International Art Talent Festival in Felix Meritis

Nov 23rd 2023

presented by
Amsterdam Fund for the Arts
and Bureau Broedplaatsen

Fifteen talented artists who lived and worked last year in Amsterdam will share their exciting creative projects. These artists come from different backgrounds and create a wide range of art. You can enjoy a cabaret show, experience the latest audio-visual shows, witness bio art, and enjoy dance and music performances. Don't miss this chance.

The admission-free festival is part of the 3Package Deal, a program for international artistic talent. Laurien Saraber (director AFK) and Martijn Braamhaar (program manager Bureau Broedplaatsen) will open the event. The program is curated by Bogomir Doringer and produced by Rafael Kozdron.

Film and Interactive Media: Abhay Kumar / Fashion: Darwin Winklaar / Theatre: Nick Deroo / Music: Elif Murat / Visual Art: Masha Volkova / Visual Art: Simnikiwe Buhlungu / Publishing Performance: Alec Mateo/ Urban Realm: Carolina Bianchi / Dance: Ainhoa Hernandez Escudero / Engaged Art: Flavia Pinheiro / Self-taught: Max Pickkers / Cabaret: Valentina Toth / Social Design: Mary Farwy / Interhistoricity: Ana Navas / Bio Art and Design: Margherita Soldati

Darwin Winklaar /Fashion/

Presenting “Folklorica Collection”

Launching his debut Fashion & Music brand NIÑO DIVINO, a synergetic multidisciplinary fashion that fuses it with the contemporary practice of music-making. The collection is a new modern twist: using traditional dresses of the Caribbean folklore with the diasporic reality of the artist. The intention is to weave a new story that reflects what it means to identify as Aruban by mixing the urban street styles with the traditional pieces, a new parade that connects with the multicultural reality.

Darwin Winklaar was born and raised in Aruba, San Nicolas. His work reflects a personal story: practicing a lonely dance between Nostalgia and Melancholia. His childhood years are essential to his creative process; he reinterprets memories, feelings, and cultural symbols from his childhood. His mother Violeta is one of his main sources of inspiration. Darwin constantly embodies rituals and family habits through his work as a way of honoring the female figures who shaped him. His work is the result of an in-depth investigation into the folkloric religious practices that are predominant in the Caribbean.

Abhay Kumar
/Film and Interactive Media/

Presenting “A Song for the Room”

Drawn by the allure of a transformative dance experience, those who enter ‘The Room’ must confront a relentless force, intent on getting under their skin.

Abhay Kumar is a double National Award-winning filmmaker and visual artist from India. In 2019, relocated to Amsterdam to pursue a Master’s Degree in Cinema at the Netherlands Film Academy from where he graduated Cum Laude in 2021 with his ongoing artistic research examining “grids as control mechanisms”. Inspired by electronic music and rave subcultures, Abhay is currently working on two science fiction shorts.

Masha Volkova /Visual Art/

Presenting "The Living Room"

Collection of love-infused furniture, celebrating human connections.

In a world where objects often remain lifeless and devoid of meaning, Masha Volkova infuses her work with whimsical shapes and intricate textures. She invites the audience to see beyond the mere utility of furniture and experience the essence of a person.

As you explore “The Living Room”, you'll find yourself immersed in a realm, where a lamp, table, or cabinet takes on a life of its own. It is an exploration of the profound impact people and objects have on our lives.

Masha Volkova is an object artist. She creates sculpture-like furniture and furniture-like sculptures in which she decodes the personality of objects. Her works are characters with wooden skeletons. These characters transmit through explicit shapes and textures. Layered structures and loaded facades attract curiosity and invite to take a closer look at often-overlooked objects. Her practice is an ongoing investigation around the dynamics of objectification, asking us to consider not only the functions of everyday objects but also their ethics and meanings. A couch rears up, and a cabinet falls in love. An object is alive, and it has stories to tell. Listen with your eyes.

