More about the Beeldbrekers
The Beeldbrekers are bridging the gap between the Van Gogh Museum and a new generation of museum visitors.
A group of seventeen young adult professionals from all walks of life: that’s who the Beeldbrekers are. They draw on their own expertise to help the museum become more inclusive. What are their backgrounds, and what is it that drives them to help the museum?
I truly believe that there’s something to be learned from everyone. That’s the point of view that I take into every encounter, and thanks to that attitude I can act as a mediator. I can quickly tell which worlds fit together well and which people should team up to create beautiful things.
At the marketing agency where I work, we focus on current themes like sustainability and inclusiveness. Being a Beeldbreker lets me bring together my experience in developing campaigns and my knowledge of youth culture. That’s the added value I bring to the Beeldbrekers.
Jamal was a guide during the Museum Night 2019 in Amsterdam.
I love to share knowledge. Right now I am working on my Master’s degree in Health Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My dream is to teach biology.
What’s my goal? To give students from bicultural backgrounds a bit of a boost. I want to show them what their possibilities are and give them confidence for the future. As a Beeldbreker, I can get started on that now and make sure that in the future, visiting museums will be a completely natural thing for these youths to do.
Amina was a guide during the launch of the Daily Paper x Van Gogh Museum collection on 14-2-2020.
I have noticed that many young adults don’t get much exposure to art and museums. They tend to think that it’s ‘dull’ or complicated, while nothing could be further from the truth!
I combine my passion for art with my love of building services engineering and technical drawing. I want to help others experience the power of art and creativity, and I have lots of ideas on how we can achieve that. Being a Beeldbreker gives me the opportunity to develop them. We’re all different, but we’re all working towards the same goal. It’s very educational!
As a Beeldbreker, I want to stimulate others with new ideas so that the museum can become a safe place where people dare to step outside their usual frame of mind. A museum should be a place where you can enjoy yourself and learn things, and it should be a pleasant place. Art can confront you with your ingrained ways of thinking, or invite you to look at something from a different perspective. By showing genuine interest, you can climb the walls around you and connect with other people. That’s an experience that can prove useful in daily life, too.
I have always wanted to help people. My dream is to become a lawyer and defend human rights, and as a Beeldbreker, I am learning many useful skills to help me with that. Most importantly, being with the Beeldbrekers helps me to develop my own voice and to make it heard.
Being a black woman in the Netherlands affects how you relate to society. As a Beeldbreker, that’s a valuable perspective to have. I hope to be able to give young people like myself a voice in the Van Gogh Museum so that they can experience the value and importance of art and museums in a way that works for them. We are the future, which makes it important for the museum to consult us.
My passion is working with people, and I have always been especially interested in young people and diversity. When we seek each other out as people based on what we have in common, we can learn to embrace each other’s differences from there. I hope that I’ll be able to convince more young people to visit the museum, because it’s a place where you can develop your talents. Who knows, the next Van Gogh might be living in Amsterdam Nieuw-West right now!
I believe in the power of the culturally diverse Dutch youth. In my work as a journalist at NH Media, I connect people by presenting stories, but I can do so as a Beeldbreker as well. I want to make sure that culturally diverse young people feel at home in the Van Gogh Museum, because that would benefit both the museum and these youths!
The Beeldbrekers are a first step towards an approach in which new ideas are not developed for specific target groups, but with them. I hope that diversity will ultimately become a natural and self-evident part of the museum. So that I can feel pride rather than surprise when a black woman joins the museum’s Supervisory Board.
Shaneequa hosted our street reports for the Verkeerd Verbonden (‘Misconnected’) project.
My mother used to take us to museums from a very young age on, which stimulated my strong interest in art and culture. Unfortunately, looking around, I see that a lot of people never had such a cultural education. I want to change that.
When I care about something, I pour my entire soul into it. As a Beeldbreker, I can create connections between the content side of art and the cultural dimension. I’m currently studying art history at the University of Amsterdam, I am passionate about education, and I am a member of the Islamic student association. But that’s not enough. I fight for inclusion, diversity, acceptance and equal opportunities. Not just in the museum itself, but also behind the scenes, on the organizational side. As a Beeldbreker, I want to help the museum with that.
