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Dieuwke Slump: 'I love development, failure, not-knowing, always searching'

Dieuwke Slump completed the Theatre in Education course in Arnhem. She is concerned with the archive, with the powerstructures that decide what we can remember, which stories are told, and which histories and voices are forgotten. She wants to contribute to a history, and thereby a present and a future, that is open for all perspectives. This was the starting point of her graduation thesis and a podcast mini-series which she made in collaboration with ArtEZ studium generale.

Dieuwke Slump

Can you tell us something about the way you work?

“I work horizontally. For me that means a few things. Firstly, I am flexible and I want all people involved in a process to have equal input in that process. There is not one leader who decides the direction (vertical), but a space in which all voices are heard and in which everyone’s input is valued equally. In this, I do have a clear goal in mind and I actively engage my students, audience, passers-by with this goal. Secondly, working horizontally means for me as well the broadening of the work. I use multiple disciplines, bring them in dialogue with each other, to come to new insights and new perspectives. I let fiction and documentation exist side by side. I don’t make a statement, but offer a stage to different points of view, side by side. I work together with empirical experts and experts from other fields. I love development, failure, not-knowing, always searching.”

You made a podcast mini-series. What is it about?

“The podcast mini-series is titled 'Eventually I'd have to disappear’ and is about the traces we leave behind as artists and how to work with them ethically, philosophically, artistically. In every chapter of this podcast, I invite a guest to join me and talk about their archive, and how they work with or against it. In the first episode I talk to the controversial artist, activist and artistic director of NT Gent Milo Rau about the difference between art and activism; the never-ending project of deconstruction; and theatre plays as traces of a revolution. Also in this episode: 13-years-old learning how deep listening is a physical activity, and the amazing music of Warner Slump.”

In the second episode I talk to ArtEZ Theatre in Education- graduate Anna Schlooz who is now studying Autonomous Art- Performance in Ghent. In the third episode I talk to ArtEZ Theatre in Education- student Fonge Frieling, who is now the artistic director of the non-profit foundation TG Signum. And in the fourth episode I go to Pakhuis de Zwijger to talk to Peggy Bouva and Maartje Duin, who collectively worked on the podcast ‘The plantation of our forefathers’.”

What was your goal or wish with the podcast?

“I see the episodes as small works of art, which I complete with sounds and voice-overs. I believe that in this time, it is important to take a look at our history and at how we remember it: which stories are told and which are forgotten, because this shapes our present and our future. How can we as artists deal with that in creative and radical ways? What can we contribute to this conversation, by being aware of our own archive and by making artistic interventions to create more space for different voices, narratives, perspectives?”

You can find the four episodes of 'Eventually I'd have to disappear’ in your favourite podcast app or on the website of ArtEZ studium generale.

Dieuwke Slump made this podcast mini-series in collaboration with ArtEZ studium generale. ArtEZ studium generale curates and organises gatherings, talks, training courses, podcasts and publications about the state of the arts and its relation to today’s challenges, ranging from immediate societal issues to bold abstract concepts.