Nick Deroo /Theatre/

Presenting ”It really hurts when your head hits the concrete”

A man drags his companion around like a rag doll; a 70 kilo body tethered to him. Lost and looking for the way, he deploys the rag doll as a living Swiss army knife. Tap on his head and water comes out, climb on his shoulders to look around. But what if your companion no longer wants to play along?

“It really hurts when your head hits the concrete” embodies in a humorous and poetic way how we all carry our history with us. In this physical performance you are immersed into an absurd world in which the internal struggle of a man becomes personified. Expect a deluge of images that reads like a poem and takes you to virtuosic acrobatic highlights.

This performance is a work in progress from his collective DeRonde/Deroo.

Nick Deroo is a theatre maker, performer, and poet whose work starts from the carnality of our existence. He draws inspiration from the ultimate vulnerability and beauty he believes bodies harbor. For him, the body contains a collective identity because in it lies the core of destruction, comfort, and connection. His work has a strong philosophical component, with themes such as melancholy, liminality, and altruism.

Stimulating and facilitating top talent with affordable living and working space, a budget, and a network – that is the goal of the 3Package Deal. This successful program of the Amsterdam Fund of the Arts (AFK) and Bureau Broedplaatsen in collaboration with renowned Amsterdam institutions is now regarded as the best practice in the field of talent development.

The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) invests in the arts which enrich the experience of life in the city of Amsterdam. The AFK encourages the quality, dynamism and diversity of the arts in Amsterdam, and contributes to the city's strong and richly varied cultural climate. The fund is available to all disciplines within the cultural sector, for cultural organizations and artists. The AFK supports both experimentation and proven quality, established organizations and those that are relatively new, the professional arts and amateur arts - from every district of the city. As a metropolitan cultural fund, the AFK offers support to high-quality cultural activities, it functions as a booster for the arts within the city and is an investor in a sustainable future for the cultural sector.

Bureau Broedplaatsen is part of the municipality of Amsterdam. Its task is to realize more affordable studios and (residential) workspaces for artists and incubator groups. Bureau Broedplaatsen does this in collaboration with target group organisations, city districts, central services, corporations, real estate agents, developers, and banks.

We thank our partners, the renowned Amsterdam cultural institutions listed below who take part in the 15 coalitions that select the participating artists and provide them with guidance and a supportive network. They are of vital importance to the program.

Film and Interactive Media: Filmacademie / IDFA / EYE / Fashion: HTNK / OSCAM / AMFI Visual Art: FOAM / Rietveld Academie / De Appel Arts Centre / Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam / Kunstverein / Rijksakademie / Engaged Art: Veem House of Performance / De Balie / De Ateliers / Urban Realm: NDSM-Werf / Over het IJ Festival / Das Arts (AHK) / Theatre: Academie voor Theater en Dans/ Amerpodia / Theater Bellevue / Dance: ICK Artist Space / Frascati Theater / AHK / SNDO (AHK Dans) / Music: Conservatorium Amsterdam / Muziekgebouw aan het IJ / Melkweg / Cabaret: Academie voor Theater en Dans / De Kleine Komedie / Amsterdams Kleinkunst Festival / Interhistoricity: Oude Kerk / Museum van Loon / H401 / Reinwardt Academie / Publishing Performance: Werkplaats Typografie (ArtEz) / If I Can’t Dance / Sandberg Instituut – Critical Studies / Social Design: Waag / Hackers&Designers / Framer Framed / Self-taught: Likeminds / Theater Bellevue / Theater De Meervaart / Bio Art and Design: Waag / Mediamatic/ VU Amsterdam

Event credits:

Curated by Bogomir Doringer.
Event production by Rafael Kozdron.
Felix Meritis production by Rivka van der Berg.
Press contact: Charlie Thole (AFK.
Project leaders: Johanna Brils (AFK) and Naïma Bouchtaoui (Bureau Broedplaatsen).