Conscious living at the Scopophilia Art Festival

Conscious living at the Scopophilia Art Festival

Jun 1, 2016 |  by  |  Art, Event, Music
About the author
Born in Toronto, living in Amsterdam, Sara studies music and works as a writer and researcher in both cities. Here to try to help you find what Amsterdam has to offer.

Technically, the term ‘scopophilia’ dates from the work of Freud and means ‘the pleasure of looking.’ But the Scopophilia Art Festival, taking place June 10 at the Tolhuistuin, promises a significantly more immersive experience.

Scopophilia is a biannual arts festival with a focus on emerging artists, featuring the work of up-and-coming creatives in fashion, painting, sculpture, performance art, theater, spoken word, music, photography and dance. Working alongside concert presenters Dormsessions and spoken word collective Penny Dreadful, festival organizers Daria Ivanenko and Anouk Joanne van Eekeren have seen the festival grow in the past three years from a university community project to an event with a full-fledged art exhibition and musical lineup. This month’s edition in the garden at the Tolhuistuin will be the first Scopophilia open to the public.

The idea of conscious living is rooted in sustainability, and the festival will reflect those roots.

“We’re still quite small, but we intend to grow with every edition,” explains Ivanenko over email. “We intend to become a recognized brand that is interested in artists who haven’t been completely established within the art world yet.”

The art of living consciously

The upcoming festival has an emphasis on what it means to be young, and the responsibilities that youth need to take on in today’s world. “When we first started discussing the concept it became clear that we want to cater to people like ourselves and to talk about something we truly believe in,” says Ivanenko. “We feel like young people have a lot to say, but usually have hard time doing so because of the stereotypes surrounding them… The artists are asked to show what it actually means to be young, to care about others on different scales, to be conscious of themselves and the world around them.”


For Ivanenko and her colleagues, this idea of conscious living is rooted in sustainability – and the festival, Ivanenko guarantees, will reflect those roots.

“Sustainability is an important issue for us as well, especially since this topic so often becomes disconnected from other parts of our life,” she says. “We want to connect it back, and raise awareness through little things that we can do, such as, for example, excluding any type of paper materials from the festival (informational booklets, flyers etc). This is a challenge, but a very interesting one – at the end we are not losing any quality as an exhibition space, but will present a new concept of one, which is exciting.”

This month’s seven-artist musical lineup is already up on the festival website, promising sets from neon-R&B duo Tian, folk-electro trio Roosmarijn and jazz-rapper Nelson, among others. Other details are still to come; in the meantime, it looks to be a festival with potential, and one worth marking in your agenda.


When: June 10, 15:00-23:30
Where: Tolhuistuin, Tolhuisweg 3
Tickets: €8,- | Here
More info: Website & Facebook event

Photography by Bart Heemskerk.

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