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Open Encounter Addressing the Urgency of Artistic Cross-Cultural Dialogues ~ The Boat is Sinking? is an open encounter with artistic interventions and debate. The event engages the intensifying paradox between the usual exultation of globalization from the side of capitalism and the asymmetric (daily) practices of international and cross-cultural artistic exchange.

Event details of The Boat is Sinking?
Date 5 November 2015
Time 15:00 -18:00
Location Universiteitstheater
Room University Theater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, Amsterdam

The program consists of two parts: (1) artists, programmers, academics, and cultural operators/activists of different disciplines give ‘statements’ on the current state of cross-cultural artistic practices within international contexts as well as within the Netherlands. The statements include provocations, artistic interventions/performances, personal concerns and challenges; (2) an open-format discussion is used for an inclusive conversation between participants and audience.

The Boat is Sinking? is a collaboration of Dancing on the Edge and the University of Amsterdam- Theatre Studies Department.

Proposed Schedule

14:45 - 15:00    Theater opens
15:00 - 16:30    Short Introduction & ‘Statements’ (incl. provocations, artistic interventions, personal concerns)
16:30 - 16:45    Break
16:45 - 17:45     Introduction (10 minutes) & open debate (fish bowl in three groups)
17:45 - 18:00    Debriefing

Three main topics

Artistic Practices of International Exchange

  • What are the new modes of intercultural and international artistic practices? How do contemporary works and formats address the issues of (asymmetrical) globalization and cultural migration—aesthetically and conceptually?
  • What is ‘quality’ and who are involved in deciding this? the artists? programmers? the market? How could we formulate an ethics for cross-cultural dialogue and exchange?
  • In the new logic of shareware global economy, who owns culture (and cultural heritage) and what are the ethical considerations in cultural appropriation?

Intercultural Exchange within the Dutch Artistic Scene

  • How are new theater and artistic works in the Netherlands addressing the issues of cultural diversity and multiculturalism? And should they?
  •  For more than two decades, this topic has been on debate in the cultural sector. What has changed? Why does it remain an unaddressed issue?
  • Are the existing artistic policies on cultural diversity just a form of tokenism? How do local and national artistic practices engage the intra- and trans-cultural processes within the country?
  • How are these issues reflected in the artistic programming of major and national cultural institutions? How can we decolonize and democratize the canons, conventions, and the existing commercial valuations of art and artistic practices?
  • How can we engage different audiences?

Economics and Politics of International Exchange

  • What avenues are set-up for Dutch/European artists/institutions and non-European artists/institutions that facilitate intercultural collaborations and exchanges?  
  • Who are the stakeholders in cross-cultural artistic practice? What are their artistic, political and economic interests and how much influence do they have to act on these?
  • How are works chosen for international and intercultural festivals and venues? Who funds these projects—is it state/philanthropically-subsidized or is it ticket driven?
  • How does state policies and/or the international festival market influence the aesthetics of works created for this particular audience?

Entrance to the event is free, but registration is required.  Due to the size of the theatre, there are limited seats, so please register early to secure your place.  Registration can be done by sending an email to:

This event is part of the Dancing on the Edge Festival. (


Room University Theater, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, Amsterdam

Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16-18
1012 CP Amsterdam