wandelgesprekken – once in a lifetime

every Saturday, 14 May - 27 August 2016

During the Once in a Lifetime exhibition (on show until 28 August) there was a Wandelgesprek (guided tour) every Saturday. Speakers from diverse fields of expertise accompanied visitors around the exhibition and discussed the questions (of life and death) prompted by the works of art. Unlike your usual museum guides, these ‘guides’ were writers, thinkers, doers and makers, who used their personal knowledge as a point of departure and actively struck up conversations with the participants. Every guide did this in his or her own way, so no guided tour was the same.


Boris van der Ham during a Wandelgesprek at Oude Kerk, 2016 © Robert Glas.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with maarten doorman – 14 May, 11:00 / 13:00
Doorman is a writer and philosopher who lectures in Cultural Philosophy at University College Maastricht and in Art Criticism at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). In early 2016 he published De navel van Daphne; Over kunst en engagement (Daphne’s navel: On art and engagement), in which he asks how art gives meaning to society and how it can propel us towards a better future. Many contemporary artists head out into the world with a message, but what preoccupies them and what does a work of art bring about? His articles are regularly published in de Volkskrant newspaper, De Groene Amsterdammer and Filosofie Magazine. In addition he has written books about numerous subjects, including De romantische orde (2004, The Romantic order) and Rousseau en ik (2012, Rousseau and I).

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with diederiek van loo – 21 May, 11:00 / 13:00
Diederiek van Loo is as a pastor-pioneer connected with the Amersfoortse Zwaan, the Lutheran community in Amersfoort, and likes to work at the interface of interpretation and art. She speaks with many people and approaches life with an open mind, with humour and wisdom. This is what she herself had to say about her guided tour: ‘People are infinitely different and I find it inspiring to hear how someone approaches life, yet words are often inadequate for the loftiest, most beautiful or most profound aspects of life. Art, on the other hand, can cause new thoughts to rise to the surface, provide surprising insights and space, bring heart and mind into balance. I’m keen to explore fleeting life with you, wandering through the centuries-old spaces of the Oude Kerk.’

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with stephan sanders – 28 May, 11:00 / 13:00
Sanders is a Dutch columnist, presenter, essayist and author. He studied philosophy and political science at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Since 1986 his work has been published in the weekly newsmagazine De Groene Amsterdammer and Dutch daily de Volkskrant, and he writes regular columns in the weekly newsmagazine Vrij Nederland and in Onze Wereld magazine. He presents ‘Brainwash radio’ for the HUMAN broadcasting company. His book publications include Ai, Jamaica!, Connie Francis, of De onschuld van Amerika (Connie Francis, or The innocence of America), De grote woede van M. (The great rage of M.), and Buitenwacht (Outsiders).

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with daan roovers – 4 June, 11:00 / 13:00
A guided tour ‘provides interpretation, novel insights and exceptional discussions,’ a visitor comments. ‘It’s a valuable addition to an exhibition visit.’ As a philosopher and entrepreneur, Daan Roovers devises new ways of making people think about things. She draws inspiration from philosophical concepts to better understand today’s world, our place within it, and our personal lives.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with lammert kamphuis – 11 June, 11:00 / 13:00
‘What happens when you stand in front of a work of art?’ is the question philosopher Lammert Kamphuis wants to tackle with the participants in this guided tour. Lammert wants to challenge the participants to turn their gaze inward: ‘We’re not just looking at the work of art, but are jointly wondering what happens to us when we’re standing before this specific work of art. Something different happens to each one of us internally, which results in surprising conversations about hope, grief, memory and joy.’

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with jacqueline grandjean, director of Oude Kerk – 18 June, 11:00 / 13:00
‘I could, of course, tell you about the art and why these works are standing in the Oude Kerk, but I’m secretly curious how you, as a visitor, perceive the works of art. So I’m not going to tell you what you “ought” to see, or what meaning you should attribute to the work.’

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with adelheid roosen – 25 June, 11:00 / 13:00
‘When I hear the word mortality I think of the journey with my mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. I experienced her as an Alice in Wonderland: She falls into a hole in the ground, tumbling through time. And I fall in her wake, discover the new world where she is, what she experiences, does and says in her new language. By tumbling after transience, I discovered who my mother is now becoming.’

