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The 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning that the presentation Who is We? will not be on view at the Dutch pavilion until 2021. However, the exhibition's parallel public programme Values for Survival, curated by Professor Caroline Nevejan at the invitation of Het Nieuwe Instituut, is currently in full swing. The first results of this research programme – Cahier 1 and an Exploratorium – will be presented in Amsterdam and Venice between 12 and 4pm on 14 July 2020.

Values for Survival connects Multispecies Urbanism and Multiplicity of Other, the central themes of the Dutch pavilion, with current spatial and social issues. Nevejan, the Chief Science Officer for the City of Amsterdam, summarises these themes as values that are crucial for the future of our cities, societies, and planet. 
Values for Survival is a local, national, and international programme of conversations, online research, and articles in which a large number of researchers, designers, artists, activists, and policymakers explore knowledge and design as means to act and survive in a time of uncertainty and ignorance. Values play a decisive role in this, enabling us to navigate the complex landscape of contemporary cities, but also to steer us towards well-being and survival.

The programme will be reflected in a series of online Cahiers, the first of which has just been published and can be downloaded here. This brings together a wide diversity of voices on a number of urgent social, urban and ecological issues, for example in the context of the environmental visions that all Dutch cities must develop within three years. The second Cahier will be published at the end of August 2020 and will bring together studies currently taking place in the Exploratorium.

The Exploratorium originally aimed to use the Venice Biennale as a learning environment but has transformed into an online research programme with and for Venice. It is developed in close collaboration with We Are Here Venice and engages artists, designers, researchers, and activists from the Netherlands, Venice, and other parts of the world. Subjects such as migration, water quality, zoonomic instruments, food cultivation, tourism, illegal plants and the language of sound are explored in 12 parallel pathways through the exchange and development of knowledge and experience.

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he presentation will take place at Mediamatic in Amsterdam with at a parallel meeting in Venice. This can be followed via live stream – for more information and registration, please click here.

Who is We?

Who is We?, the Dutch contribution to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, questions structures and narratives that still dominate and define our cities, providing alternatives that are Other – female, of colour, queer, and multispecies. The practices and research of architect Afaina de Jong and artist Debra Solomon – concerning Multiplicity of Other and Multispecies Urbanism respectively – form the starting points for this exhibition.

For more information and a series of interviews on the themes underlying Who is We? please click here.

Note for editors

For more information, please contact or call +31(0)10 44 01 268.

Guus Beumer, artistic director Het Nieuwe Instituut
Francien van Westrenen, head of Agency Het Nieuwe Instituut
Afaina de Jong, architect and researcher; Debra Solomon, artist and researcher
Richard Niessen
Laura Pappa, Robert Milne
Juan Arturo García
Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer City of Amsterdam; Huda AbiFarès, graphic design and co-editor
Mike Emmerik, Simone Rots, Independent School for the City
Lada Hršak, Bureau LADA; Chiara Dorbolò and Daphne Bakker, Failed Architecture; Tymon Hogenelst and Jesse van der Ploeg, Studio Wild