In Leiden, encounters between two Leiden artists and two artists with refugee status who have ties to Leiden have been documented on film, resulting in two short films.
These films will be presented to a wider audience in Leiden.
During the presentation the artists and filmers will discuss with the audience the themes that have emerged in the two short films.
Work that was made during the creative exchange will be exhibited and presented in Old School Leiden in 2021.
The date of this exhibition is later to be decided due to Covid - 19
During the exhibition there is a possibility to discuss social themes interactively during a social experiment in which you can participate as a visitor.
The main aim of the project is to build bridges in the Leiden community through a common denominator; creativity.
Using video and art as a binder to share stories, enter conversations and express feelings, barriers might be removed for anyone who wants to connect fellow citizens.
Cultural interventions of this kind can lead to meaningful contacts and expansion of the social network. By contrasting positive role models from different cultures in the city and also providing a platform, we want to initiate a cultural intervention where stereotypes, prejudices and agreements of status holders and people with a creative profession are touched upon.
The focus is on the people themselves; their strengths and talents.
Our current society requires great connection and coordination.
In cities such as Leiden, people from diverse cultural and social backgrounds are seen living closely together, but not always with each other.
Art is ideal for telling stories, expressing and conveying emotions and increasing empathy.
In these times there is a lively social discussion on subjects as refugees, individuality and interconnectedness. Leiden is also a city with a great focus on culture and art.
The WijZijn Foundation wants to contribute answering these questions in a professional manner with the Double Portrait project.
WHO ARE WE
The WijZijn Foundation aims to connect different social groups and individuals through art and culture both in the Netherlands and within Europe or worldwide.
We do this by starting up (cultural) cooperation projects, or by supporting existing (cultural) projects, with the same goal of providing a platform and broadening perspective.
Izaak Zwartjes, beeldhouwer
Ayman Ghoujal, fotograaf
Ayham Al Sadoon
INGE & AYHAM
The Lokhorstkerk is the location for the Double Portrait with Inge Reisberman and Aeham Sadon.
We consciously use a secret church because of the Dutch historical background of persecution of Protestants.
Persecution and having to flee or take shelter is something that has happened in every country.
Together with Inge, a creative exchange takes place between her and Aeham that has to do with video, performance, poetry and sound.
Both artists base the joint inspiration for this creative exchange on the lyrics of the song My heart's in the Highlands by Arvo Pärt.
AYMAN & IZAAK
In interaction with Ayman Ghoujal, Izaak Zwartjes builds a shelter somewhere in the city of Leiden.
He describes the shelter itself as a nomad tent, for a traveling people.
This shelter is quick to build and dismantle, so it can easily be moved to new locations.
In addition to the first meeting between Izaak and Ayman (as a photographer), there is also a creative exchange around the collection of (stray) material, the building of the shelter and a photo report of it.
JAN & AYMAN
In the context of cross-pollination and sharing of inspiration, the filmmaker of the project (Jan Stap) collaborates with the Syrian filmmaker and photographer Ayman Ghoujal, who originally met only for the camera Izaak as a photographer.
This was not planned but was created during the project.
The opening of the exhibition will take place at a time to be determined in 2021, depending on the developments around Covid - 19.
Below is a preview of the creative work that arose around the encounters during the Double Portrait project.
We will regularly add new things to this.
VOOR DE KUNST
Sanneke Fisser (Leiden, 1956) studied theater design at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Fisser has worked for more than 15 years in the theater world for large companies such as Joop van den Ende and the Dutch Opera as a costume painter, stylist and designer. Influences from this period can certainly still be found in her work as a photographer. Her passion is to let people 'shine' themselves.
Everyone can be themselves from Fisser. She prefers to meet someone spontaneously to photograph them as pure as possible to the core.
In this way she allowed herself to be touched by the Double Portrait project. The result is a series of Double Portraits about the person behind the creative professional.
Ghoujal uses everyday experiences of living in Western culture to address major themes of life. He uses experiences from his own life as well as those of other people.
He says of the meeting with Isaac:
"I love photographing strange things and people. Izaak makes me curious. Meeting him turned out to be a completely new experience for me. At the same time, Izaak was also what I expected him to be. An intriguing experience."
As a result of meeting Izaak Zwartjes during the Double Portrait project, filmmaker and photographer Ayman Ghoujal has now started making a documentary about Izaak Zwartjes himself. A brief preview of this can now be viewed.