Culture is — togetherness in time

Courtesy of Newsha Tavakolian.

01 May 2024


In collaboration with EYE Filmmuseum, the Prince Claus Fund presented a short films programme followed by a discussion during Amsterdam Art Week.

Cover: Courtesy of Newsha Tavakolian.

"Culture is—Togetherness in Time" was hosted by Jesse Gerard Mpango—a storyteller, Prince Claus Fund Awardee and a founding member of Ajabu Ajabu, multimedia curatorial collective based in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The evening was kicked off by the Chair of the Prince Claus Fund Supervisory Board Ila Kasem and our Communications Manager, Laura Urbonaviciute, alongside a welcome word by EYE Filmmuseum Director Bregtje van der Haak.

Highlighting the filmmakers and artists from the Fund's network, the programme featured a collection of stories from across the world that look deep into embedded silences of the everyday. From Kantarama Gahigiri's "Terra Mater" set in urban Kenya, Luis Alejandro Yero's story "Los Viejos Heraldos" based in rural Cuba, to the coast of Pakistan in Hira Nabi's "All That Perishes at the Edge of Land" and the intimate reflection of Newsha Tavakolian's "For the Sake of Calmness" in the capital of Iran, each of the artists contemplate the unsaid things we have in common.

In considering the questions of our time, while facing major global challenges, art offers a singular space for diverse ways of knowing, creating the room to question and a space to grow through seeing ourselves in one another at each moment—and reclaiming togetherness in time.

Rounding off the night were drinks at EYE Restaurant accompanied with music by DJ smother.


Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam
Image by Elzo Bonam

Full Programme



By Prince Claus Fund Director Marcus Desando and EYE Filmmuseum Director Bregtje van der Haak

Film Screenings


Featuring Kantarama Gahigiri, Luis Alejandro Yero, Hira Nabi, and Newsha Tavakolian



With Jesse Gerard Mpango and Newsha Tavakolian

Music and Drinks


By DJ smother


Newsha Tavakolian, Iran | For the Sake of Calmness (2020)

Newsha Tavakolian, an Iranian photographer and 2015 Prince Claus Fund Awardee, is renowned for her emotionally charged work that captures human emotions. Beginning her career at a young age, she has become a prominent figure in the field, covering topics ranging from women's challenges to post-conflict tensions. Her photography blends artistry with documentary, often blurring the lines between reality and imagination. 

Newsha Tavakolian, Iran | For the Sake of Calmness (2020)
Still from "For the Sake of Calmness" (2020) by Newsha Tavakolian

In "For the Sake of Calmness" (2020), Newsha delves into visualizing abstract ideas amidst landscapes, real and imagined. Landscape, real and imagined, provides the backdrop for a visual narrative, while sound, intertwined with a self-narrated monologue, adds a third dimension to this specific portrayal. An experimental take on a reality intensified by the emotional flare of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome).

Hira Nabi, Pakistan | All That Perishes at the Edge of Land (2019)

Hira Nabi, a filmmaker, visual artist and 2020 Prince Claus Fund Awardee, examines contemporary reality with political insight and poetic intensity. She explores local impacts of global issues like globalization and environmental degradation, blending fact, narrative, and imagery. Her work combines critical research with a personal aesthetic, showcasing a resistance to mass populism and a reclaiming of individuality.

All That Perishes at the Edge of Land (2019) by Hira Nabi
Still from "All That Perishes at the Edge of Land" (2019) by Hira Nabi

In "All That Perishes at the Edge of Land" (2019), a decommissioned container vessel, Ocean Master, engages in dialogue with workers at Gadani yards. The film delves into the workers' dreams, desires, and the violence inherent in ship dismantling. As they reminisce about homes and confront daily risks, the film prompts reflection on the costs and accountability of the shipbreaking industry.

Luis Alejandro Yero, Cuba | Los Viejos Heraldos (2019)

Luis Alejandro Yero is a Cuban filmmaker and 2021 Seed Awardee. His short films have screened at various prestigious festivals, including IDFA, Sheffield International Documentary Festival, and Olhar de Cinema. He has won awards at FICUNAM, Mar del Plata, and the Havana Film Festival. Yero's documentaries delve into how political violence manifests in intimate settings and the resistances that emerge. 

Los Viejos Heraldos (2019) by Luis Alejandro Yero
Still from "Los Viejos Heraldos" (2019) by Luis Alejandro Yero

"In Los Viejos Heraldos" (2019), a Cuban elderly couple lives a simple life in the countryside, finding joy in everyday rituals. As they keep their traditional charcoal oven warm, they receive news of political changes through an old TV set. The documentary, with stunning black and white imagery, captures how personal narratives intertwine with historical events.

Kantarama Gahigiri, Switzerland / Rwanda | Terra Mater – Mother Land (2023)

Kantarama Gahigiri, a Rwandan-Swiss writer and director, explores themes of identity, migration, and empowerment in her recent projects shot in Switzerland and East Africa. Gahigiri has participated in prestigious residencies and programs like Realness Residency, La Fabrique Cinéma at Cannes FF, and Berlinale Talents. Her latest project, "Tanzanite," is a feature film in development.

Terra Mater – Mother Land (2023) by Kantarama Gahigiri
Still from "Terra Mater – Mother Land" (2023) by Kantarama Gahigiri

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