Being Part European
23 October 2022

PUBLIC EVENT | Being Part European

Public Event | Being Part European

A Poetic Intervention by Mirelle van Tulder


Sunday 23 October, 18:00

Het Hem

Warmperserij 1


- Free entry, no reservation needed.

- The intervention will take place on the 1st floor; entrance to the staircase is next to book shop.

photo credit: Exhibition of recent aquisitions from Netherlands New Guinea in the Tropenmuseum, purchased with support from the Prince Bernhard Fund, 1956. Collection National Museum of World Cultures


Being Part European confronts the violent histories of collections in European museums and the complexities of postcolonial identity. The intervention holds up a mirror to the ongoing discourse about the placement and belonging of illegally acquired cultural objects that are currently held on European ground : above ground, behind glasses and vitrines, and mostly under ground, stored in basements, archived in boxes, behind closed walls, exhibited in collections, decorating private spaces...

When the library of the KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) closed in 2013, Mirelle van Tulder could pick up many books and magazines that were about to be thrown away. They became source material for her work. In one of the magazines she found a poem, titled "Being Part European" by Fijian poet Sam Simpson, which resonated with her own feeling of multiple and partial belongings. The poem felt like a manifest for her, whose life started in Fiji, after being born in New Zealand. Her mother is from Brazil, her father is Dutch and her sister was born in The Bahamas. Mirelle has been living most of her life in the Netherlands and feels a connection with the poem and with the diasporic objects housed in the European museums.


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).