Making Waves is a nomadic movement involving Flag of Compassion, which tries to influence the process of awareness of ethical questions within society. It always works with new collaborations and so it doesn’t work with a fixed ‘format’, but it exists within a varied group of people who, adjusted to the situation, together with the concerned group, community or institute discover and develop a new interesting program.
Making Waves operates across all conventions. It is crucial that within the artwork Flag of Compassion a paradox exists. A flag, an instrument that is used to distinguish yourself from others, and the notion of compassion, as the capability for empathy from a deep understanding for equality, seem incompatible. This tension between differentiation and equality is the conceptual core of the artwork that is being researched in Making Waves.
Making Waves makes that the Flag of Compassion is deployed in a more intensive way. In Making Waves the Flag is connected to a ‘surrounding’, instead of an individual or occasion. The first edition of Making Waves comes into being in collaboration with Nieuw Dakota, platform for contemporary art in Amsterdam Noord, and it took place 2-3-4 June 2017.
Festivals for Compassion is the sixth edition of Making Waves. This edition is a collaboration with the open-air classical music festival Wonderfeel, which takes place annually in July at the Schaap en Burgh Estate in ‘s Graveland. Because not only Wonderfeel, but all festivals have been cancelled in 2020, the original idea (activities around hoisting the Flag of Compassion during the performance of a special piece of music to be composed for one instrument) has made way for a relay of online performances: with Festivals for Compassion, European festivals show their hearts full of compassion and solidarity with everyone who has been touched in any way by Corona and express that in sharing a specially written solo composition by the Greek-Dutch composer Calliope Tsoupaki.
Wonderfeel took care of the production of this collaboration and created a website: www.festivalsforcompassion.com
By now more than 35 festivals have joined: festivalsforcompassion.com/en/participants/ The piece will have its premiere on 20 June on the Dutch radio station NPO Radio 4, the Flemish Klara will take over the baton a day later. Afterwards, the work will travel crisscross Europe and be shared digitally as in a compassionate relay from festival to festival. Festivals can download the score of THIN AIR, this composition by Calliope Tsoupaki. THIN AIR is suitable for melodic solo instruments, keyboard instruments and plucked instruments such as guitar, harp, etc. The participating festivals can choose the instrument and the musician themselves.
The festivals themselves take care of the performance, filming and streaming of THIN AIR. They will mention Festivals for Compassion and Flag of Compassion in their credits and will share the tags #festivalsforcompassion and #flagofcompassion during the performance via social media. The videos will also be shared online via their own Facebook page and placed in the timeline of Festivals for Compassion www.festivalsforcompassion.com/estafette
Making Waves in Amsterdam is the fifth edition within the series of Making Waves projects. The preparations, financed by a few donations, started in the course of the year 2019 with the original intention to have the project take place in May 2020. The project requires more preparation time and implementation has been postponed until 2021, partly due to the corona crisis. This edition of Making Waves takes on a new form: a walk around the concept of compassion through poetry and prose. The route connects different neighbourhoods in Amsterdam and is marked in the streets by Flags of Compassion with texts by writers.
This form invites collaboration between residents, organisations and visitors, writers and the Unda Foundation. Activities that take place during the project stimulate residents and visitors to talk to each other about compassion and to actively give substance to it. We have already found a number of writers, partners and community centres willing to participate in this project (including writer Arnon Grünberg, the AkzoNobel Art Foundation and community centre De Coenen). In the coming year, we will review and elaborate the plan with intended partners and further explore the various possibilities for financing this art project. In doing so, we will make use of the experience we have gained with the applications for funding in 2019.
Making Waves 4 takes place during Winterlab, organized in collaboration with art academy ArtEZ in Zwolle. From January 21 until February 1, students of first, second, and third years bachelors in Fine Art and Design in Education, Animation Design, Comic Design, Graphic Design, Illustration Design, Interior-Architecture, and Theatre in Education are working in interdisciplinary teams on social issues. Inspired by the artwork Flag of Compassion, the students are challenged to think about the question “What is the effect of the tension between differentiation and equality on the world around us?”
In two separate groups different perspectives and interpretations are investigated, after which each group of students works on their own project to present their findings at the end of the two weeks. The first group makes a presentation with two- and three-dimensional works, such as photographs, text and sculptures. Group two develops a video installation with different sizes of video screens.
