Shaping Solidarity in the Arts

A soup meal, a book launch, and conversations on the role and meaning of solidarity in the arts.


Saturday 18 February 2023, 16:00-20:00 at De Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, 1062 HE Amsterdam
Organized by Valiz, De Appel, and Platform BK
Free participation but limited spaces. Reserve a spot via


Spread from the article 'Ali in Jordan: Palestine Solidarity in Film' by Eszter Szakács, published in the 'Art & Solidarity Reader'.

Solidarity has grown to be one of the most frequently used rallying cries in the arts, connecting artists and activists in struggles against social and economic injustice, violent displacement, climate disaster, and other societal urgencies. Why is solidarity such a powerful and appealing ideal? What is the solidarity at play in these practices? Who is in solidarity with whom, and why? During ‘Shaping Solidarity in the Arts’, we will explore historical and theoretical dimensions of solidarity in the arts and connect them to practitioners’ perspectives. Together, we will develop a deeper understanding of what solidarity in the arts is, or could be.

This event is organized by Valiz, De Appel, and Platform BK on the occasion of the publication of the Art & Solidarity Reader by Valiz and OCA. Speakers and facilitators include Eszter Szakács, Lara Khaldi, Studio Rooie Jas, artist and activist collective Kukhnia, Yara Saïd, Rosa te Velde, and Gizem Üstüner.



16:15-16:30: Welcoming words
By the organizers Astrid Vorstermans (Valiz), Lara Khaldi (De Appel), and Sepp Eckenhaussen (Platform BK)

16:30-17:00: Eszter Szakács in conversation with Lara Khaldi
Both contributors to the Solidarity Reader, Eszter and Lara will critically discuss historical examples of art and solidarity as well as different models of institutional and non institutional solidarity.

17:00-17:30: Mirror Soup Kitchen
The collective Mirror Soup Kitchen (Jasper van den Berg, Jet Sanders and Roel Wouters)  and activist artist collective Kukhnia (online, operating in Lviv) will cook and serve soup to everyone present. While the collectives and participants make sure together that everyone gets a meal, the collective will introduce their collaboration.

17:30-18:30 What does solidarity mean to you? Table discussions on forms of solidarity
During the meal, a conversation will be initiated around the question: what is the role and meaning of solidarity in your practice? These conversations will be facilitated by solidarity organizers from the Dutch arts, including Yara Saïd (SALWA Foundation) and Rosa te Velde (lector of Social Justice and Diversity in the Arts at the Amsterdam School of the Arts).

18:30-19:00: Our solidarity. Harvesters report back & groups exchange
The dedicated Harvesters report back on the conversations at their tables, and the results are discussed among the participants in a plenary setting.


About the organizers

Valiz is an Amsterdam-based independent publishing house in the field of art, theory, critique, design, and urban culture. Valiz has published the Art & Solidarity Reader: Radical Actions, Politics and Friendships, edited by Katya García-Antón, in collaboration with OCA, Office for Contemporary Art Norway. Shaping Solidarity in the Arts will be the book launch of this publication.

De Appel is a contemporary arts centre located in De Lely. De Appel makes time and space for artists and allies to pose vital questions. The meaning of solidarity is one of those questions. Lara Khaldi, the artistic director of De Appel, brings along experiences as a former member of the curatorial team of documenta fifteen and has contributed to the Art & Solidarity Reader.

Platform BK researches the role of art in society, takes action for better art policy, and promotes solidarity in the arts. In September of 2022, Platform BK organized a three-day Solidarity Camp in collaboration with Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons, Cultural Workers Unite, Engagement Arts NL, Fossil Free Culture NL, Tools for the Times, and Salwa Foundation. Shaping Solidarity in the Arts builds on lessons learned and friends made during this three-day event.


Art & Solidarity Reader

Solidarity has re-entered the global zeitgeist with resounding force in the last decades and is especially urgent to consider today. Yet this concept – both a potent ideal and a slippery notion – is one of the least analysed within the arts. Why? It is perhaps because colonialism, Neoliberalism, hyper-individualism and Western-centred concepts of art have eroded visions of a care-based society. Creating a fair and vital social fabric inspired by mutual dependencies between living beings and all entities including fauna, flora, air, land and water, is fundamental for our collective existence. A critical toolbox with intersectional perspectives is needed to examine this minefield and reveal meaningful and inspiring narratives that can guide our future. Working with these complexities, this Reader considers the agency that artists, collectives and art institutions have generated from the 1970s to today to build the radical imaginaries of care and solidarity needed to transform the conditions of our collective existence in the face of local and global crises. Presenting new and historical material, the Reader narrates a series of stories of solidarity across geographies in relation to emergencies connected to ecocide, femicide, genocide, migration, neocolonialism, inter-religious conflicts, class divisions and heteronormativity, amongst others. It also gives a central place to Indigenous perspectives rarely considered when discussing solidarity in the arts.

The Art & Solidarity Reader: Radical Actions, Politics and Friendships was edited by Katya García-Antón and published in 2022 by Valiz in partnership with OCA. You can order the book here or pick up a copy during Shaping Solidarity in the Arts.



About Platform BK

Platform BK researches the role of art in society and takes action for a better art policy. We represent artists, curators, designers, critics and other cultural producers.