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Crimmigration, corona and exclusion: Creating space to talk about difficult topics through art

Professor of Law and Society Maartje van der Woude is searching for innovative ways to facilitate dialogue about topics that are usually experienced as ‘difficult to talk about’ – such as racism, ethnic profiling, exclusion, crimmigration – with a wide audience.

Professor of Law and Society Maartje van der Woude is searching for innovative ways to facilitate dialogue about topics that are usually experienced as ‘difficult to talk about’ – such as racism, ethnic profiling, exclusion, crimmigration – with a wide audience. Van der Woude’s new research project aims to study the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to deal with it, on relationships between groups in society and the extent to which polarisation has increased or decreased through the measures. As part of this project, she is collaborating with the Leiden art initiative 'Liquid Society'.

Liquid Society arose from a need for more space to experiment and to work with current issues in such a way that the borders of the city of Leiden and its inhabitants are studied and portrayed. The initiators of the project are visual artist Sven Meijers, social entrepreneur and Leiden Criminology alumna Lot Vegter, Egyptian artist and producer Abdalla Daif and lecturer at ACPA Carlos Roos. By connecting art, knowledge and the city, they aim to create connections that are new and innovative. They organised their first edition in 2018. For three months, a warehouse at the Hoge Mors was host to an international arts programme with expositions, workshops and readings. Lot, Sven, Abdalla and Carlos facilitate the space, tools and knowledge that make it possible to seek out the experiment with each other. The invitation is always to look at the world from a new perspective, connect with others, and help each other on the journey. In 2020/2021 they will organise a second edition in which they will collaborate with Van der Woude, among others.

The 2020/2021 edition of Liquid Society explicitly provides space for socially engaged art. Through this form of art the tension between empathy, resilience and violence/freedom (inspired by the work of Constant Nieuwenhuys) is examined, with the aim of building bridges between people and communities through different methods and at different moments, and generating a rich dialogue about values, norms, but also about worries and fears. Professor Van der Woude’s research is partly funded by the Leiden University Fund/Schim van der Loeff Fonds.

For more information about the project (with opportunities for student interns), send an e-mail to: m.a.h.vanderwoude@law.leidenuniv.nl

For more information about Liquid Society, contact: info@liquid-society.nl


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