Evening lectures and artist talks at Stichting Ruimtevaart Den Haag

Friday, June 28th 2020, 7:00-10:00 pm

7:00 PM: Hsiang-Yun

8:00PM: Mohammed Al-Jaf

9:00 PM: Marilyn Arsem


Sunday, June 30th 2020, 7:00-10:00 pm

7:00 PM: Sanne van Driel

8:00 PM: Peter Baren

9:00 PM: Andrea Pagnes (VestAndPage)



By Marilyn Arsem and VestAndPage

Stuart Hall outlines in the essay “Cultural Identity and Diaspora” (1990) that modern identities are no longer fixed but emerge as “unstable points of identification or suture, which are made within the discourses of history and culture.” In his words, life stories are not determined exclusively by class, race, gender, and religion, but instead there is a mixed ancestry; an identification with diversity in countries, traditions, values and beliefs. While the raised global interactions are causing a re-evaluation of traditions and lifestyles, an awareness of individual and collective change springs from the urgency to find new modes of shaping our identities and life stories. Performativity as a language calls for continuous transformation and functions as a form of social action, while contemporary performance art as a logical art form shapes, communicates, confirms and honours the value of differing life stories in multiple contexts.



                           Hsiang-Yun, Photo: Catrine Val


Hsiang-Yun (Taiwan)

In her lecture, Hsiang-Yun will introduce the issue of Taiwanese identity from both a theoretical and artistic lens. Firstly, through a post-colonial framework she will introduce the complex post-war political situation in Asia which has shaped identities on the island in fundamental ways. Secondly, she will introduce a group of contemporary Taiwanese artists whose works target identity, and Hsiang-Yun’s own developing website-art project in collaboration with Chen Jhen, Ultra Combos and others: Ucrhonia – An alternative historical method, where they explore the issue of identity through languages of media and collective storytelling.

Mohammed Al-Jaf

Mohammed Al-Jaf is a member of Humanity House Den Haag. Born in an Iraqi middle-class family with Iranian, Kurdish and Arabic origins, and great value to norms based on education and belief. He entered the Netherlands as a refugee, followed by dual identity’s assimilating both cultures. Aldo, his integration went smoothly, he learned from society and politics, the situation where there are too many or too few identities for a person to which he can commit, as a result of which the signed identity paints an unclear picture of the personal identity and thereby can create distorted views and self-image.

                      Wakening II, the second of four performances (Wakening I-IV) on four consecutive nights, as part of “1 A.M.” a double bill with
                      Riverbed Theatre Company Song Shan Cultural Park, Taipei, Taiwan. December 22-25, 2017 Photo by Craig Quinter

Marilyn Arsem (USA)

Marilyn Arsem will speak about how your identity changes as you grow older and work within different communities.

Sanne van Driel (NL)

Sanne van Driel is the name stated on my passport, which I am rarely asked to identify myself with, due to a combination of skin color, cis woman appearance, inconspicuous behavior, class and age. (This was different when I was 12 years old waiting in line for disco-bar-dancings. Of all the identity marking lines, age might have been the most crushing one in my formative years. It taught me it is not about the number but what the number in- or excludes you from.)

On Facebook my name is Sanne la Sense, I am a 113 year old widow with no friends. Am I a philosopher, a researcher, a mess, all or nothing of that, I’m not sure. But I have something to share and discuss with you about identity, taught to me by someone from an era when the Panopticon was still an offline prison.

Peter Baren [NL]

SILHOUETTES LIKE SHIVERING ANCIENT FEELINGS. The presentation will be larded with fleeting examples from my performance practice. They are witnesses of ever changing identities between social actions and behavior outlet

                            VestAndPage, Thou Twin of Slumber: Hemolymph, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver(2013).  
                            Photograph © Ash Tuyaksuyk | Vandocument

Andrea Pagnes (VestAndPage) (IT/DE)

Conceptions and misconceptions of identity, gender trouble and social progress by Andrea Pagnes (VestAndPage) If I don’t define myself for myself,  I would be crushed into other’s fantasies of myself and eaten alive,” poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde once wrote. Yet, is my identity whatever I want it to be? Is it only subjectively defined or is it shaped by more complex cultural negotiations?

The lecture will be followed by a short introduction to Project ID Study Movie Room.

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