Jannelieke Aalstein was born and raised in Rotterdam, and is active in the city in many different capacities. For six years she served as chief of staff to Mayor Aboutaleb and for over four years she was Director of Rotterdam Partners, the official investment promotion agency of Rotterdam. Currently she works as the director for ActionAid, a globally active human rights organization with offices in over 45 countries. Outspoken, autonomous, passionate about life, feminist, smart, and connected; Aalstein also serves on many boards – including Varhalenhuis Belvédère, Sinfonia Rotterdam, Rabobank – and in many advisory capacities, for example DakenDaagen Rotterdam, Women Connected and Lifestyle Transformation Design at WDKA.
Leal Arazzi van Herwaarden
Leal is the Head of Program of the HipHopHuis foundation and identifies as a man dedicating his life to building & empowering the communities he loves. As captain of the dance crew Pop'arazzi, he appeared as a finalist on 'Holland's Got Talent’ and he was the only one in his dance style ever to represent the Netherlands on the main stage at the World Cup of hip-hop dance (Juste Debout) in Paris. Driven by an urge to set up new initiatives with friends, Leal has organized (nationally trending) parties, workshops, and dance events with his company Circle of Codes. Leal is also the founder and general director of the Dutch Dance League foundation, dedicated to make the urban dance world accessible to a broad audience.
Born in Makati City, Clara Balaguer is a cultural worker and grey literature circulator currently living and working in Rotterdam. From 2010 to 2018, she articulated cultural programming with rural, peri-urban, and diasporic communities from the Philippines through the OCD, a residency space, and social practice platform. In 2013, she co-founded Hardworking Goodlooking, a cottage industry publishing house interested in the material vernacular, collectivizing authorship, and the value of the error. Currently, she coordinates the Social Practices department at Willem de Kooning Academy and teaches in the Experimental Publishing masters of Piet Zwart Institute.
Liesbeth Bik is an artist working collectively with Jos van der Pol as Bik Van der Pol, internationally and in Rotterdam since the early ’80s. Ever since arriving to study at the Art Academy, Liesbeth has been actively involved in the cultural tissue of Rotterdam. She was the co-founder of Duende, a self-organized artist-run space with studios and has been the advisor of various cultural organizations, including Rotterdamse Raad voor Kunst en Cultuur and Raad voor Cultuur. She is co-initiator of The School of Missing Studies, tutor at the Piet Zwart Institute, advisor at Jan van Eyck Academy, and member of the Akademie van Kunsten/KNAW. She was a board member of FKA WDW, and the many exhibitions she experienced there have been foundational to the shaping and growth of her practice. Bik Van der Pol’s archival exhibition WERE IT AS IF developed from this.
Yahaira Brito Morfe
Yahaira Brito Morfe is a 21-year-old graphic designer who is currently studying Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. For the past three years, she has been volunteering at showroom MAMA, in Rotterdam. In 2019 Yahaira participated in FKA WDW’s Work-Learn Project, where she advised upon the four-year policy for the ground-floor space Melly. Yahira’s projects frequently concern youth culture, and contest racist and classist structures. Besides taking part in fiery and political discussions, Yahaira has a passion for cooking and exploring new flavors.
Willem de Rooij
Willem de Rooij (Beverwijk, 1969) investigates how images work. Appropriations and collaborations inform his method, often facilitating research in the humanities. De Rooij studied art history and art at the UvA, the Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie. Together with Jeroen de Rijke, he represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale (2005). De Rooij mentors at the Rijksakademie and the Städelschule in Frankfurt. In 2016 he co-founded BPA// Berlin Program for Artists. Recent group exhibitions include Mindful Circulations at BDL Museum, Mumbai (2019) and the Jakarta Biennale, Jakarta (2017). De Rooij’s installation Pierre Verger in Suriname premieres at Portikus in Frankfurt in November 2020.
Sasha Huber (1975, Zurich, CH/FI) is a Helsinki based, multidisciplinary visual artist-researcher of Swiss-Haitian heritage. Huber's work is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to colonial residue left in the environment. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice that encompasses performance-based interventions, video, photography, collaborations, and stapling. She is known for her artistic research contribution to the Demounting Louis Agassiz campaign, aiming at dismantling the glaciologist’s lesser-known but contentious racist heritage. In 2018 Huber was the recipient of the State Art Award in the category visual arts given by the Arts Promotion Center Finland.
