At the Biennale Democrazia in Turin the Boiling Frog Game was played with great enthusiasm by Italian secondary school students. Now the game is travelling on to various libraries in the east of the Netherlands during the Gelderse Vrijheidsdagen.
Freedom is not something you can take for granted, it’s work in progress. Do we even realise when our freedom is being limited? And are we then willing to act? These questions are being addressed in the Boiling Frog Game, which is part of the How to Survive a Democracy pop-up museum.
Freedom is an abstract concept – and abstract things are hard to talk about. With the Boiling Frog Game we make things more tangible. We compare ourselves with a frog: when you put it in a pan full of boiling water, it’ll immediately jump out. But when you warm it up together with the water, it’ll stay until it’s cooked alive. In the game we confront players with scenarios and ask them: can you still handle this, or is it getting too hot? Then you have to act!
Between all lockdowns, the pop-up museum could still be on display. In the Dutch museum De Fundatie, as part of the exposition ‘Where do you stand in the world?’
Twentynine alumni and teachers from the University of the Arts Utrecht take a stand. Hundred years after John Heartfield’s first photomontage, they show how art and activism now relate to each other. From their (own) point of view, these makers respond to burning current themes, such as climate, gender, racism and identity. Their work provokes discussion, because the question is: where are you in the world?
One of the works on display is our How to Survive a Democracy Pop-up Museum, about the state of democracy today and life in a European dictatorship a few generations ago. Tijl Akkermans, one of the makers of How to Survive studied at the University of Arts Utrecht and was selected to show his work.
JOHN HEARTFIELD – PHOTOGRAPHY PLUS DYNAMITE As soon as possible, Museum de Fundatie will present an extensive overview of the oeuvre of John Heartfield (1891-1968). This German Dadaist, photo mechanic and political artist used his art as a weapon and thus reached an audience of millions. Photography plus Dynamiet is the largest overview of the work of this ‘influencer avant la lettre’ that has ever been shown in the Netherlands.
Nearly a century later, Heartfield’s work has lost none of its explosive power. The exhibition is therefore not only an introduction to the founder of photomontage, but also an invitation to the latest generation of artists to be inspired by his oeuvre.
After months of waiting in which our pop-up museum How to Survive a Democracy needed to stay in its boxes, we may finally unpack it again – virtually, that is. We have terribly missed the passionate debates and coincidental conversations between strangers that the the pop-up museum used to cause. But luckily, there’s an online alternative now!
Studio Europa Maastricht opens Boulevard Europe, an online festival for those who also miss the vibrant life in the European streets. Visit the Kenniskwartier for thorough information from scientists, and stroll through through the Verdiepingsplein for a lively conversation with journalists. There are European movies, and a Workplace to pave the way for a better Europe. Shortly, Boulevard Europe is a meeting place to shape the conversation about Europe together, from our living rooms.
Off course we are there! Parts of the pop-up museum How to Survive a Democracy are on exhibit on the Boulevard Europe. We show our series of video portraits in which Europeans share their personal lessons on how to survive a dictatorship; you can plan the Boiling Frog Game and discover whether you’re freedom is being threatened without you even knowing it; or try to take power in our Populist Game.
Boulevard Europe opens on the 10th of December and is accessible to everyone, anywhere, any time of the day. The Boulevard is an initiative of Studio Europa Maastricht. In December they ‘normally’ organise the Europe Days, now there’s a version adapted to the ‘new normal’.
The Dutch Duitsland Instituut (Germany Institute) organizes a conference on social movements in 1968 and the effect they still have on the present. For those who speak Dutch or German, the program looks very promising. And we will be present with our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum.
1 November 2018 – Melkweg, Amsterdam. More info here.
Vanaf 12 september tot 3 oktober zal het WHAT IF!? Pop-up Museum te zien zijn in de Stadsoase in Leeuwarden in het kader van Culturele Hoofdstad. De expositie over de ‘geest’ van 1968 – anno nu – wordt onderdeel van het Iepen UP programma, een programma dat nieuwe manieren zoekt van samenleven: “Iepen UP is een multidisciplinair programma van Culturele Hoofdstad over vrijheid, democratie en diversiteit. Over hoe we samenleven in een wereld die verandert. Iepen mienskip, het hoofdthema van Culturele Hoofdstad, betekent open samenleving. Klinkt goed, maar hoe doen we dat? Hoe open of gesloten willen we zijn? Hoe gaan we dan om met vrijheid, diversiteit, democratie, filter bubbels, en kwesties die de samenleving tot op het bot verdelen?”
Iepen UP wil werken aan een nieuw verhaal en dan niet met de gevestigde orde, maar juist met jonge mensen, kunstenaars, herrieschoppers, nieuwkomers, slimmeriken, revolutionairen, denkers en doeners. Dat spreekt ons natuurlijk enorm aan. In het WHAT IF!? Pop-up Museum presenteren we ideeën van de oude revolutionairen uit 1968 en onderzoeken wat er terecht is gekomen van hun idealen. We tonen nieuwe ideeën voor de toekomst van jonge denkers. En niet te vergeten vragen we jou als bezoeker om je visioen voor de toekomst toe te voegen aan de museumcollectie. Velen gingen je al voor in onze interactieve photo booth! Stel jezelf de vraag: ‘Wat nou als…..?’ en laat de verbeelding aan de macht!
