role of art in a conflicting and chaotic world

February 12th 2016

Arnhem, the Netherlands


‘I don’t own a television because I no longer want the misery of the world to enter my life.’ The

flow of misery reaches us daily through the media and constantly occupies our thoughts. How do

you deal with a world that is burning? Do you switch off your television? Or do you swing into

action? What is your position and what does it mean to be an involved artist?

During Chaos & Conflict, together with experts, artists and scientists, we will research the true

meaning of conflict and war. About the personal consequences for people in general and artists

in particular. This day is about you!


Our guests:

Hector Aristizábal, Jonas Staal, Chris Keulemans, Renzo Martens, Manon van Hoeckel, Henk

van Houtum, Brigitte van der Sande, Maral Deghati, Natalia-Gluklya Pershina, Merlijn

Twaalfhoven, Dorothée Munyaneza, Jeyanthy Siva, Motel Spatie, Annelys de Vet, Mohammad

Saleh, Friso Wiersum, Yaël Vinckx,  Bright O. Richards.

Lectures and programme:

14.30 Welcome by moderator Yaël Vinckx

14.40 Henk van Houtum: How many borders do we need and can we stand?

In his lecture Professor Henk van Houtum will discuss the function and value of borders in the 21st century, based on contemporary conflicts and crises, such as the refugee crisis. Important questions are: Why do we establish borders? And can new borders mean the end of chaos and conflicts? How do we judge the moral value of a border? And what are the consequences of a border policy, for the people being excluded, and others, but also for the freedom of those included? And finally: if a border is the face of a civilisation, what face does the EU show to the world at this moment?

15.05 Jeyanthi Siva:Trust vs Distrust Paradigm and the consequences for how we see, think and behave.

There are different ways of viewing the world. Each paradigm and how/what we see through each, has different consequences for the kind of structures we create and support, the way we educate/socialize children, the actions we take in response to others. Jeyanthy Siva will talk about the different theories of the nature of human beings which underlie each of the paradigms and the different ideas/meanings of power in each of the paradigms.

15.30 Q&A with Henk van Houtum and Jeyanthi Siva

15.45 Three lectures and a Q&A about the daily reality of war and conflict and using art as a tool for transformation and healing.

Yaël Vinckx interviews Issa Touma (photographer and gallerist from Aleppo, Syria): In Aleppo War Zone We Refuse to Die as Numbers in the Media ….

Jonas Staal (artist working a.o. in Rojava in West-Kurdistan / Northern-Syria): Art, Conflict and the New World

Artist Jonas Staal will discuss his work as the founder of the artistic and political organization New World Summit, with which he builds parliaments for stateless and blacklisted political organizations from all over the world. Most recently Staal’s organization was commissioned to build a new public parliament for the Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava in West-Kurdistan (northern-Syria), an autonomous region declared into a “stateless democracy” by Kurdish revolutionaries and their regional allies. In this light, he will discuss the notion of conflict both as a devastating but also a creative force in emancipatory politics and art.

Hector Aristizabal (theatre director, psychologist working all over the world in conflict areas): Imagining Peace?

War and violence are the expression of a collapse of imagination in societies polarized by conflict. Art is the place where humanity heals. Hector Aristizábal will share his experiences using theatre as a laboratory to find creative alternatives to conflict and as an ancient form of ritual. We are sometimes told that the Chinese character for crisis is made up of two components: danger and opportunity. Hector’s mentor Augusto Boal turned that around and demonstrated that conflict is both a crisis and an opportunity for change and those opportunities can be found in Theatre – the place where we can re-humanize ourselves and each other through the sharing and witnessing of our human stories.

17.00 End

Entr’acts: Film by Donna Verheijden (alumnus ArtEZ Graphic Design) & Bonita Witte (alumnus ArtEZ Illustration Design)