The Roadmap to Equality in the Arts is an ongoing project to address the position of women artists, non-binary and genderqueer artists in the Netherlands. The initiative is born in the aftermath of the #metoo movement, personal experiences and various surveys recently published in the arts and in the industry in the Netherlands and in Europe. This intersectional and strategic coalition aims to advocate for equality, solidarity and diversity on every level, and address the under-representation and misrepresentation of women artists, women artists of colour, nonbinary and genderqueer artists. Due to a lack of data collection and monitoring, there is no overview of the situation in the visual arts in terms of income, parental leave, pensions, art education, exhibitions, public collections, grants and residencies, etc. Many institutions still haven’t implemented a system of reporting racism, discrimination or harassment. How can we address this situation collectively?
Founded in 2019, this informal coalition consists of artists, educators, researchers, designers, curators, critics, activists, lawyers, and one art school, ArtEZ. The initiators are Delphine Bedel, Els Cornelis, Catelijne de Muijnck and School of Missing Men (ArtEZ).
The Roadmap to Equality in the Arts in the Netherlands, aims to:
- Raise awareness and stimulate action
- Create an Observatory for data monitoring, evaluation schemes and follow-up
- Develop education projects and online resources
- Commission surveys and publish articles
- Develop events, tools, joint actions & spokesmanship
- Mobilise existing networks and collective knowledge in order to establish a gender equality roadmap in the arts in the Netherlands.
On 18 January 2019, the conference The Roadmap to Equality in the Arts in the Netherlands took place, aiming to raise awareness, gather available data and mobilise existing networks and collective knowledge in order to establish a gender equality roadmap in the arts in the Netherlands. With performances, keynotes, presentations and panels on data as a catalyst for change, quota, new platforms, art education, discrimination and harassment and models for change. Click here to read the Conference Report, or watch the conference videos below.
by Nancy Jouwe and Delphine Bedel
by Nancy Jouwe
MISSING DATA AND NEW PLATFORMS
What has actually changed in the art world since the introduction of the Fair Practice Code and Code Culturele Diversiteit? The under- and misrepresentation of women in the Dutch art world is undeniable. What is striking though is not just the lack of available data but also the lack of an intersectional approach in current research. It is not only extremely important to highlight different, intersecting mechanisms of oppression and exclusion, and how they work together, but also to question the binary categories of male and female. Only then we might be able to find solutions to the underlying, structural mechanisms of exclusion.
Panel 1: Data as a Catalyst of Change
The first panel addresses the importance of data as a catalyst of change
Agnès Saal (Senior Civil Servant for Equality, Diversity and the Fight against Discrimination Equality and Diversity Department Ministry of Culture)
Pre-recorded phone conversation with Delphine Bedel about the Equality Roadmap in Culture 2019–2022.
Galit Eilat (curator/researcher)
The Lobotomised museum / The art object and its context
Pauline Salet (independent researcher)
Following the example of the Guerrilla Girls, a mapping out the percentage of female artists in eight Dutch museums. The research offers a critical reflection on representation within museum spaces, as well as on the practice of counting and data collection in feminist research.
Panel 2: New Platforms
The second panel focuses on what an intersectional approach can possibly entail. What questions, insights, new platforms and acts of resistance arise when we ‘live’ this intersectional approach?
Tender Center (Yin Yin Wong & Katherine MacBride)
Space making as a queer collective at Tender Center
Yin Yin Wong and Katherine MacBride from Tender Center Rotterdam will share some background on the space and talk about intersectional anti-racist feminist queer collective space making as a process.
Naomie Pieter (Black Queer & Trans Resistance Netherlands)
Presentation about Black Queer reality in the Netherlands. Black Queer & Trans Resistance: We exist
by Marijke De Roover: Live, Laugh, Limerence
ART EDUCATION, DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT
Although the balance has started to shift, women students still dominate in the art schools in the Netherlands (70 percent of the intake in fine art courses between 2005-2013 were women). How is it then that the art-world continues to be for the most part male dominated? Art education has a key position in the chain. This is the place where it all begins. Although art schools should offer safe and challenging spaces, patriarchism and racist mechanisms seem to be still at play today. How can we work on change in art educational institutions?
Petra Van Brabandt (philosopher/professor Sint-Lucas Antwerp)
Art colleges offer their students an environment that is just as challenging as it is safe to freely develop their artistic vision and capabilities. That in theory. In practice, Flemish art schools are still struggling with many daily forms of sexism and racism. This is evidenced by testimonies that Anissa Boujdaini and Ilse Ghekiere have gathered from students and teachers from different schools. Petra Van Brabandt provides a summary of their method and findings. She also pays attention to some hopeful good practices.
Anik Fournier (School of Missing Men / professor BEAR/ArtEZ Fine Art)
Presentation of a survey that was conducted in 2019 amongst 135 alumni of BEAR – BA Fine Art ArtEZ Arnhem to gain insight in the professional activities of the alumni with regards to gender balance and equality by The School of Missing Men, a student led platform that takes as its starting point the fact that 75 percent of students at BEAR are women, a norm ratio in art schools across the Netherlands and abroad.
Marjolijn Brussaard (president ArtEZ institute for the arts)
Reaction to the presentation of the survey
Isis Germano (ArtEZ HP / studium generale)
Powertools for art and social justice. Rethinking diversity and inclusion for artistic practices. A presentation of educational material in the making: Powertools for young artists: artistic strategies for equality, a publication by ArtEZ studium generale to strengthen young artists in their artistic power to influence exclusion and inclusion processes in the social and cultural field.
Nagaré Willemsen (coordinator Black Student Union at Rietveld/Sandberg)
Can Student Unions be sustainable diversity organisations within an art academy?
PANEL – MODELS FOR CHANGE
The time is here to bring about change. But how? How can we act, instead of acknowledging the status quo over and over again? What is really needed to bring about this much needed change? How to be solidary catalysts? These and other questions necessary to tackle in order to bring about change, will be explored with some of the speakers of the conference.
A number of episodes of a podcast is realized based on the conference. For an overview of the podcast sessions, click here.
If you would like to be involved in the workgroup of The Roadmap to Equality in the Arts, please contact Catelijne de Muijnck (curator ArtEZ studium generale): firstname.lastname@example.org