upcoming events:

every thursday

unsettling reading-group

Time: from 17:00 to 19:00

For more information or to join the unsettling reading group mailing list, please email: unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl


    From the start of the second semester, the unsettling reading group will meet every week to work more intensively through a collectively assembled constellation of questions, topics and texts. The idea of "reading" here is approached very broadly and the formats for the group's meetings can include walks, talks, screenings, cooking and more. Group members are encouraged to propose ideas and to lead sessions, while guest moderators will also visit occasionally to introduce other voices and perspectives. 

the second thursday of the month at lunch time

unsettling hangry hour

Time: from 13:00 to 14:00


    This is the space and time to vent! Created in response to important conversations with students and staff, the unsettling hangry hour invites you to bring your lunch and share concerns around issues of inclusivity or access in need of addressing. Hangry hours are conducted in a spirit of confidentiality and critical optimism in the sense that what is shared is kept anonymous unless otherwise agreed, and active steps are identified in response to what is shared.
    The unsettling hangry hour will take place at lunch time on the second Thursday of every month at the unsettling station in the Rietveld Library. And if you have any further questions, or would like to share a concern or experience in a less in-person way, please email: unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl

let’s set a date!

unsettling drop-in

To make a date with the unsettling team, please email: unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl

    The unsettling team is excited to continue visiting each department of Rietveld and Sandberg to share more about the unsettling program and to hear from students and staff about their experiences, ideas, frustrations and desires for the future of their departments. Interesting questions to address could be:
- Who are “we” as a department?
- How can we create a safe space to work and think together?
- What perspectives, content and input are missing from our learning context?
- How can we support each other better in collaborative projects and collective processes? 



archive :

on 16.02.2021

Crushing Boundaries, Embracing Queerness

 with Storm Vogel

Time: 17:00 to 19:00 (ONLINE)

Email unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl for more information and to join!

    In this workshop, we will start at the beginning of how people have come to see sex and gender in Europe. To understand what queer actually means, we will start with a brief outline on the situated histories of queerness in Europe and how categories like heterosexual and transgender were created? We will look at how the gender binary came to be seen as the epitome of civilization that only rich, mentally sane white people could achieve; learning that to understand what queer means, one also needs to understand intersectionality as a framework to looking at the world.

    We will then move into looking at what does having this knowledge mean for daily practice. How does the gender binary create language and the other way around? How can an institution and the people in it become more inclusive towards gender non- conforming and trans/ non- binary individuals? Since modern times, art has always been a place where a certain experimentation with gender and sex was possible- think Prince for instance- so what does that mean for an art school? We will discuss how deconstructing these ideas is an important part of creating boundary crushing art.

    Storm Vogel (they/them) worked as a theatre director,  teacher, cleaner, writer, performer, as team member of the political party BIJ1, as illustrator and as operator of a giant swing in the shape of a ship. During and after their studies at the theatre academy ArtEZ, they worked mainly as a maker of performances with children between the ages of 10 and 15. Their bachelor thesis explored the history of the term 'queer' and what it has come to mean over time, and analyses the position that queerness holds in art institutions today, looking specifically at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.  Recently Storm is exploring writing and filmmaking. They wrote short stories for 'Queering the City of Literature' in Utrecht and a science fiction story for the 'Other Futures Festival'. They love - and have always been fascinated by - science fiction's power to imagine and create different worlds and ways of being together. At the moment Storm is working on a video performance about the binary gaze that creates their body, as part of 'CINECLUB: Queer Diasporas', in Haarlem.

on 11.02.2021

In Nature, I Open Up

 with Afé Abeni and Henry Robinson

Time: 17:00 to 19:00 (ONLINE)

Email unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl for more information and to join!

    In this session, we will be talking with Afe Abeni and Henry Robinson about their collaborative photography project. The photos in this series explores the use of the body as language and the freedom that nature allows. We will discuss the experience of queerness and coming into one’s body and how photography allows for one to be seen, and functions as a freeze frame of Afe’s transition journey deeper into himself.

    Improvisational Movement Artist and Poet, Afé Abeni is a recent graduate from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. Having completed a BFA in Performance and Choreography, he has seen reflections of an indulgence in the once feared art form, Dance. His work encompasses representation of his journey home to himself, having been disconnected all his life. Abeni’s creative process is subjective to and heavily dependent on a cathartic approach with light shed on the extremes of his emotional experiences, responses and expression. Afé Abeni advocates for mental health by creating space for unfiltered expression and sharing of those experiences leading the medium, Art. He also seeks to take up space in that regard by being unapologetically his body’s greatest occupant, and leaps into greater new experiences with panic coexisting with the greatest bulk of excitement for love, healing and visibility. Afé Abeni, a non-conforming transman represents boldness in vulnerability and his work.

