On Sunday 9 February we launched World Heritage Now. This publication shows the dynamic and fragile nature of UNESCO World Heritage by juxtaposing UNESCO’s original guidelines with recent media coverage from around the world and personal remarks and commentary by Non-fiction’s Michiel van Iersel, who is the inaugural guest curator of the new World Heritage Podium in Amsterdam. Designed by Rafe Copeland, the publication questions the sustainability of the World Heritage List in a world in flux, and proposes new and radical directions and actions for UNESCO.
The launch took take place in the building of Amsterdam’s City Archives on Sunday 9 February from 15:00 – 16:30. Several guests responded to the publication. With a.o. Esther Agricola (Director of the Office of Monuments & Archeology, City of Amsterdam, responsible for the Canal Di), Riemer Knoop (Professor of Cultural Heritage at the Reinwardt Academy and advisor to The Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO) and Tracy Metz (journalist and director of the John Adams Institute).
The publication was commissioned by the World Heritage Podium. The Netherlands has nine World Heritage sites that are acknowledged by UNESCO. All of these are brought to life in the World Heritage Podium. The World Heritage Podium is situated in the monumental building De Bazel in Amsterdam. It is simultaneously the information centre for the Canal District Amsterdam, that was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.
This spring we will be co-hosting a forum entitled Urban Heritage Inc., Public-private partnership meets heritage preservation. The forum deals with the question whether public-private companies can save historic cities that are under threat from neglect or over-exploitation? More specifically it focuses on the pros and cons of UNESCO-enlistment.
The second day of the forum, Friday 1 April, is open to the public. Journalist and ‘urban writer’ Tracy Metz, described as the Dutch Jane Jacobs, will be the moderator during the entire programme. Parallel to the main forum a special workshop for students and young professionals will take place, co-ordinated by Creative Urbans and resulting in new proposals for the re-use of old buildings in the city.
For updates on the programme and the list of speakers, please check the forum’s website.
On Thursday there will be the second and final Aura Salon at Castrum Peregrini. After last week’s abstract performance by Machinefabriek, now we have our French friend from Rotterdam Pierre Bastien. He will be joined by Theu Boermans (actor, director and screenwriter), Amie Dicke (artist), Dragan Klaic (theater scholar and cultural analyst), Tracy Metz (journalist), Macha Roesink (director Museum de Paviljoens) and Henk van der Waal (poet).
Thanks for your interest once again, and we look forward to welcoming you this week.
What does a contemporary artist do with the vibrant past of a former hiding place on one of Amsterdam’s canals? Is it the aura, the uniqueness and authenticity of this place to be captured and can it be transformed into something new and relevant? Those questions live at the heart of the art project Aura: an exhibition and a series of events in the historic premises of Castrum Peregrini Foundation, where in WWII young German Jews survived in hiding. Since the war the time seems to stand still in this labyrinth of rooms and passages. A small part of the first generation lives there to date, in the middle of countless antique objects, books and pieces of art they produced and collected. In the coming years the house will be partly opened to the public.
To mark this transition Non-fiction’s Michiel van Iersel invited nine artists from different disciplines to choose a historic object, a story or a person as a point of departure and use it for a new artwork. The writings of pre-war German literary critic Walter Benjamin formed the basis for the project, and his signature is included in the show. The results of this ‘artistic recycling’ vary from installation art, ink drawings, photography and film to conceptual furniture, poems and a short contemporary radio play. The exhibition of works will start in the new project space of Castrum Peregrini, moving up the old staircase into the deserted apartment of a late inhabitant where the past is still perceptibly present.
In conjunction with the exhibtion a series of Aura-salons with guided tours, performances, statements and music will be hosted by Castrum Pegrini. Non-fiction’s Juha van ‘t Zelfde has invited the French composer and multi-instrumentalist Pierre Bastien and Dutch electro-acoustic musician Machinefabriek to perform during two consecutive Aura-salons.For more information on the Aura-salons, the exhibition and the official opening please visit: Castrum Peregrini website
Aura-exhibition From 14 May until 21 June 2009
Wednesday through Sunday 13:00 – 18:00 hrs
Admission 5 Euro, 18 years and younger free
1017 BP Amsterdam