The Gathering

Whose stories do we tell and how do we tell them? How do we engage with knowledge and sources of inspiration? As makers, how can we engage in a more reciprocal dialogue with communities, practices and knowledge centres that have inspired us? How do we connect the work we created years ago and continue to perform to today’s needs and demands?

During The Gathering from 20 to 23 October, we invite you to join us in turning our gaze inwards to question ourselves. Where do we reinforce and affirm ways of thinking that we actually want to change? And how do the questions outlined above impact your practice?

How do we deal with knowledge and sources of inspiration? This was the key question that researcher and conversation facilitator Obiozo Ukpabi asked us as a company in 2020. The Gathering’s programme was inspired by the text written by Obiozo Ukpabi at the invitation of Building Conversation. The text is both an introspection and an appeal.

“As storytellers, we should ask ourselves: whose stories are we telling, how do we tell them and why? And when we say ‘we’, who (and who don’t) we mean?” As makers, how can we engage in a more reciprocal dialogue with communities, practices and knowledge centres that have inspired us? How do we connect the work we created years ago and continue to perform to today’s needs and demands?

Based on this text, we identify two issues that we will engage with during The Gathering. We look at the fine line between inspiration and appropriation and explore the relationship between the free conversation spaces we developed earlier and the current need for safe spaces.

Guests
We work with (inter)national guests. Bruce Naokwegijig, artistic director of Debajehmujig Theater Group, will come to the Netherlands for The Gathering. The experiences and text of Obiozo Ukpabi, written at the request of Building Conversation, also play an important role. More information about guests later!



THE GATHERING: PROGRAMME

The Gathering is a four-day programme during which we work with international guests and artists, and with you. During the first two days, we will shed new light on existing work in different in-depth working groups. This will be followed by a two-day public programme with performance and debate. You can participate in the four-day programme with working groups or only in the public programme. You can find all the tickets here.


In-depth working groups | Thursday 20 & Friday 21 October

In in-depth working groups we shed new light on existing work.

Drawing on performative conversations previously developed by Building Conversation – Thinking together– an experiment (2014) and Time Loop (2016) – we engage with issues and topics relevant to today. What is our relationship to our inspiration sources? Where does the responsibility of a maker begin and end? What is (still) possible in the public debate? Where do the sensitivities lie and what forms of conversation do we need now? We invite you to share knowledge and strengths and explore these issues together, both for Building Conversation and for your own practice.

Click on the working groups for more information on the topics.

Working group Inspiration or appropriation? – Time Loop Revisited
Working group Safe or brave? – Thinking Together Revisited

Practical information in-depth working groups

A working group lasts two days. You can join one of the two working groups. Pick the working group of your choice when you purchase your ticket. On both days, the workshops last from 10am to 8pm. Lunch and dinner are included. The working groups will be followed by the public programme on 22 and 23 October, where we will share findings collectively with the public. The public programme also includes lunch.

The costs of this four-day programme including 4x lunch and 2x dinner are €200 / €120 (regular/student discount), TICKETS

If you would like to participate but the fee is a barrier, please email us at info@buildingconversation.nl so we can look at options with you.

 

Public programme | Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 October

By revisiting and sharing old work, we shine new light on the times we live in and the change that is needed. TICKETS

The public programme consists of two days of performance and debate. You can choose to join the full programme on both days. Or opt for a separate day or a separate conversation. Each day we focus on a topical issue from our own practice, which we share with you in an open and honest way so that we can learn from it together. By participating, you have an opportunity to jointly reflect on the experience. You will take part in one of the discussion forms Time Loop Revisited, the Agonistic Conversation or Thinking Together Revisited. This will be followed by a debate in which, on Saturday, we will consider the relationship between inspiration and appropriation and on Sunday, focus on the relationship between free space and safe space.

Saturday 22 October | Inspiration or appropriation?
A public programme exploring the fine line between inspiration and appropriation.

Time Loop Revisited or Agonistic Conversation (choose on the day) | 10.00 – 14.00 | includes lunch
Debate | 14.00 – 17.00

Sunday 23 October | Safe or brave?
A public programme on the question of whether or not we should adapt works of art to the spirit of the times.

Thinking Together Revisited | 10.00 – 14.00 | includes lunch
Debate | 14.00 – 17.00

c: First deep field, James Webb Space Telescope, galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, 2022 © NASA ESA CSA STScIThe Gathering is an annual international gathering for people involved and interested in conversation and dialogical art and the work of Building Conversation in particular.

The Gathering is a programme with international invitees, with English as the working language.

Thu 20 October 2022
10:00
Meervaart, Meer en Vaart 300, 1068 LE Amsterdam
and The Beach, Notweg 38K, 1068 LL Amsterdam

The Gathering – working groups consist of four days during which we will work with international guests and artists and hopefully you too! During the first two days, we will shed new light on existing work in two different in-depth working groups. This is followed by a two-day public program with performance and debate. Read more.

 

Fri 21 October 2022
10:00
Meervaart, Meer en Vaart 300, 1068 LE Amsterdam
en The Beach, Notweg 38K, 1068 LL Amsterdam

The Gathering – working groups consist of four days during which we will work with international guests and artists and hopefully you too! During the first two days, we will shed new light on existing work in two different in-depth working groups. This is followed by a two-day public program with performance and debate. Read more.

 

Sat 22 October 2022
10:00
Meervaart, Meer en Vaart 300, 1068 LE Amsterdam
and The Beach, Notweg 38K, 1068 LL Amsterdam

The Gathering – public programme is a rich and full programme of performance and debate:

Saturday 22 October | Inspiration or appropriation?
Time Loop Revisited | 10am – 2pm  | lunch included
Agonistic Conversation | 10am – 2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2am-5pm

Sunday 23 October | Safe or brave?
Thinking Together Revisited – 10am-2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2pm-5pm

You can choose to join the full program on both days. Or opt for a single day or a separate conversation. More information.

Sun 23 October 2022
10:00
Meervaart, Meer en Vaart 300, 1068 LE Amsterdam
and The Beach, Notweg 38K, 1068 LL Amsterdam

The Gathering – public programme is a rich and full programme of performance and debate:

Saturday 22 October | Inspiration or appropriation?
Time Loop Revisited | 10am – 2pm  | lunch included
Agonistic Conversation | 10am – 2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2am-5pm

Sunday 23 October | Safe or brave?
Thinking Together Revisited – 10am-2pm | lunch included
Debate | 2pm-5pm

You can choose to join the full program on both days. Or opt for a single day or a separate conversation. More information.


‘That’s what the problem is, I think, there’s a kind of paucity of discourse around the way that white artists in particular, in their encounters with Indigenous cultures, exert or act from a place of privilege and I think that that’s a really big and really complicated conversation that needs to be happening. [..] In other words: she [Abramović] is a white person who has the privilege of skimming our culture for the parts that are useful or interesting to her, whilst failing completely to engage with the muck and pain of dispossession and coloniality and her own complicit position as its beneficiary.’

Sarah Jane Norman, a cross-disciplinary artist and writer of mixed British and Indigenous Australian heritage in an interview about the Marina Abramović controversy.