Sint Maarten Parade

22 oktober–10 november 2023


BAK at the Sint Maarten Parade 2023

Credits: Tools for Action & Theatre of Dortmund

BAK Community Portal presents . . .

Solid in the Streets, Fluid in the Skies

22 October–10 November 2023
12–18 hrs, generally
See schedule below for details

For Sint Maarten Parade 2023, Tools for Action—a non-profit organization that develops artistic interventions for political actions—collaborates with Utrecht-based members of Filipino, Caribbean, and other communities to collectively dream a parade compartment.

Developed through a seven-day training cycle facilitated by Bambi van Balen, Carmen Branco van Gelder, and Christy Westhoven from Tools for Action, this parade compartment consists of inflatable light and sound sculptures with choreography. The Sint Maarten Parade’s theme for this year, “water,” is thus interpreted through the idea of (gender-)fluid solidarities.

How do we address and resist the weight of patriarchy within cultures of grassroots organizing? How can we develop visual language in public space that represents the rich difference of bodies and experiences involved in justice mobilization, including factors such as gender, race, class, cultural background, education, and ableness, among others? How can liquid, flowing connections be generated between communities whose struggles have many points in common? How do we want to respond to the context of the Sint Maarten?

This training cycle is named after an essay by Filipino academic Marlon Lacsamana, who conducted his academic research on how frontline Communist Party guerrilla fighters in the Philpinnes —of diverse SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression)— experience queerness and femininity. Lacsamana discusses some of his research in a ritual lecture on day one of this cycle: see schedule for details.


DAY 1              DREAMWORK

Sunday, 22 October 2023
12–18 hrs

Tools for Action present their practice, show inspiration for the use of inflatables in protest and parades, and facilitate a collective brainstorm and dreaming session to come up with the concept for the inflatable sculptures and choreography of the parade compartment.

Marlon Lacsamana, Filipino academic, leads a ritual lecture and discussion group on his 2015 essay “Rainbow Warriors: Strategies of War in the Inclusion of Persons of diverse SOGIE in the Maoist Insurgency in the Philippines.”

DAY 2–3          INFLATABLES             

Saturday–Sunday, 28–29 October 2023
12–18 hrs

Inflatable sculpture prototyping session with Bambi van Balen and Carmen Branco van Gelder from Tools for Action.

DAY 4–5          ELECTRONICS

Saturday–Sunday, 4–5 November  2023
12–18 hrs

A session of coding responsive light and sound electronics and integrating them into the inflatables with Christy Westhoven from Tools for Action.

DAY 6              DRESS REHEARSAL

Thursday, 9 November 2023
12–18 hrs

Open lab for fabrication opens at 12 hrs for the fabrication working group. Dress rehearsal begins at 17hrs.

DAY 7              PARADE!!!

Friday, 10 November 2023
15–20 hrs

Meet at BAK at 15 hrs for finishing touches and then move together to the assembly point. The Sint Maarten Parade runs from 18 hrs until approximately 20 hrs.


Free admission.
No registration required.
Complimentary vegan meal.
All activities are held on BAK’s wheelchair-accessible ground floor.


On days one to five, collective vegan lunch is served at 12 hrs, care of the b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN.

On days six and seven, free vegan merienda (afternoon snack-meal) will be served at 16 hrs.

As much as possible, meal ingredients are harvested from the generous dumpsters and restaurant waste disposal cycles of Utrecht, recycling viable food that would otherwise go to waste. The variety and abundance of the menu depends on the luck of the dive.


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