It's OK... Circle: Queer Currents

22 July – 4 August 2023

Diverse programme of talks and performances.

Invite someone along

Queer Currents is headquartered at the Oude Kerk for this year’s Pride Amsterdam. Curated by writer Alejandra Ortiz, this circle examines doubt and belonging, in relation to queer identities, realities and communities through various gatherings and events. This circle utilises art and culture as tools to seek new ways of understanding ourselves and the world around us.


Saturday 22 July (10:00 - 11:00): Kick-off Queer Currents by Alejandra Ortiz

Saturday 22 July sees the festive kick-off of Queer Currents in the Oude Kerk with a talk by Alejandra Ortiz and a small breakfast. From 11:00, there will be an opportunity to walk together to Dam Square for the start of the Pride Walk. Alejandra Ortiz is guest curator of the Queer Currents circle and co-curator of the It's OK... Circle #5 meetings on 12 and 18 August: Not in Your Box #1 & #2. Ortiz lives undocumented in Amsterdam. Despite her undocumented status, she is a familiar face and important voice in the LGBTQIA+ community. Ortiz founded two aid organisations, co-wrote government reports and published an autobiographical book.

Wednesday 26 July (11:00 - 13:00): Doubt Circle #5 with Queer Church Service by Essemie van Dunné

On 26 July, the fifth of eight public circle meetings around the concept of doubt will take place. In this circle brought together with Ben Dragstra, who works at the Salvation Army, we will discuss the role of doubt in society, our personal existence and the neighbourhood we live in through various reflections. For this meeting, Queer Currents has invited Baptist pastor Essemie van Dunné to lead a Queer Church service. Besides her work as a pastor, Van Dunné is a child and youth worker in Amsterdam Noord.

Thursday 27 July (13:00 - 18:00): Queer Sex Worker's Day

On this afternoon, sex workers and sex worker activists provide an extensive programme of perfromances and talks at the Oude Kerk. From their own perspective, they will talk about their work and relationship with the neighbourhood. The Oude Kerk is located in the heart of the Red Light District, where sex workers have been working for centuries. In 1306, the Oude Kerk was even dedicated to the patron saint of prostitutes. With this programme, we are citing our historical connection with sex workers and offering them a stage so they can share their perspective and experience with audiences. Check here for the entire programme for the day.

Oude Kerk Its OK inwijding kapel 56 low res foto Maarten Nauw

Friday 28 July (17:00 - 19:00): Queer & Pride Photo by Samira Damato
Carl-Johan Paulsen, also known as Leo Patra, is a Danish textile and performance artist studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Carl-Johan has a background in theatre, dance, performance and various musical ventures, which have become a central part of their work. Over the past 3 years, Carl-Johan has developed an art practice revolving around themes such as queerness in mythologies, questioning religious and spiritual structures, finding space within a non-binary body, sexuality in images, inventing worlds and camouflaging identity through the lens of safety and acceptance in society. They joined the House Of Hopelezz in early 2022, under the care and guidance of Taka Taka, where they embrace the art of drag in parallel with their artistic practice. You can expect performances that draw inspiration from the vibrant nightlife of Amsterdam, as well as their past as choristers in a church in the Danish countryside.

Monday, July 31 (15:00 - 17:00): Serene Mirror: Reflecting the Unseen by Safa Kamideh

Safa Kamideh is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher who explores the intersections between art, culture and mysticism. With a background in Film and Theatre Studies, she has participated in several artistic projects in Tehran and the Netherlands, focusing on performance art, digital media and technology. In her research, she delves into Western esoteric traditions and Sufi Farsi poetry, aiming to analyse, deconstruct and decolonise the appropriation of Middle Eastern culture by Western esoteric movements. Safa uses her artistic talents to bring to life an interpreted translation of the symbolic Farsi poetry of Rumi and Hafez. She embraces the aesthetics and methodologies of Queer art and linguistics, challenging norms and boundaries. Her latest project, 'HafezKhani/Reciting Hafez,' premiered at the Utrecht Café Theatre Festival in March 2023.

About It's OK... commoning uncertainties

This circle is part of the multi-year collective art project It's OK... commoning uncertainties around making uncertainties common and narrating different realities. It's OK... is curated at the initiative of Jeanne van Heeswijk by more than a hundred makers, thinkers, activists, artists, local residents. Read more about the project here.