Amsterdam - between two worlds

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Various aspects of the city of Amsterdam show the permanent tension and distance between 'two worlds': Eden (paradise) and outside, reality and ideal, depression and happiness, black and white.

* The Unesco recognised canal district and the question 'where did/does this wealth come from?'.
* The fine mediaeval district, partly a centre of human trafficking and abuse.
* The (former) Jewish quarter with its monuments commemorating one of the worst crimes in our, European, history.
* Examples of idealist architects and socialist organisations trying to improve the 19th c. working class conditions - nowadays (partly) subject to gentrification and speculation.

In this programme we will study Amsterdam as a centre of cultural heritage, representing these two faces. During the walk(s) and the course programme participants are confronted with (artistic) examples of this tension - sculpture, architecture, painting, poetry. This will, among else, result in a painting workshop, in the Van Gogh Museum, to express impressions in the style of Vincent van Gogh, who more than any other visual artist tragically represents these two worlds: joy and grief.

Course organiser
Chain foundation
Amsterdam, Netherlands

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