Sara was a guide during the Museum Night 2019 in Amsterdam.
It’s time that people started realising that art is so much more than just paintings on a wall. In the past, I had no interest whatsoever in art or museums, but Vincent’s letters and paintings contain so much that you can relate to. As a Beeldbreker, I want to help others achieve this change.
I can’t wait to see the museum full of young people who haven’t been there in years. That they can discover how enjoyable art can be, because for some people that’s not obvious. If we can move young people now, I hope that they, in time, will bring their children to the museum. That way, I’m not just helping my peers but the next generation as well.
I’m always looking to bring out the best in myself and others. It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone, but when you do, it enriches your life. Sure, you can just stick to what you already know, but if you’re open to the different perspectives of people from other backgrounds, you can learn so much more! It’s like an ‘unlock a new level’ thing. Us Beeldbrekers all have different backgrounds, and we work together from a multidisciplinary perspective. We can only move forward together.
I studied Media & Entertainment Management at Inholland University of Applied Sciences. Since I find art and museums very interesting, I made sure that my studies connected to the museum sector. I interned at the Van Gogh Museum and did my final project at Stichting Museumnacht (the Museum Night Foundation). With the Beeldbrekers, I can continue to bring art and culture to the attention of young people who find the idea of visiting a museum rather daunting.
The cultural shift that the Van Gogh Museum wishes to make requires a lot of organization. Managing and organising events within organizations is something that I love to do. And it’s precisely what I am learning at my studies in Management of Technology at Delft University. Organizing a study trip to South Africa not only allowed me to put my organizational talent to use, but also taught me much about issues relating to inclusiveness. As a Beeldbreker I can combine those two things.
I’ve always been very inquisitive, even as a little girl, and I’ve always been very interested in other cultures and continents. I could drive my mother insane with my incessant ‘why?’ questions. That’s one of the reasons why I chose to study anthropology. Aside from cultures, I’m also interested in cooking and languages. Writing is my outlet, but I also love photographing nature. I find momentary snapshots particularly moving, and that’s why I find Vincent van Gogh so inspiring. To me, all these subjects are strongly interrelated, and as a Beeldbreker I hope to help other people experience those beautiful interconnections, too!
I try to challenge and reinvent myself where possible. As a recording artist with hip hop label Burning Fik, I have noticed that we need other people in order to grow. When I get stuck, others can point out the problem and in that way help me to keep moving forward.
As a Beeldbreker, I enjoy combining the museum knowledge I gained at the Reinwardt Academy with the trend awareness and fashion-based perspective that my time at fashion school gave me. In the world of museums, I want to contribute to inclusion. We should aim for diversity, not just among the visitors but also in the museum’s programmes and exhibitions.
Firoza hosts the Van Gogh Museum book club.
A person can’t grow without taking risks and falling flat on their face – that’s a lesson I definitely learned as an entrepreneur. No matter how painful some experiences can be, it’s all worth it if it allows you to wake up every day, knowing you can continue doing what you’re passionate about. My dream has to do with understanding creative entrepreneurship and supporting young, creative makers in their process. As a Beeldbreker, I take a reverse approach: how can creative institutes like the Van Gogh Museum better appeal to the young makers of today?
Nigel was a guide for the launch of the Daily Paper x Van Gogh Museum collection on 14 February 2020.
I’m more of a listener than a talker. Thoughtful, but also helpful. Helping and advising people is my passion, and those skills are proving very useful in my studies in Human Resources Management at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. As a Beeldbreker, too, the ability to listen is important, because it helps us embrace each other’s differences. It’s the only way to address a variety of subjects and to work with the museum to achieve more inclusiveness!
I became involved with the museum and the Beeldbrekers as a result of a study conducted at senior secondary vocational schools by Van Gogh Connects. The museum needs the Beeldbrekers to develop new perspectives.