New Generations – What’s in store?
New Generations – What’s in store?
Who is the new generation of artists and cultural professionals under 30 years old, living and working in the Netherlands? What keeps them going in their working process? How do they relate to society? What new narratives, collaboration methods and ideas are they introducing? What characteristics make them especially suited for international cultural exchanges? And what are their international ambitions?
Through meet-ups and interviews, we actively reach out to these young artists and creatives, to know more about their ambitions, activities and motivations. To signal key developments in the world of international cultural exchange. And in the end, to improve our own services when supporting artists on their path to international cultural projects.
In July 2021, we organised our first NewGen gathering with young artists ’ahead of the pack', welcoming photographer Zindzi Zwietering, slam poet and musician Lisette Ma Neza, visual artist Tobias Groot and spoken word artist Roziena Salihu. We discussed their ambitions and plans, the blessings and burdens of flexibility as an independent artist, standing for your artistic vision, inviting others to join your process, as well as touching upon the artists’ role in society - identity and belonging being guiding principles for all four of them.
In October 2021, we brought together a group of 22 talented makers to investigate how DutchCulture can better support young artists. The main take-home message from that meeting was that funding opportunities and the institutional landscape can seem distant and absent and that in-person meetings and connections were sorely missed over the pandemic. For many, the meet-up formed the first encounter with TransArtists for example, for others it provided a direct stepping stone towards a speed-date session with the ArtsMap platform, set up by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Istanbul. We were pleased to introduce concrete ways to bring international exchange closer to this group.
During the annual Embassy Culture Days in October, we presented our initial findings to our colleagues in the Dutch diplomatic network and were happy to find positive feedback among them on the NewGen focus. On the first day, Lisette Ma Neza gave an inspiring ode to her generation in video format, while screenwriter and filmmaker Joosje Duk and songwriter/musician Joya Mooi gave their two cents on the topics most important to young artists.
In November, we focused on the concept of co-creation in the field of cultural heritage and museums, through the eyes of 4 young 'city collectors' during the symposium Collecting the City. These young cultural professionals are reshaping the story of their cities through co-creation approaches, both institutional and from the ground up. Their contribution was experienced as refreshing and inspiring by visitors as well as by the organisers of the Amsterdam Museum. To open the symposium, Stella Toonen wrote an inspiring keynote about co-creation from her perspective as a young researcher and museum expert in London. Going forward, we will continue to explore and highlight co-creation practices as part of young artists’ and cultural professionals’ repertoire.
In a series of interviews with a young generation of makers, we highlighted several developments carried by young artists from different disciplines:
We interviewed mime artist Niek Vanoosterweyck, challenging the experience of theatre and human movement through digital interventions and a technological approach;
Singer GINGE and filmmaker Natalia Boorsma spoke to us about their collaboration, the impact of social media, the female gaze and their international ambitions;
Sid Dankers and Mike Megens barge their way into the art world with experimental live streams questioning authorship and collectivity;
We also dived into the online Zine OUTSIDEINSIDEOUT, speaking to Rutger Esajas, co-creative lead at DEGASTEN. For OUTSIDEINSIDEOUT, teenagers from various backgrounds worked together with students from the Academy of Dance and Theatre in Amsterdam. Esajas points out the vulnerability of young people during the lockdown as an important reason to continue working with them, to compensate for the lack of social contact, structure and creative inspiration.
In 2022, We’ll organise three more meet-ups, providing new opportunities for mutual inspiration and knowledge sharing. Our next meet-up on 7 April will focus on the impact of the digital realm on the artistic practices of NewGen artists and cultural professionals. You can join this event for free - just click the button below!
In addition, we will continue to devote more written content to the stories of young people in the arts both nationally and internationally, testing our assumptions on what exactly characterises a NewGen artist and stretching our perception beyond borders. On the one hand, we continue to highlight the innovative practices of several Dutch-based movers & shakers storming the scene by publishing individual artist portraits. And, in a new magazine series, we will map the local cultural scenes in the of six cities around the world through the eyes of international correspondent.