The third edition of Making Waves is a research workshop that revolves around the theme: Beyond Politics? Exploring the role of aesthetics and ethics, art and philosophy, in social structures. Making Waves 3 is organized in collaboration with Sybrand Veeger and Jurriaan Dijkgraaf, two students of Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics at the University of Amsterdam, and takes place at Societeit Sexyland in Amsterdam Noord on March 14.
The evening is kicked off with the welcoming words of Robert Rinnooy Kan, chairman of the Unda Foundation, and followed by the keynote lecture of Pascal Gielen, professor Sociology of Art & Cultural Politics. Gielen analyses the relationship between art, politics and the public space in the creative city. He illustrates how artists and other creative ‘workers’ respond to neoliberal policy by taking civil action in the grey zone between creativity and criminality. The evening continues with table conversations on the relationship between aesthetics and society, viewed from different perspectives: legal, urban, economic, cultural and political. Each of the five table conversations is guided by an expert in one of these fields. Together with the participants, the table leaders delve into topics such as political paradigms, aesthetic principles, and social utopias. The spoken language of the event is English. After the workshops, the conversations are continued while enjoying food, drinks and music by the duo Eva and Maria. The photographs are made by Tjan Ho Lai.
With Making Waves the Unda Foundation would like to collaborate with institutions and organizations to set up ‘events’ that delve into the topics of Flag of Compassion. Making Waves 2 takes place during Winterlab, organized in collaboration with art academy ArtEZ in Zwolle.
From January 22 until February 2, students of first, second, and third years bachelors in Fine Art and Design in Education, Animation Design, Comic Design, Graphic Design, Illustration Design, Interior-Architecture, and Theatre in Education are working in interdisciplinary teams on social issues. The Unda Foundation is invited to develop Making Waves 2 with 26 students during Winterlab.
One of the social issues is ‘What is privilege?’, formulated by Arend Mollee, student Comic Design. During a productive collaboration of two weeks, the students question in three separate groups the notion of privilege and the connections with the artwork Flag of Compassion. This raises extensive and lively discussions about the different interpretations of privilege, after which each group of students works on their own project to present their findings at the end of the two weeks. The first group makes a film and a series of photographs. Group two develops a board game and the last group works on a visualization of a performance.
On 2-3-4 June the first edition of Making Waves, a cultural event with different artworks and activities around Flag of Compassion, takes place at Nieuw Dakota, space for contemporary art in Amsterdam Noord. Making Waves 1 is organized by young creators, and compiled by artists Didi Lehnhausen and Suzanne Bernhardt in close collaboration with Nieuw Dakota and the Unda Foundation.
During this weekend an exhibition and a public program can been seen and experienced, a program consisting of performances, films, artworks, lectures, a round table discussion, a radio show, a special dinner and many more.
With all these works the Making Waves Team searches for ways to create connections with the city and its inhabitants. It investigates and makes visible ethical issues, related to the notion of compassion nowadays.
This weekend program includes works by Suzanne Bernhardt, Loukie van Hasselt, Sarah Mei Herman, Rini Hurkmans, Tobias Karlsson, Didi Lehnhausen, Rosa Sijben & Margit Odems, Reve Terborg & Lucinda Wessels and Fabiola Veerman.
Guests are invited to join the Making Waves Fundraising Dinner to help making possible the first edition of Making Waves.
The artwork Flag of Compassion is driven by the question: how are life, art and politics related to each other nowadays? The conceptual artwork Flag of Compassion is investigating this issue by practical and theoretical research. With the object, the Flag, as well as with the word compassion itself, the artwork tries to activate different communities and individuals to express and show their ideas about the concept.
Since Flag of Compassion is mainly functioning in public space, Rini Hurkmans (the initiator) started an extensive research project, within the LAPS research group of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in 2010 with the artwork as starting point.
SSG (Small Science Group)
Period of existence: April 2011 up to December 2012
Theoretical research that investigates the functioning of the artwork Flag of compassion.
