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 students and young professionals who apply their expertise to making the museum more inclusive. What do they do in their daily lives and what motivates them to help the museum?
I’m convinced you can learn something from everyone. That’s my starting point for every encounter. It’s the attitude that enables me to act as a connector. I can quickly spot which worlds fit together and who should get together with who to create something beautiful.
At the marketing agency where I work, we focus on current themes like sustainability and inclusiveness. As a Beeldbreker, I can combine my campaign development experience with my knowledge of youth culture. That’s the added value I bring to the Beeldbrekers.
JJamal was a tour guide during Museum Night 2019 and a model for the second Daily Paper x Van Gogh Museum collection.
I enjoy spreading knowledge. I’m currently working on my Master’s in Health Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and I’d like to lecture in biology.
My goal? To lend a hand to students from multicultural backgrounds. I’d like to show them what opportunities they have and give them confidence in the future. I want to encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and claim their place in this society. I can make a start on that as a Beeldbreker, so that before long visiting museums will be the most natural thing in the world for these young people.
Amina was a tour guide at the launch of the Daily Paper x Van Gogh Museum collection on 14 February 2020 and at the Vincent on Friday & Daily Paper nights in October 2020.
I notice that a lot of young adults don’t easily come into contact with art and museums. They think it’s ‘boring’ or complicated, when it isn’t.
I combine my passion for art with my love for technical installations and technical drawing. I want others to experience the power of art and creativity too and I have a lot of ideas on how to do it. Through the Beeldbrekers I get the chance to work them out. We’re all different but we work towards a shared goal. That’s really educational!
In 2020 Jaouad contributed through his story to the ‘Erratic Growth’ collection presentation.
As a Beeldbreker, I want to stimulate others with new ideas so that the museum is a safe place where people have the courage to think outside their own boxes. You should be able to enjoy yourself and learn something at a museum, and it has to be a nice place. A work of art can confront you with your own way of thinking or invite you to look at something in a different way. If you show a genuine interest, you can break out of your own silo and connect with others. It’s an experience that can be useful in everyday life too.
I’ve always wanted to help people. My dream is to defend human rights as a lawyer, and as a Beeldbreker I get to learn a lot of skills that can contribute to that. The most important thing with the Beeldbrekers is that I can develop my own voice and make myself heard.
As a woman of colour in the Netherlands, you move through society in a different way. It’s a valuable perspective to bring to the Beeldbrekers. I hope to give young people like me a place and a voice in the Van Gogh Museum, so that they can experience the value and importance of art and museums in a way that suits them. We’re the future, which is why it’s important for the museum to engage with us as Beeldbrekers.
In 2020 Carmène contributed through her story to the ‘Erratic Growth’ collection presentation and was a tour guide during the Vincent on Friday & Daily Paper evenings in October 2020.
My passion is to work with people. Young people and diversity have always been important subjects for me. If we look to each other as human beings based on what we have in common, we can then use that to learn how to embrace our differences. I hope I can get more young people to visit the museum, because it’s a place where you can develop your talents. Who knows, the new Van Gogh might be walking around Amsterdam Nieuw-West this very minute!
Yassin was one of the young Amsterdam people whose story featured in the exhibition ‘Unknown: Ten Years of Exceptional Acquisitions and Their Stories’.
I believe in the power of a young, culturally diverse Netherlands. In my work as a journalist at NH Media, I connect with people by presenting stories. But I also have a role to play in that as a Beeldbreker. I want to make sure that culturally diverse young people feel at home in the Van Gogh Museum. Because that benefits both them and the museum!
The Beeldbrekers represent a first step in developing projects not for the target group, but with it. What I ultimately hope for is that diversity will become a natural part of the museum. That I’ll be able to feel proud rather than surprised when a woman of colour is appointed to the Supervisory Board.
Shaneequa hosted our street reports for the ‘Wrong Connection’ project.
My mother took us to museums from an early age, which is how I was able to develop a strong interest in art and culture. But I see a lot of young people around me, unfortunately, who didn’t get that kind of cultural education. I’d like to change that.
I’m studying art history at Amsterdam University and I want to pass on my passion for art to the next generation of multicultural youth. To do that, I first have to make museums more accessible to them. I don’t see many people who look like me walking around the museum right now, whether visitors or staff.
I’m working to achieve inclusion, diversity, acceptance and equal opportunities. I hope that my presence as a Beeldbreker will open a door for other people like me — someone from a multicultural background who is trying to practise her religion. A door that’s wide open and that doesn’t need to be kicked down.
