Poetry Workshop Hiwa K

Poetry Workshop Hiwa K

de Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, Amsterdam
During the exhibition To remember, sometimes you need different archeological tools by Hiwa K at De Appel, students of the Calvijn College and the Comenius Lyceum visited for a workshop. This workshop meant to stimulate students to think about what they saw in Hiwa K’s exhibition and how it impacted them. Through poetry, the students were encouraged to express the impressions they received from the art works. Collaboration, verbal and physical expression and creative thinking played an important role in this process
The Berlin-based Kurdish artist Hiwa K, who once fled from Iraq to the Netherlands, makes poetic art about notions of violence and expatriation. De Appel invited Hiwa K (Kurdish-Iraq, 1975) to collaboratively produce two new works and an exhibition in which the artist comes to terms with severe acts of violence and conflict. The two new productions consist of a philosophical wrestling session (Pin-down) and a search for K’s perpetrators (deDutched). Both projects negotiate different ways in which memory intermingles with narration, and how it determinedly informs everyday migrant experiences.

The workshop afternoon consisted of two parts. The first part was a workshop by Lamyn Belgaroui, based on the wrestling session in Pin-Down, in which students created poetry with the following sentences as starting point:

If I could change one thing in the world, I would…

If I look in the mirror I see…

If I think about the Netherlands I think about…

National borders, for me, are…

The students were encouraged to experiment with the poetry and the work Pin-Down in a physical manner. Through kickboxing the students could express their experiences both verbally and physically. In doing so, physical movement served to generate ideas and stories. During the exercise, one student gave straight punches from the left and right while reciting poetry on full volume. Another student held their hand up to absorb the punches, and a third student would hold the text for the person who was reciting the poetry. The roles were regularly swapped so that every student could take their turn.

The second part of the workshop consisted of a guided tour by Florine Zegers in which the students were stimulated to think critically and actively with the help of a multitude of questions. These questions supported the students in their personal process of meaning making. The dialogue between Florine, the students and the art gave students the opportunity to shape their own interpretation and meaning in a non-hierarchical manner.

Afterwards, a reflective conversation took place in which the following questions were guiding:

Did you have the feeling that the physical movement lead to the generation of new ideas?

Did the physical movement make it easier to answer the questions intuitively and share them with each other?

The workshop and reflection formed a bridge between movement and the discussion of the difficult themes that are presented in Hiwa K’s work. In this process, movement and poetry form tools to tell stories or persuade people to think.

EDITIONS #02 Hiwa K One Room Apartment, 2017 This edition coincides with the Hiwa K exhibition ‘To remember, sometimes you need different archeological tools’. 7 october – 20 december 2017

collection (unintended), 2017

See also