29 September 2019, 15.00



Storytelling performance and conversation, in the context of exhibition project Trainings for the Not-Yet

Performance by Denise Valentine at the opening of Trainings for the Not-Yet, 14 September 2019 at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, photo: Tom Janssen

Buy tickets (via Eventbrite) | Facebook event

Join us on Sunday 29 September for a public event in the context of project Trainings for the Not-Yet. Unforgetting includes a storytelling performance by storyteller Denise Valentine, followed by a conversation between Valentine and cultural historian Nancy Jouwe. Come along on storyteller Denise Valentine’s fantastic journey to find out “where she’s from.” She uncovers surprising connections to ancestral homelands, and along the way, learns that all roads lead to home.

Unforgetting is part of The Master Narratives, a series of stories that emerge from Valentine’s research on storytelling as a process for crafting historical narratives related to slavery and other so-called “difficult knowledge” by building (or peeling back) layers of context in the explication of history and the construction/reconstruction of identity. In this series, Valentine uncovers connections between her ancestral homelands and contemporary neighborhoods of the city of Philadelphia, her hometown. Philadelphia maps, street names (many named after enslavers), and monuments become compasses on the journey, whilst diaries of plantation mistresses, oral histories, folklore, and other archival material constitute her primary sources of inspiration.

Following the storytelling performance, Valentine and Jouwe initiate a conversation on the intersections and correspondences of their practices.

This event is the culmination of the training Unforgetting & Reconnecting: Story Mapping that takes place earlier that week (as part of Trainings for the Not Yet), a week of exercises, deep reflection, inquiry and investigation to build—or peel back—layers of context in the explication of history and the (re)construction of personal and social identities.

Denise Valentine is a master storyteller, historical performer, consultant, and founder of The Philadelphia Middle Passage Ceremony & Port Maker Project.

Nancy Jouwe is a cultural historian. She is Chairwoman of BAK Supervisory Board, co-founder of Framer Framed, Amsterdam and one of the initiators of Mapping Slavery, a transnational research project that maps the Dutch colonial history of slavery.

€6 normal, €3 student discount. Ticket includes entry to exhibition Trainings for the Not-Yet. Participants to the training by Denise Valentine and Nancy Jouwe can attend this event for free. Book your tickets via Eventbrite.

Suggestions from the archive

13 March, 19.30–14 March, 22.00 2020

European Forum for Advanced Practices (EFAP) at BAK [WILL NOT TAKE PLACE]

Including two public programs with Paul Goodwin, Ima-Abasi Okon, Abbas Zahedi, Jihan El-Tahri, Irit Rogoff, Florian Schneider, and Maria Hlavajova

[WILL NOT TAKE PLACE | Update 12/3: unfortunately these EFAP presentations will not take place.]

Come to BAK on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 March for two public programs as part of the European Forum for Advanced Practices (EFAP), a self-organized, international gathering of practitioners, scholars, and organizers from transdisciplinary realms of art and education. With, on the Friday, a conversation between Paul Goodwin, Ima-Abasi Okon, and Abbas Zahedi; and on the Saturday a screening and a lecture by Jihan El-Tahri. With introductions by Irit Rogoff, Florian Schneider, and Maria Hlavajova.


7 March 2020, 20.00-23.00

BAK, basis voor Yallah Sabaya

Special International Women's Day edition

On Saturday 7 March 2020 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht hosts a special International Women’s Day edition of Yallah Sabaya! Yallah Sabaya (“Come ladies! Enjoy yourselves!” in Arabic) is a special evening where dance and music connect women from all over the world. All women, no matter where they are from, are welcome on […]

Public Studies

19 March, 15.00–21 March, 18.00 2020

Public Studies: Practice as Theory [CANCELLED]

A three day workshop with artist Tony Cokes, in the framework of exhibition Tony Cokes: To Live as Equals

[UPDATE 13 March: We are sad to announce that, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, this event is now cancelled for 19-21 March – we are looking into postponing it and will update our website and social media as soon as we know more]. As a part of the exhibition Tony Cokes: To Live as […]