Average of 9 members, 1st meeting 21-04-2011, 10 meetings
As part of LAPS research, Rini Hurkmans brought together a group of students and alumni of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the University of Amsterdam, the SSG, to analyze and discuss together several point of views of the artwork. This resulted amongst others in the refining of the Manifest and the Atlas Flag of Compassion. The Atlas, an overview or map that reveals how the artwork functions, shows the topics, questions and contradictions that the work touches upon. To finalize the research all participants of SSG wrote an essay or made a visual presentation.
The final Atlas Flag of Compassion, designed by SSG, serves as the backbone for the next step of the research. Several thinkers, writers and artists discussed and researched from philosophical, ethical, aesthetical and sociological perspectives what Flag of Compassion is about.
This gave rise to the book Compassion, A Paradox in Art and Society. This book is compiled by Jeroen Boomgaard (lecturer LAPS), Rini Hurkmans (also initiator of the book) and Judith Westerveld (artist, alumnus GRA) and in 2017 it is published by Valiz as part of the series Making Public. Three participants of the SSG developed and deepened their essays and these are included in the book.
Working Group of the Flag of Compassion
Period of existence: January 2016 up to March 2017
The artwork Flag of Compassion as meeting point to induce a critical dialogue.
Average of 17 members of which 9 actively engaged, 1st brainstorm session 31-03-2016, 10 meetings
In January 2016 the Working Group Flag of Compassion was established. The members of the Working Group are young people from different nationalities and backgrounds. The group consists of philosophers, designers, radio makers, students, artists, political scientists, management consultants, cultural analysts and musicians. Once a month they meet each other at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.
During these meetings they talk about the topics, strategies and paradoxes that exist within the artwork. The members discuss about the concept of compassion and the Flag. They are also thinking about the question how the Flag can keep functioning. The Working Group is appointed to study and report on the artwork Flag of Compassion and make recommendations based on its findings. Together they initiate, each with their own expertise, projects and they invite a diverse group of people and parties. The Working Group tries to activate and stimulate people and groupings to contemplate the meaning of compassion and to voice their interpretation by means of the Flag.
These meetings resulted in several acts/events, like the act during the referendum, about the association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, and De Parade of Ieder 1.
During the brainstorm sessions several guests were present as well, for example:
– Henkjan Laats, director of Cultural Bridges, who received his PhD in conflict transformations.
– Mohannad Sharrouf, he fled from Syria where he studied English language and literature. Now he is an intercultural communicator and he gives lectures about the relation between Syria and The Netherlands.
– Marjolein Frijling, editor in chief of AmsterdamFM. The radio station is always live from the OBA and they had a conversation with the Working Group about the even 180 Amsterdammers.
– Tanja Karremans en Agnes Voskamp are, respectively, director and coordinator of Nieuw Dakota, platform for contemporary art in Amsterdam North. They invited the Working Group for a collaboration.
After several meetings and discussions within the Working Group the idea for Making Waves developed.
A subgroup of the Working Group Flag of Compassion set up the first edition of Making Waves. During the preparations of Making Waves 1 the meetings of the Working Group Flag of Compassion stopped.
Making Waves 1
Period of existence: December 2016 – June 2017
Making Waves is a nomadic movement involving Flag of Compassion. With new collaborations it tries to influence the process of awareness of ethical questions within society.
1st meeting 13-12-2016
Coordinator Didi Lehnhausen, Tanja Karreman, Rini Hurkmans
Making Waves 1 is a collaboration between Nieuw Dakota and the Unda Foundation (manager of the artwork Flag of Compassion). The artists Didi Lehnhausen and Suzanne Bernhardt invited young makers, Wave Makers, to make works that were connected to Flag of Compassion.
The event takes place 2-3-4 June 2017 at Nieuw Dakota. During this Whitsun weekend there were a lot of things to see and experience with an exhibition and a peripheral program, consisting of: several performances, films, artworks, lectures, a roundtable talk, a radio program, and a special dinner.
The intention of Making Waves is to create a space for meetings, dialogues, and confrontations. The Flag challenges to reflect and makes happenings and the exchange of experiences possible. Making Waves brings Flag of Compassion in a new phase, to go in more depth by connecting the Flag to new surroundings, instead of an individual or occasion. Making Waves doesn’t work with a fixed ‘format’, but it exists within a varied group of people who, adjusted to the situation, together with the concerned group, community or institute discover and develop a new interesting program.
The Making Waves Team is currently looking for new collaborations.