Arnon Grunberg
Heleen Mees
Klaus de Rijk
James Boekbinder
Jerome Symons
Janneke Wesseling
Henrik Spoon
Eduard van Hulsen
Joost Taverne
Armand Mevis
Sandra Boer
Christiaan Houtenbos
Cor Jaring
Bonno van Doorn
Lily van der Stokker
Jan Pel
Maarten van Rossum
Marianne Theunissen
Nadya Yassievich
Neil van der Linden
Oscar van Gelderen
Paul Mertz
Paul van de Berg
Raymond van den Boogaard
Renee van Marissing
Fucking Good Art Magazine
Russell Shorto
Sohrab Bayat
Tamara Sterman
Tunc Topcoglu
Willem Schinkel
Yoeri Meessen
Michiel Vos
Alexandra Onderwater
Carel Storm van 's Gravesande
Freyja van den Tree
Harold Horsman
Jan van Asbeck
Maggie Kelly
Marco Walser
Milan van Opmeer
Moe Houtenbos
Reuben Wijnberg
Rosa van Goudoever
Willem Pel
Roel van Delden
Floris Mreijen
Kim Nathalia
Merel van den Berg
Samuel Bänzinger
Iva Supic Jankovic
Milan van Opmeer
Bregje Pel
Johan Thermænius
Mischa Rus
Jens Buss
Serena Janssen
Gijs Frieling
Rob Houtenbos
Barend Schipper
Hugo van Dijk
Latitude Sul
Octavio James
Rifko Meijer
7. October 2010
Moderated by Arnon Grunberg
Witzenhausen Gallery, NY

For video please scroll to the right

Submit your question1 (closed)

On 7th of October 2010, four Dutch professionals, living in New York, talked with writer Arnon Grunberg about their life abroad and their experience with identity and nationality. Invited talk show guests were Pascale Gatzen, Boris Kwantes, Heleen Mees and Michiel Vos.

The event is a reaction to the NY400 celebrations2 in New York in 2009 and the recent political developments in the Netherlands. It supports the idea that identity and tradition are not limited to physical borders and that in these days we have to search for positive thoughts with collective power.

The conversations took place in front of a live audience and were video recorded. An edited version of the talk show will be made public on this website in November 2010.


In 2009 the Dutch government organized a series of events in New York City to commemorate 400 years of Dutch-New York relations.2 Many of these events showed stereotypical images of the Netherlands, finding a peak in the touristic 'New Amsterdam Village' in Manhattan, where one could buy herring and cheese. The scheduled highlight of NY400 was the visit of Princess Máxima and Prince Willem-Alexander, a two-week showcase of the couple in New York, with a mainly Dutch audience escorting their celebration agenda. Considering this representation of the Netherlands in New York and looking at the current situation in the Netherlands, with its increase of nationalistic and populist thoughts, we have to ask ourselves:
What are the topics and images that we identify with and we are longing for?

Answers to this questions were searched for by Michiel Vos, journalist and HBO filmmaker with both, Dutch and American nationality; Pascale Gatzen, coordinator of the Fashion Area of Study in the 'Integrated Design' program at Parsons The New School for Design; Boris Kwantes, head of ABN AMRO operations in the United States and Heleen Mees, economist and columnist, writing for international magazines and NRC Handelsblad.

The show was moderated by writer Arnon Grunberg, working and living in New York, whose provocative and witty novels are translated into 24 languages.


Concept and organization:
Claudia Doms and Eva Pel

Supported by:
Witzenhausen Gallery, Going Dutch foundation, Aperture foundation, Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York

Joel Galvez & Claudia Doms

Claudia Doms

Witzenhausen Gallery
547 West 27th Street, Suite 530
New York, NY 10001
You can be part of the project by sending us your question. Any question which you find unanswered, be it personal or political, concrete or abstract. Your question will be published on this website.

The book 'Observations of a Celebration', Eva Pel's conclusion of her fieldwork in New York during the Summer of 2009, can be ordered by sending an e-mail to or through the American Book Center. Includes interviews with former Minister for European Affairs Frans Timmermans, urban shaman Donna Henes, historian Roger Panetta, architect Ben van Berkel and art collector George Way among others.