Museum as Parliament
Eindhoven, Van Abbemuseum
Museum as Parliament is a reconstruction of the People’s Parliament of Rojava in the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, developed by Studio Jonas Staal in collaboration with the Democratic Federation of North-Syria and the Kurdish Cultural Foundation Eindhoven.
Just as the original People’s Parliament of Rojava, the installation is inspired by the political model of democratic confederalism – or “stateless democracy,” in the words of Kurdish revolutionary Abdullah Öcalan – based on local self-governance, gender equality and communal economy. Its circular shape embodies the ideal of collective, decentralized democratic representation, its pillars represent the key values of stateless democracy such as “gender equality” and “social ecology,” and its rooftop consists of a confederation of fragments of flags that belong to the local organizations of the Rojava region.
Museum as Parliament aims to introduce the ideals of the Rojava revolution to a wider public and build alliances with emancipatory political organizations, civic platforms, activist groups and cultural workers, from Kurdistan to the Netherlands. In a time of increasing democratic crises that have turned our parliaments into theaters, the project proposes to turn the theater – the museum – into an alternative people’s parliament instead.
Contributions by: Sheruan Hassan (Representative Democratic Federation of North Syria in the Hague), Amina Osse (Chair of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Rojava), Hevala Berivan (Foreign Affairs Committee, Women’s Council The Hague), Murat Memis (Co-chair Kurdish Cultural Council of Eindhoven and leader Socialist Party Eindhoven), Direnc Karacaer (Co-chair Kurdish Cultural Council of Eindhoven), Berivan Yiğit (International Free Women's Foundation), Kenan Testan (Demned), Havin Guneser (The Time Has Come campaign), Ozan Demir (Federation of Workers from Turkey in the Netherlands, HTIF), Serda Demir (New Democratic Youth, YDG), Sozdar Ibrahim (musician), MC Marikit (musician), Peshmerge (musician), Sana Soleman Elmansouri (co-founder Libu, Libya), Constance van Dorp (Werkgroep Eindhoven - Kobanê), Van Abbe choir, Charles Esche (director Van Abbemuseum), Steven ten Thije (curator Museum as Parliament, Van Abbemuseum), Tayfun Balçık (The Hague Peace Projects), Olave Basabose (Black Queer & Trans Resistance), Jelle de Graaf (Bij1), Rutger Groot Wassink (GroenLinks Amsterdam), Vera van der Heiden (Revolutionary Unity), Jeannette Vos (G1000), Sebastiaan Wolswinkel (PINK), Ernst van den Hemel (theorist), and others.
Democratic Federation of North-Syria and Studio Jonas Staal
Sheruan Hassan (Democratic Federation of North-Syria), Amina Osse (PYD), and Jonas Staal (concept); Paul Kuipers (architect); Remco van Bladel (graphic designer); Younes Bouadi (production coordinator); Havin Guneser, Murat Memis, Serda Demir, Renée In der Maur (programming team Museum as Parliament); Evelien Scheltinga (exhibition and program coordinator); Lena Winterink, Silke Paap, Valentin Bauberger, Audrey Large, Seo-kyung Kim, Pollyanna Moss, Charlotte Bombel and Anna Dienemann (roof painting); Ernie Buts, Ruben Hamelink (photo and video documentation); Christiane Berndes and Steven ten Thije (curators), Antoine Derksen, Diederik Koppelmans en/and Theo Wajon (production), Ilse Cornelis (communication)
Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)
Kurdish Cultural Foundation Eindhoven (NL), Demned – Council of Communities from Kurdistan (NL), The Time Has Come campaign, and the Jineolojî Center of Research for Human and Social Sciences of Women.
Mondriaan Foundation. Amsterdam (NL)