Being part european
20 April 2023

Poetic Intervention | Being Part European

When: 20th April 2023, 18.00 

Where: Foam Museum, Amsterdam

Artist Mirelle van Tulder provides a poetic evening at Foam Editions. Being Part European deals with the concept of multiple belongings and the displacement of cultural objects in a European context. During the evening, the public is invited to actively participate. Prior to the performance, Mirelle van Tulder will talk with Wonu Veys, curator of Oceania at the National Museum of World Cultures.

Being Part European

When the library of the KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) in Amsterdam closed in 2013, Mirelle was able to collect many catalogs and magazines that were about to be thrown away. She assembled a small library of her own that became source material for her work. In one of the magazines she found a poem titled “Being Part European,” written in 1974, by the Fijian poet Sam Simpson.

The poem has been translated into a series of panels in which Mirelle replaces the categorizing captions of photos and objects with sentences from the poem. By giving a voice to the objects and people depicted in the photographs, she questions the traditional use of captions. What stories do these objects whisper to each other, across the gutters of the compositions and through the walls of the shelves?

Mirelle's practice delves into the colonial archive, seeing its complexity not only as an incredibly vast collection of objects and documents, but also understanding its position concerning personal history. Mirelle thus combines the use of the archived material and its historical position, determined by displacement, with its poetic performativity as a prompt to point to the historical record of the many colonized areas in the Global South.


Being part european

Mirelle van Tulder

Mirelle van Tulder is an artist, designer, and researcher. She has the ability to dig deep into archives, intuitively grasping the political and social dimension of these historical artifacts. She immediately translates this archival knowledge into a bold and urgent graphic language – publishing zines and newspapers, playfully pushing the archives into the streets (and vice versa). Mirelle has been working as an image researcher for MacGuffin Magazine since 2019. She is currently a research associate at the Research Center for Material Culture, and a participant at Werkplaats Typografie (MA in Fine Art and Design).