Moderated by Arnon Grunberg
Witzenhausen Gallery, NY
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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
Witzenhausen Gallery, Going Dutch foundation, Aperture foundation, Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York
Joel Galvez & Claudia Doms
547 West 27th Street, Suite 530
New York, NY 10001