New publication

World Heritage Now Launch-new

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.

More information on

And get a free hard copy by sending an e-mail to podium@wereld­

World Heritage Now preview

By Michiel — Posted February 5, 2014 — 5,713 Comments

Co-hosting international forum Urban Heritage Inc.

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 forum takes place from 31 March until 2 April 2011 in Church De Duif in Amsterdam. Stadsherstel, a company for restoration and urban heritage redevelopment, is hosting this forum in cooperation with three official partners; the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Municipality of Amsterdam. We are part of the organizing committee and will be moderating one of the panel discussions.

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.

By Juha — Posted February 19, 2011 — 40 Comments

Contribution to Time Out magazine out now

With contributions from 36 of our dearest friends and heroes, including Ben Cerveny, Nalden, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Saskia Sassen and Winy Maas, our co-created vison of Amsterdam in 2020 appeared in the new year’s edition of Time Out magazine Amsterdam. Download it here.

— Read more ›

By Michiel — Posted January 3, 2010 — 9,870 Comments

Rem Koolhaas, Andreas Lewin, Pierre Bastien, Amie Dicke, Macha Roesink, Tracy Metz, Dragan Klaic, Theu Boermans and Henk van der Waal

A recent performance by Pierre Bastien at De Verdieping (photo: René Passet)

A recent performance by Pierre Bastien at De Verdieping (photo: René Passet)

Another week of Non-fiction events in Amsterdam, starting with the collaboration with the Filmmuseum and DOKU.ARTS festival on Wednesday at De Verdieping. We will screen the documentary ‘Rem Koolhaas – A Kind of Architect‘, with a brief interview with festival director Andreas Lewin. Entrance is free of charge. More information on this on Facebook.

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.

By Juha — Posted June 9, 2009 — 5,591 Comments

Catching the aura of a former hiding place

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 logoAura-exhibition
From 14 May until 21 June 2009
Wednesday through Sunday 13:00 – 18:00 hrs
Admission 5 Euro, 18 years and younger free

Castrum Peregrini
Herengracht 401
1017 BP Amsterdam

Participating artists
Amie Dicke (visual artist, NL)
Chris Kabel (designer, NL)
John Kleckner (visual artist, USA)
Susanne Kriemann (visual artist, D)
Jan Robert Leegte (visual artist, NL)
Alexandra Leykauf (visual artist, D)
Erik Lindner (poet, NL)
Renée van Marissing & Allerd van den Bremen (theater-makers, NL)
Henk van der Waal (poet, NL)

And original works from the collection by
Max Beckmann
Walter Benjamin
Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht
Simon van Keulen

Official opening Aura-exhibition (free for all)
Thursday, 14 May, 18:00 – 21:00 hrs

Thursday, 28 May, 20:00 – 23:00 hrs
With contributions by Allerd van den Bremen, Machinefabriek, Erik Lindner, Renée van Marissing, Joachim Umlauf, Ton Venhoeven

Thursday, 11 June, 20:00 – 23:00 hrs
With contributions by Jan Baeke, Pierre Bastien, Theu Boermans, Dragan Klaic, Tracy Metz, Henk van der Waal

Finissage Aura-exhibition
Sunday, 21 juni, 14:00 – 20:00 hrs

Informal Aura-drink
Every friday 17:00 – 19:00 hrs

The Aura project is being made possible through the generous support of:
Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
VSB Fonds
Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Lira Fonds
Goethe Institut Amsterdam
Genootschap Nederland Duitsland

By Michiel — Posted May 1, 2009 — 2,704 Comments