Opening 12 september (programma volgt) Dagelijks gratis te bezichtigen tot 3 okt Locatie: Stadsoase (voormalige Aegon-gebouw tegenover Centraal Station, Leeuwarden) Meer info
Just like last year the Iron Curtain Project will present itself on the opening festival of the cultural season in Amsterdam during Uitmarkt. Our WHAT IF!? Pop-up Museum on the revolutionary spirit of 1968 in Eastern and Western Europe will be on view at Marineterrein. More info follows.
Movies that Matter in The Hague is probably one of the nicest film festivals in The Netherlands. Because they show movies that don’t leave anyone untouched, but also because they have interesting guests from over the whole world, often people who risk their own lives to fight for human rights.
Our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum will also be present this year. This traveling exhibition tells the stories of ordinary people who played a part in the revolutions that shaped Europe. In the interactive video booth you can make your own protest sign and show what you want to change in the world. Almost a 1000 people made a sign already.
On March 31th we organise a workshop banner making. We will elaborate on the stories in the museum and we are going to work – very oldskool – with white sheets and spray paint. Hope to meet you there.
Practical I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum 23 March – 31 March openend daily from 10 am to 10 pm in Theater aan ’t Spui in The Hague Entrance free
‘Passive is flaccid’, ‘Too Much control’ and ‘Need long holliday’ are a few of the slogans people in Japan left in the photo booth of our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum. The fantastic Shibaura House in Tokyo invited Bureau Boven and Iron Curtain Project to give a lecture about new forms of journalism. Of course we couldn’t resist taking our Pop-up museum with us. See the results here.
At the moment the Iron Curtain Project team is working on new plans for 2018. Our activities will center around the theme of the ‘spirit of 1968’ and new ideas for democracy in 2018.
1968 was an iconic year. A massive wave of protest overflew the world. People demanded liberty and more democracy. Even in authoritarian ruled countries this spirit of ‘68 touched people so much that it a.o. led to the Prague Spring and extensive protests in Poland. Fifty years later people everywhere seem disillusioned about what democracy brought them. ‘Strong leaders’ gained popularity and civil liberties are under threat not only in Turkey, Poland and Hungary, but also in the United States.
With a new pop-up museum we will investigate this spirit of ’68 and ways to improve democracy now. Together with partners in Poland and Czech Republic we will develop a program around these topics. First stop will be Warsaw in January 2018 where we will cooperate with young journalists.
(Photo: By The Central Intelligence Agency – Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia)
It was such a pleasure to be present with the I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum at Lowlands and Uitmarkt, two of the biggest festivals in The Netherlands. We had great discussions and lots of fun. Now we are preparing for Brainwash Philosophy Festival in Amsterdam, a festival about ‘thinking’, so we guess we are in the right place there! Hopefully we see you there on the 28th of October.
After 7 days we packed our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum back in it’s crates and sent it back to base. From the 18th of August we will pop up again at the very cool Lowlands Festival. (And yes, we are more than happy with that!)
From June 8th until the 13th, our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum will travel to Bucharest. We will be accompanied by playwright and performance artist Ioana Tudor, who will give a special five-day performance in which she will recreate her father’s 1990 ‘Strike of Silence’.
In June of 1990, there were mass demonstrations against the Illiescu-government that succeeded the Ceauscescu-regime after the 1989 revolution. The uprising was met with a brutal crackdown by mine-workers who were recruited for the occasion, during the so-called ‘Mineriad’. Ioana’s father decided to respond with a strike of silence. He was arrested and his family fled the country. Earlier, we made this short documentary on the subject.
In April, we visited Bucharest for a study-trip and spoke to many Romanians who took part in the large anti corruption demonstrations of January and February. They still feel that the 1989 revolution isn’t finished. A new big story on that will be online soon.
Join us in Bucharest! Find all the information here.
Today our friend Dutch graphic designer Bram Nijssen started off with a workshop week at Eesti Kunstiakadeemia / Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn. Under his guidance students will work on the topic of the ‘protest poster’ and will design one themselves. Results will be shown in the Museum of Occupations together with our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum about revolution and revolt. And hopefully they will eventually end up where they belong: in the streets.
From 23 February – 23 April the I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum is on view in the Museum of Occupations in Tallinn, Estonia. The opening night was very successful with talks, performances of artists and writers. Find the photo report here.
Let’s unfuck the world! That’s the motto of Resist-festival, the fundraising event in Pakhuis De Zwijger in Amsterdam on 9 February for #ploumen4woman and #shedecides. We are proud to be present with our I’m So Angry (I Made a Sign) Pop-up Museum. Do you join us? Talks among others by the exceptional director Steve McQueen (Hunger, Twelve Years a Slave).
The Dutch Minister Ploumen initiated an international fund on education, anti conception and abortion for women in developing countries after Donald Trump put through the Global Gag Rule and withdrew 575 million dollars of funding. Ploumen wants to compensate. Her action drew attention all over the world. She was soon called ‘Superploumen’ All money raised at Resist Festival goes to #ploumen4women.
More info: https://dezwijger.nl/programma/resist-festival