Sara was a tour guide during Museum Night 2019 and contributed through her story to the ‘Erratic Growth’ collection presentation in 2020. Sara is also a former Stedelijk Museum ‘Blikopener’.
It’s high time that people realized that there is so much more to art than paintings on the wall. There was a time when I didn’t want anything to do with art or museums, but you can really identify with Vincent’s letters and paintings. As a Beeldbreker, I want to help others to change in the same way.
I can’t wait to see the museum full of young people who haven’t been there for years. So they can discover how much fun art can be. Because that’s not always obvious to everyone. If we can reach young people now, I hope they’ll take their children to the museum in the future. So I’m not only helping people of my age, but the next generation too.
Fatima was a tour guide during the Vincent on Friday & Daily Paper evenings in October 2020.
I always want to get the best out of myself and others. It takes a lot of guts to step out of your comfort zone, but it makes your life richer. You can concentrate on what you know, but you’ll learn so much more if you’re open to different perspectives from people from different backgrounds! To me it feels like unlocking a new level. All the Beeldbrekers have different backgrounds and we work together from a multidisciplinary perspective. We can only get there together.
I studied Media & Entertainment Management at the Inholland University of Applied Sciences. I’m really interested in art and museums, so I made sure I could apply my studies in the museum sector. I did my internship at the Van Gogh Museum and my graduation project at the Museum Night Foundation. Through the Beeldbrekers, I can continue to bring art and culture to the attention of young people, for who the threshold for visiting a museum is very high.
Nina was a tour guide during the Vincent on Friday & Daily Paper evenings in October 2020.
The cultural change that the Van Gogh Museum wants to bring about takes a lot of organization. I love managing and organizing events, which is why I’m studying Management of Technology at Delft Technical University. Arranging a field trip to South Africa not only gave me the opportunity to use my organizational skills, it also taught me a lot about inclusiveness issues. As a Beeldbreker, I get to combine those things.
In 2020 Emmanuela contributed through her story to the ‘Erratic Grotwth’ collection presentation.
I was full of curiosity even as a little girl, and I’ve always been interested in other cultures and continents. I used to drive my mother up the wall with my ‘why’ questions. It’s one of the reasons I chose to study anthropology. Besides different cultures, I’m interested in cooking and languages. Writing is my safety valve, but I also love nature, which I photograph too. Capturing a moment is what moves me, which is why I find Vincent van Gogh so inspiring. All these subjects are closely related for me. As a Beeldbreker, I want other people to experience these wonderful connections as well!
Farah gave guest lectures to students at ROC Amsterdam.
I try to challenge and to rediscover myself wherever possible. As a recording artist with the hip-hop label Burning Fik, I’ve seen how you need other people in order to grow. If there’s something I’m not seeing myself, they can point to where I’m getting stuck and help me to always take a step further.
As a Beeldbreker, I like to combine the museum knowledge I’ve gained at the Reinwardt Academy with the sense of trends and awareness of fashion I developed at fashion school. In the museum field, I’d like to contribute to inclusion. Diversity isn’t only important in terms of visitors, but of programming and exhibitions too.
Firoza was our host for the Van Gogh Museum book club during the 2020 lockdown. The club rounded off after more than nine book discussions.
You can’t grow as a person without taking risks and falling flat on your face from time to time. That’s something I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. However painful some of those moments can be, they’re worth it if they mean you can wake up every day knowing you continue with your passion. My dream is about understanding creative entrepreneurship and supporting young, creative makers in their process. As a Beeldbreker, meanwhile, I come at it from the exact opposite direction: how can creative institutions like the Van Gogh Museum connect more effectively with today’s young makers?
Nigel was a tour guide at the launch of the Daily Paper x Van Gogh Museum collection on 14 February 2020.
I’m a listener more than a talker. Thoughtful but helpful too. Helping and advising people is my passion. Those are skills that come in handy for my Human Resources Management course. As a Beeldbreker, it’s also important to be able to listen so you can embrace each other’s differences. It’s the only way to raise these issues and to help the museum work towards greater inclusiveness!
Nissrine was a tour guide during the Vincent on Friday & Daily Paper evenings in October 2020.
As a Social Work student, I’m involved with young adults from multicultural backgrounds. I came into contact with the museum and the Beeldbrekers through a Van Gogh Connects study in secondary schools.
I’ve noticed that the museum sector is often viewed in society and in school as ‘boring’ or not interesting. Which is a pity, because I think it’s important that visiting a museum is something young adults take for granted.
As a Beeldbreker, I hope to change this, by bringing art more to the attention of young people and especially by bringing greater diversity to the museum.
Felicia was a tour guide during the Vincent on Friday & Daily Paper evenings in October 2020.