een Kamer naar het hart
Hera Chan

een Kamer naar het hart is dedicated to builders and fighters. The independence of Suriname in 1975—also the founding year of de Appel—marked a new era of coalition-building among emancipation movements in The Netherlands and in regions occupied and colonized by Europe. Today, the first European political party founded by a Black woman (Sylvana Simons of BIJ1), holds a seat in the Dutch Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer). The party form can intervene with varied articulations in our collective political language, pulling forth issues otherwise ignored, such as the racially motivated child benefits scandal as well as solidarity efforts with the Palestinian struggle for decolonization. From resistance monuments to monumental forms of resistance, new commissions by Farida Sedoc and Lidwien van de Ven create a platform for a shadow cabinet, which calls for representatives living in our midst.

Four chained male figures emerge from a relief titled Peace, epitomizing the suffering registered during World War II, and flanking these figures are two members of the Dutch resistance: To the left, resistance by the intelligentsia and, the right, by the working classes. The National Monument in Dam Square has since borne witness to an ongoing series of historical occupations, contradicting rallies, and the onset of potential histories. On June 1, 2020, an estimated 500 people were to gather at Dam Square in solidarity against anti-black violence and in mourning for the murder of George Floyd. The demonstration gathered over 10,000. Protesters today are carved out as additions to past resistance figures on this monument. Van de Ven’s photograph panels form the backdrop from where we speak and Sedoc’s structure, comprising photographs and ephemera from family and friends, form a dais for a representative body and proposal for what a Black-led Dutch parliament would look like.

Thank you to the KomBIJ1 TV team and Quinsy Gario for starting this unending conversation with me, and Hyun Vin Kaspers for spatial support.

Farida Sedoc (b. 1980, Ermelo) is a visual artist based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She works in diverse mediums such as screen printing, graphic design, collage, and textile to create multi-layered narratives and site-specific works. Her work is closely connected to the ideology of street culture, where the city and its citizens meet, and identity is perpetually interrogated. Exploring and questioning contemporary cultural identity and the influence of monetary policy, heritage and politics on the future of globalism.

Lidwien van de Ven is a Dutch artist living in Rotterdam and Berlin. Her installation work has been shown in international platforms as Sydney Biennale, Australia (2006), documenta 12 in Kassel (2007), Busan Biennale, South Korea (2012), Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid (2014), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2014), Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2019). Van de Ven is known above all as a photographer. For her work she usually focuses on parts of the world today where important social and political changes are taking place. Since 2014 she has been working on a (research) commission from the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven on Indonesia and the (Dutch) colonial past and present. Her exhibition ‘FRAGMENTS [of a desire for revolution]’ was on view in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (NL) and at ‘Power and other things’ at Bozar, Brussels (BE).