    Henry is a London based visual artist born and bred in Jamaica. He has worked in film and photography in both Jamaica and the UK. Growing up in a predominantly black country where he learnt to play, love and laugh together with black faces in black places, he seeks to capture the black body in myriad forms. In addition to working with numerous commercial clients, such as Puma and Google, his work has been featured in Plantain magazine and exhibited at Kings College in London.

on 05+12.11.2020

Occult Poetry & (Soma)tic Rituals

 with CA Conrad

Time: 10:00 to 13:00 (ONLINE)

Email unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl for more information and to join!

    We will discuss how occult and paranormal experiences and practices of poets in the past show us how to trust these same forces are alive and at work for us today. Rumi, Hannah Weiner, Will Alexander, Hoa Nguyen, Alice Notely, and Ariana Reines are some poets whose work and practices we will investigate.
We will also discuss and build (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals together for our writing.

CAConrad is the author of the forthcoming book Amanda Paradise (Wave Books, 2021). Their book While Standing in Line for Death won a 2018 Lambda Book Award. They also received a 2019 Creative Capital grant and a Pew Arts and Heritage Foundation Fellowship, the Believer Magazine Book Award, and the Gil Ott Book Award. They regularly teach at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam. Please view their books, essays, recordings, and the documentary The Book of Conrad (Delinquent Films) online at http://bit.ly/88CAConrad

starting on 19.11.2020

Teaching in unsettled times

 with Ayesha Ghanchi and Hodan Warsame

Time: 10:00 to 13:00 (ONLINE)

Email unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl for more information and to join!

    This 8-week course spread over the academic year 2020/2021 is a series of consciousness raising and anti-oppression workshops, designed to help tutors navigate students’ questions and situations regarding oppression, power and politics.
  The aim of these workshops is to consider and embed practical solutions that help encourage meaningful conversations and to create an environment of trust; aligned with Unsettling’s purpose to help affect positive institutional change.

  This course includes an accessible and urgent introduction to decolonial politics and white supremacy, so we can gain a deeper critical awareness of how to navigate issues around race, gender and privilege and oppression in general.
  Ultimately- we will locate theory in practice and real-life examples, with a view to offering solutions for navigating discussion, disagreement or tension in the studio/classroom.

  This course is developed in response to the ‘Unsettling Pedagogy’ workshops from January 2019, which took the form of four intensive workshops and culminated in the Unsettling Report, which examined key concerns of participating tutors and potential ‘solutions’ that we co-designed.

  This course also sets out to establish inclusive and inviting* 'ground rules' for the tutors to create with their students.

on 28.05.2020

On taking matters into our own hands

 with Ying Que

Time: 15:00 to 17:00

Email unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl for more information and to join!

    Six weeks into the Dutch lockdown light, the effects of the pandemic are becoming clearer. It has exposed the vulnerable state of public healthcare and devastated our global economies. They’re adding to the major crises in climate, refugees and housing, battles we were already fighting before the government told us to stay at home, because we are under viral attack.
    We have only just begun adapting to this isolation, as a gesture of solidarity to the vulnerable amongst us. Big parts of our lives got frozen for a bit and put on hold, while other parts are being pixelated and taking on digital forms. We are navigating another sense of being together and facing the uncertain future.
    Meanwhile the government is preparing for the 1,5m economy, with a handful of white men leading management of the neoliberal health care crisis that is suddenly becoming apparent.

    There is no long term plan for the economy.
    Fingers crossed we don’t go back to normal.
    But if not the old normal, then what?

    Although these days we may be more lonely than before and getting hungry for the touch of our friends and family, our lives were already alienated. We are brooding from the homes we are lucky to have, in a country that leaves us strangely, frustratingly free in choosing how to deal with the circumstances and it feels like we’re getting the chance to refigure the way we do things. Artists and the arts and culture sector are amongst those hit hardest, but at the same time, we are armed with a training in imagination. We need a radical imagination to have a way out of capitalism.

    So let’s talk creative organizing and cultural activism. Let’s discuss alternatives, collective action and demands we need to make from our government and institutions.

    The first part of this session presents three collective initiatives in Utrecht from the perspective of feminist economy and the communalization of food. The second part is a prompt for action to take matters into our own hands, and discuss how to influence and change your direct environment. In the question of unsettling, what do you think your school should be doing?

Ying Que is an anthropologist working in art and education as a cultural program maker and facilitator. As an activist, she speaks from an anarcha-feminist position and is active in several collectives. Her areas of concern are prefigurative politics, feminist economies and organizing strategies.

unsettling Consultant
Judith Leysner

unsettling Coordinators
Tracian Meikle
Nagaré Willemsen
Emirhan Akın

unsettling Graphic Design
Manon Bachelier
For any in-person questions, suggestions, conversations, please visit the unsettling station!
On Thursdays from 10.00AM to 17.00PM at the Rietveld Bibliotheek, FedLev building!

@. unsettling@rietveldacademie.nl
☎. + 31 20 588 2406
w. www.rietveldacademie.nl
w. www.sandberg.nl

unsettling visiting address: 
Fred. Roeskestraat 96
NL – 1076 ED Amsterdam