Amsterdam – Naples How do we construct our individual and collective identity around the concept of freedom? We can we use freedom as a tool that includes without excluding and challenges our habitual ways of thinking?

The Re:Think foundation recently set off to the German Historical Museum in Berlin for a workshop with a group of Syrians how haven’t been in Germany for very long yet. When newcomers to a country learn about, question and discuss its history – and this is the idea behind the workshop –, it can make a constructive contribution to the changes that are badly needed in Europe. For the new perspectives and critical questions asked by newcomers can usher in and support such changes in society.


Artist duo Giovanna Bianco and Guiseppe Valente, partners of the Goethe-Institut in Naples, are producing a film about Amsterdam‘s question. The film’s protagonists are residents of big European cities, people of all ages and inclinations, from all walks of life, including immigrants and refugees as well as Dutch denizens giving their personal and often emotional answers to the question: How do we realize our collective identity in relation to freedom? How can we make use of freedom as an inclusive, not exclusive, value that bravely defies rigid narrow-minded intolerance?

The Amsterdam team around Pakhuis de Zwijger, a centre for dialogue and imagineering a liveable city, and German-Syrian architect and activist Yasser Almamooun have come up with an action-packed action plan to answer the Neapolitan question. Drawing on walking tours and other explorations of the city, mini-workshops, net research, data collection, field studies, interviews and panel discussions, and in an ongoing exchange with the artistic duo Bianco-Valente as well as with city residents, local researchers and the interested public, they’re developing a mobile exhibition on the question “How do we work some degree of freedom into an overcrowded social habitat?” Amsterdam’s experience in matters of architecture, urban planning, literary methodology and 3D design provides the concrete basis for an interventionist concept to be presented in the city in early November: Amsterdam is looking for a “solution” to Naples’ spatial predicament.

(September 2018)

Our Partner

Pakhuis de Zwijger is a place that nurtures debate and, together with the Re:think Foundation, uses art and discourse to explore power structures in politics, culture, economics and science. The organization has been encouraging collaboration, networking and exchange since 2006. Yasser Almaamoun is a Syrian activist and architect. He works for a Berlin-based architecture practice, is involved in the "Multaka" project at the German Historical Museum (DHM), and is “Foreign Minister” for the artist collective Center for Political Beauty.

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