The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam will showcase different chapters on the history of migration this year. The topics are sourced from Dutch history, looking at for instance migrants arriving in Ellis Island around 1900 to Surinam Dutch people arriving in Amsterdam in 1975 and Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.
Next to social, political and economic consequences, migration is also very much present in the arts. The director of the modern art museum, Beatrix Ruf, thought of the topic while preparing for other exhibitions about the Russian Revolution and the Dutch artistic movement De Stijl. They were both times that were full of Utopian ideas and tension. At the same time migration was very much happening as well as globalisation, not only of the arts but the world as a whole.
As people are able to travel more easily, we can also exchange more information. What has the influence of this been on artists? And how do we value our national or European identity? Cultural exchange can be seen as an expression of the idea of peaceful co-existence in Europe and provides an opportunity to foster closer international ties. Within the Music in Movement project we will also look at the theme of migration and what impact this might have had on composers and their works. In the past and now, artists migrate throughout Europe in search of a place to pursue their creative endeavors unhindered by external constraints, be it due to socio-political or personal events. In some case they chose to do so for subjective and professional reasons, in other they were forced by external factors. Regardless the reason, it is safe to say that migration reflects the global nature of new music and facilitates cultural exchange.
- Stedelijk Museum press release [NL]: http://www.stedelijk.nl/persberichten/stedelijk-wijdt-in-2017-vijf-tentoonstellingen-aan-migratie#sthash.ngB9q4UJ.dpuf
- Volkskrant article by Michiel Kruijt [NL]: http://www.volkskrant.nl/beeldende-kunst/directeur-stedelijk-museum-mengt-zich-in-politieke-strijd-rond-populisme~a4475899/?hash=5a62fabddcd6629695e5e3ffd55105660a41f6f9
- Featured Image: Yara Said, The Refugee Nation Flag. Photo: Angela Luna