Stijn Kemper studied Cultural and Social Education at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. Shortly after graduating, he joined the first Collective Learning Work/Lean Project at FKA WDW in 2018-2019. As a conclusion of this project, the ground floor galleries of FKA WDW were renamed Melly, after Ken Lum’s 1990 piece Melly Shum Hates Her Job. In the next fellowship, Stijn researched the Rotterdam history of the artwork which resulted in an archival exhibition and public program. Stijn is currently working in the education department of Boijmans Hillevliet and as a curator for Verhalenhuis Belvédère, center for intangible heritage.
Born in 1970 in Amsterdam, Iris Kensmil lived the first half of her youth in Paramaribo, Suriname, before returning to now live and work in Amsterdam. Iris Kensmil creates a visual construction of "Black Modernity", defined as the history of how Black movements and Black intellectuals, writers, musicians, artists, and activists have influenced the shaping of our future. In 2019 Iris Kensmil represented the Netherlands at the Venice Biennial together with Remy Jungerman. Exhibitions include: “Becoming More Caucus” (Van Abbemuseum, 2017); “Black and Revolutionary” (The Black Archives, 2018); “Time Trade Travel” (SMBA, 2012); “Monumentalism”, (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 2010); “Wakaman: Drawing Lines, Connecting Dots” (Fort Zeelandia, 2009); and “Respect! Forms of community” (Musée Dar-Si-Said & Palais el-Badi, 2005).
Louise Mitchell was appointed in 2011 as Chief Executive of the Bristol Music Trust, an independent charitable trust set up to drive forward music in Bristol and secure a sustainable future for Colston Hall. In her current role Louise is spearheading the multi-million-pound transformation of the venue and leading the organization in its move to a new name, away from that of the slave trader Edward Colston. Previously, Louise was the first Director of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music, a position taken up after being at the head of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for 13 years. Louise is the newly appointed Chair of National Children’s Orchestras, a board member of Destination Bristol, a trustee of the Paraorchestra and Honorary Secretary for the Royal Philharmonic Society. In 2017, Louise was awarded the Patrick Hayes Award by the International Society for Performing Arts, recognizing exceptional transformative leadership in the performing arts.
Tumelo Mosaka is an independent curator who has worked within and outside museums exploring global transnational artistic practices especially from Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. He has curated numerous exhibitions including, “Turning Tide”, at the Mémorial ACTe Museum, Guadeloupe (2017), “Poetic Relations”, Perez Art Museum, Miami (2015), and “Otherwise Black” at the 1st edition International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Martinique (BIAC) 2014. Mosaka is the former Chief Curator for Investec Cape Town Art Fair, South Africa (2016-19). Previous positions include curator at the Krannert Art Museum (KAM) in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Prior to joining KAM, Mosaka was the Associate Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, NY where he curated “Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art” (2007), and “Passing/Posing: Kehinde Wiley” (2004) among others. Mosaka was born in Johannesburg and resides in New York City.
Willem Philipsen is a musician and motivational speaker, living and working in Rotterdam. Despite the fact that Willem is partially paralysed, he discovered a new positivity full of humour and energy, creating new opportunities. He uses his strength and motivation to inspire people on a daily basis and to show that limitations and setbacks do not define you. Philipsen has appeared on television numerous times such as with KRO De Wandeling, Recht Uit Het Hart, Een Vandaag: De Optimist and De Wereld Draait Door; as well as platforms such as Nike, TEDxRotterdam, the Brain Foundation and Het Fitte Brein.
Kees Weeda was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of FKA WDW, from 2011-2019. He is or has recently been board member or chairman of Zina Foundation (Amsterdam); Follow-a-Muse Foundation (Amsterdam); Storm – Tweetakt / Kaap Foundation (Utrecht); Schwalbe Foundation (Amsterdam). In Rotterdam, Board of Trustees of Centrale Discotheek Foundation; LantarenVenster Foundation; the Conny Janssen Danst Foundation; AVL Mundo Foundation; Ronde van Katendrecht Foundation; Pierre Bayle Prijs voor Kunstkritiek Foundation; Rotterdam Design Prize Foundation; Rotterdam Connection Foundations/John Buijsman Producties.