Listen, feel and express yourself with the ‘home-kit’, an Educational Initiative for all ages by de Appel

“Hello, how are you?”

This is a common way of greeting each other. Yet how often do we actually make an effort to fully answer that question? How are we doing now that we spend so much of our time at home? How do we feel in our house? Does our house feel like a home?

It is with these kinds of questions that we approached artists Adnan Atik, Marley Braaf, Elisa van Joolen and the collective The Shadows Assembly. Instead of giving us answers, they responded by piecing together a number of activities that are sure to engage people of all ages. With the help of graphic designers Bardhi Haliti and Zuzana Kostelanská we bundled all of this goodness together in a 'home-kit'*. You can order it on our webshop for €10 and it will be delivered directly to your doorstep. On our webshop you will also find a free digital version to print at home. With the home-kit we want to pay attention to our whole body and to explore what ‘home’ and ‘sense’ mean.

David Smeulders, de Appel’s Curator of Education, who initiated the home-kit, notes: 'Artistic processes enable us to listen to our body, allowing us to express our feelings in many different ways. As Jacques Lecoq wrote in his book Le Corps Poétique (‘The Moving Body’) from 1997: “Human beings think with their whole bodies; they are made up of complexes and gestures and reality is in them, without them, despite them. Human beings must be grasped from the soles of their feet to the tops of their heads.” It is easy to feel that the Dutch alphabet, with its twenty-six letters, its words and sounds, falls short of expressing each and every one of the complex gestures that Jacques Lecoq speaks of. Do we have access to gestures, materials or movements that could help us to express how we actually feel at home?'

The home-kit introduces children (and grown-ups!) to these concepts in playful, reflective and creative ways. It invites you to start collecting stories and memories—independently by yourself or together with your family. This requires you to listen to your body and how it relates to elements in your direct environment, like the social bonds we have with others, the clothing we wear or the domestic objects we use. The home-kit encourages users to explore new ways of doing and making, creating joyful and meaningful experiences along the way. With our hands and our hearts, we want to stimulate different ways of thinking, communicating and learning. We are noticing that spoken language alone is not always enough to articulate responses to the current developments in society. What skills, forms of knowledge and experiences, perhaps invisible or undervalued, need more time and space?

Four unique activities

Adnan Atik

Adnan Atik is interested in how the poetics of dreaming and ‘freedom of movement’ can help the sense of home. Atik wants us to consider the complex structures that we encounter—and the stories we can collect from them—in order to create new meaningful experiences for the future.

Elisa van Joolen

Elisa van Joolen shows us the invisible life of clothing. How are our clothes made and what memories do they evoke? What are the values at the core of the fashion industry and what are the things that we overlook as designers, consumers and critics?

Marley Braaf

Marley Braaf makes us move through our surroundings and imagination. Using the sensory stimuli of your home environment will get you to create movements in different ways. This activation of the entire body strengthens our mental and physical consciousness.

The Shadows Assembly

The Shadows Assembly reminds us of often forgotten skills. The collective, which consists of three textile ateliers in Amsterdam's Nieuw West area, teaches us how to make do-it-yourself paint with household materials and how to use that paint to create prints on clothing or fabric by using sunlight. The Shadows Assembly is Brahim Bouriche, Filiz Azan, Foekje Koopmans, Gizlen Adda, Gül Yildirim, Hana Miletić, Hannah Yaqubi, Heleen van Wier, Iman, Indra Sewgobind, Jamila Echjijem, Jennilee van Dams, Joan Nieuwendam, Melissa Robles de Medina, Mouna Essaidi, Nadia Sbai, Nahid Mia, Naima Ouaamar, Nolleke ten Cate, Rita Oosterling and Saliha Jawhari.

Special thanks to our institutional partners ICK dans Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Museum, which hosts the works of Elisa van Joolen and The Shadows Assembly as part of Sense of Place, the bi-annual manifestation Refresh Amsterdam, extended until 25 July.

*Please note that the home-kit is available in Dutch only.