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with boris van der ham – 2 and 9 July, 11:00 / 13:00
‘Mortality can be shocking and confrontational, but it can also help to forget what is horrible. It certainly places pressure on our lives: Don’t delay for too long, enjoy the moment.’ Boris van der Ham served as a Member of Parliament for D66 and is now a board member for organizations that include the Humanistisch Verbond – the association that brings together atheists, humanists, agnostics and latitudinarians. He also acts, as well as writing books, columns and opinion pieces.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with abdelkader benali – 16 July, 11:00 / 13:00
Abdelkader Benali can currently be seen in the TV programme Chez Benali, in which he travels through Morocco with his wife, Saida Nabi, and reveals culinary secrets from the country that is famous for its rich cuisine. Benali writes novels and plays, as well as articles and reviews for Algemeen Dagblad and de Volkskrant, as well as magazines such as De Groene Amsterdammer, Esquire and Vrij Nederland. His first novel, Bruiloft aan zee (Wedding by the Sea) was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize in 1997, which he was eventually awarded in 2003 for his second novel, De langverwachte (The Long-Awaited). During the Israeli-Lebanese War in 2006, Benali wrote a blog for Vrij Nederland from Lebanon, where he happened to be staying when hostilities broke out.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with marjo van bergen – 23 July, 11:00 / 13:00
One of Marjo van Bergen’s roles is as an independent humanistic counsellor. Proceeding from this background, she is able to attend to the questions of life and death that the exhibition evokes among the participants in the guided tour.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with leoni van de water – 30 July, 11:00 / 13:00
Leoni van de Water is a scholar of humanism, a concept developer and a facilitator. Her passion is to bring people into contact with themselves and with each other, in order to realize that we are all pretty similar, but also to celebrate the differences. With her company Over The Moon she develops programmes and training courses that encourage people to be more aware of their place in life.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with funda müjde – 6 August, 11:00 / 13:00
‘When it comes to mortality I don’t actually think of death. For me, being aware of mortality also feeds the urge to get the most out of life here and now, and to make plans for the future. I’m very curious what comes to mind for the participants in the guided tour when they think about mortality.’

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with lammert kamphuis – 13 August, 11:00 / 13:00
Alongside his work as a freelance philosopher, philosopher and theologian Lammert Kamphuis is also a programme creator and quality manager for The School of Life. His forte lies in providing insight into complex philosophical theories and applying them to everyday life. As a speaker and moderator he manages to bring what really matters into the foreground in a personal and relaxed manner. He published his book Vrijgemaakt? (Liberated) in 2014.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with karin amatmoekrim – 20 August, 11:00 / 13:00
‘The grasp of our mortality adds exigency to the choices we make in our lives. As far as we know, we can only do it once. Therefore the trick is to take everything we can from it.’ Karin Amatmoekrim (b. Paramaribo, 1976) is the child of a Javanese mother and Chinese-Creole-Indian father. She made her debut in 2004 with Het knipperleven (The glare of life). The book was described as an existentialist Bildungsroman – a coming-of-age story – in which Amatmoekrim tackled subjects such as loneliness and death without pulling any punches. Amatmoekrim is currently working on various projects, including features for VPRO Radio, a special edition of Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy) together with illustrator Hanco Kolk, and a short story for the Museum of the Image (MOTI) in Breda.

wandelgesprek (guided tour) with jasper krabbé and nina folkersma – 27 August, 11:00 / 13:00


Once in a Lifetime is curated by Nina Folkersma and the result of collaboration between Oude Kerk and the Humanistisch Verbond (the Dutch Humanist Association). The exhibition is made possible by Amsterdam Funds for the Arts AFK , the Sluyterman van Loo Fund, the KunstenIsraël foundation, the Embassy of Israel in the Netherlands, the Mondriaan Fund and the Prins Bernhard Culture Fund.

Photo: Job Koelewijn, Celebration (you only live once)(you only die once) (2016) at Oude Kerk, 2016 © Robert Glas.