Winter School of Discontent
Orly Almi, Michael Driebeek van der Ven, Frank Chouraqui, Galit Eilat, Cissie Fu, Chris Goto-Jones, Eric Kluitenberg, Marianna Maruyama, Riti Hermán Mostert & Eloise Sweetman
18.01.2016 — 23.01.2016

Orly Almi (IL) is a choreographer and improviser. Graduating with a Master of Science with a major in Social Anthropology from University of Oxford in 1999, she later studied dance with Ilanit Tadmor, Saar Harari, Sigal Bergman, and Emanuel Grivet. Connecting these two fields, she graduated with a Master of Choreography from ArtEZ in 2014. Her thesis ‘Activism in Motion’ dealt with the notion of political dance from gender perspectives with a focus on Israel and the Middle East. She sees anthropology as a way of life, social justice as a personal ethical compass, and dance as a means of communication and connecting with and among people. Almi regularly performs in set choreographies and improvisation performances in small, fringe and outdoor venues as well as private homes throughout the world.

Michael Driebeek van der Ven (NL) is a master storyteller and co-founder of the Dutch International Storytelling Centre (DISC). The centre provides a place for storytellers to come together to share their craft, whilst opening up techniques and practices to new audiences. He has had a passion for storytelling since he was a young boy, where he built a stage on top of a hen house in his parent’s garden. From there he started telling stories to the neighbourhood children. Since then he has consistently been developing his craft. Graduating as an actor from The Actor’s Studio The Hague in 2000, Driebeek van der Ven works closely Caja van der Poel, founding MichaelandCaja as an international storytelling duo. In 2011, he graduated as a ‘Crafted Storyteller’, with a focus on biographical and real life storytelling from The International School of Storytelling (UK). In 2013, he graduated as ‘Master Storyteller’ at The International School of Storytelling (SA).

Frank Chouraqui (FR) is assistant professor of philosophy at Leiden University with expertise in contemporary continental philosophy, phenomenology, and ontology. He received his Master of Arts in Philosophy from Provence University in 2006, and his doctorate from Warwick University in 2010 under the supervision of Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson. Chouraqui’s research has a historical side and a systematic side: the historical aspect focuses on the philosophies of Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty, especially their ontologies of relationality and their connections with ontological accounts of power; the systematic aspect concentrates on an analysis of the phenomenon of belief and its relation to action, especially in the case of fanatic and dogmatic belief.

Galit Eilat (IL) is an independent curator and a writer. Her projects tackle issues such as the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, activism and political imagination in art. In 2014, she co-curated ‘How to (…) things that don’t exist’, 31st Sao Paulo Biennial with Charles Esche, Nuria Enguita Mayo, Pablo Lafuente, Oren Sagiv and associate curators Benjamin Seroussi and Luiza Proença. In the early 2000s, she founded The Israeli Center for Digital Art in Holon until 2010, and co-founded Ma’arav — an online arts and culture magazine. Following these positions she served as a research curator at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven until 2013. Also in this time she was the President of the Akademie der Künste der Welt. In addition to this she writes regularly for publications all over the world.

Cissie Fu (HK) is assistant professor of Political Theory at Leiden University and co-founder of the Political Arts Initiative. After a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Philosophy at Harvard University, she explored public interest law in Washington DC before moving to the University of Oxford for a Master of Studies in Women’s Studies, a Master of Science introduces Political Research and Methodology, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Politics and International Relations. She taught political thought, jurisprudence, and ethics at University of Oxford and University College London prior to her arrival at Leiden, where she served as Senior Tutor and Director of Studies at Leiden University College and currently conducts research at the nexus of politics, philosophy, and performance.

Chris Goto-Jones (UK) is professor and chair of Comparative Philosophy & Political Thought at Leiden University and co-founder of the Political Arts Initiative. Educated at University of Cambridge, Keio University in Tokyo, and University of Oxford, Goto-Jones is an expert on the political philosophy of Nishida Kitaro and the Kyoto School. Having taught and lectured in leading centres around the world and won awards for his work, which has been translated into Chinese, Russian, Thai, and Arabic, Goto-Jones was appointed as chair professor of Modern Japanese Studies in Leiden in 2006 and founding dean of Leiden University College The Hague in 2009. His main research interests revolve around questions of philosophy in a worldly context: what happens to the idea and practice of philosophy when it is dislocated from its conventional disciplinary roots in Europe? Can we still talk about ‘philosophy’ when engaging with traditions of thought that lie outside the ‘Western’ narrative of the development of disciplinary philosophy and, if so, what does this mean for philosophy itself?

Eric Kluitenberg (NL) is an independent theorist, writer, and researcher on culture, media, and technology. He is a board member of the Floss Manuals Foundation, and the editor-in-chief of the Tactical Media Files, an online documentation resource of tactical media practices worldwide. Tactical Media emerged when the modest goals of media artists and media activists were transformed into a movement that challenged everyone to produce their own media in support of their own political struggles. From 1999 to 2011, Kluitenberg was head of the media program of De Balie, a centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam, and has been involved in a large number of key international events in the field of new media culture. He taught theory of culture and media at University of Amsterdam; Amsterdam University for Professional Education; Academie Minerva, Groningen; and Royal Academy of Visual Arts, The Hague.

Marianna Maruyama (US) is an artist who, through writing, audio recording, drawing, and play, looks for ways that sound and movement facilitate an understanding of position. Orientation and voice, specifically loss of position as it relates to loss of voice, are dominant themes in her practice. Maruyama holds a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Oberlin College in USA, a Master of Fine Art from the Dutch Art Institute, and moved to The Netherlands after an extensive period of work in Japan. Her recent projects include How Language Moves, Goleb, Amsterdam; Il Milione, Gemak, The Hague; and How to Lose Your Voice, NOA Language School Il, Amsterdam. Most recently she has exhibited at Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade; Diginner Gallery, Tokyo; and Klaipėda Culture Communication Center, Lithuania. 

Riti Hermán Mostert (NL/RO) is a drama therapist, using her background in Applied Theatre and Development Sociology for both critical reflection and the process of creating. In her work she engages with school children, people with learning disabilities, students, and with diverse groups in forensic psychiatry. She uses a variety of experiential tools for social theatre and group dynamics through which people can experiment and ‘play’ with emotions, understanding, experience, and with new behavior. One method she uses is forum theatre, a practical method that stems from critical thinking and incorporates not only our reasoning, but instead enhances the embodiment of change.

Eloise Sweetman (AU) is a writer, curator, and part of the West Den Haag team. She graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and in 2012 with a Master of Art in Arts Management from HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. From 2013 until 2015, with the objective of exploring the political, social, strategic development of the art organisation in tandem with actual and potential audiences through exhibitions, she graduated with a Master of Fine Art from School of Missing Studies, Sandberg Institute Amsterdam. Her current projects are pointed toward arts management as a curatorial subject. She works at West as project manager.