Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu

"minorities" Tag


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

“Any person of good repute, without regard to age or sex, whose previous education is deamed adequate by the council of masters will be admitted as far as space permit.”
Is the last statement of Walter Gropius in his Bauhaus Manifesto in 1919. It shows how open minded the school is in this early 20th century, opening the door of the art school to everyone.  At this time when women were not admitted in academies, the gender parity was respected at the Bahaus Schule, at its begining. Over the years, the number of admitted women will be considerably reduce.

Later on according to Gropius “Men thougth in three dimension while women can only handle two.” Relagated to the backgroung, females students had to figth male hostility to go beyond the textile workshop. Add to that how machiste the legacy of the Bahaus is and I can define females as a minoritie regarding this school. They had to figth to get into the education, then during their study to open doors of different workshop and achieve their goals more then others. Then 100 years later we have to figth for their memory to be inscribed in the Bauhaus heritage. In the Bauhaus book about great figures of the Bauhaus that I borrow in the library, their was nothing about Annie Albers or Marianne Brandts, while both had leadership position in the school.  Female work were not respected and is still not. During the power point presentation in class at the Rietveld, still nothing about women’s work or figures. Why do we keep forgetting about them even tho it was such a big change that their were admitted in such studies and they achieved so many great things such as their male co-wokers?

From 2016 to 2018 I did a bachelor in textile in ENSAAMA school in Paris. Some design teachers use to call our departement “napkin scetion”. Not ‘safeplace’ or open minded attitude. I still had to fight for my work to be respected and all the textile department was feeling like a minority in the school.

I felt like in Rietveld I haven’t experience that or even had to think about my “female position” compare to the outside world, or just in Amsterdam for exemple. Why is that? Is Rietveld a ‘safeplace’? For everyone?
During the academical Studium General I noticed that the relation between Rietveld and minorities was an significant subject for the school. But I couldn’t really understand how they related to this. What minorities exactly? Why some ones and not others? Is their a real issue or do they create the issue ? Or maybe their will always be an issue and the ‘safeplace’ is an ideal. Is it possible to achieve to be the perfect open minded art school or will it always reject someone? How long does it takes for a rejected minoritie to feel safe in an art school? And outside? What about the minorities inside the school? Quickly a thousand of questions came into my mind. I felt like if I was diving into an ocean of non resolving problematics. Then i asked to Mirjam the student councillor some of the questions below but she couldn’t help me cause she simply didn’t had the informations for answering my questions. She directed me to another person, Annelies van Eenennaam (Head of the Board). Now almost one month after, I still didn’t had any answer.

So I decided to ask the point of view of students to maybe see more clearly. I randomly choose the students around me at this moment. Here are the questions. The answer of four different persons follow in my notebook. Some are quoted following the questions:

1.How would you describe minorities in Rietveld? 

“Plenty, accepted. Rietveld is a Safeplace for everyone to be in touch with each others.”

Do you recognize yourself as a minority?

“Yeah but not in Rietveld. In terms of general public, but not in Rietveld. Queer, middle eastern is less a challenge here than everywhere else.”

Do you see it as a problem?

“There are good an bad sides”

“No idea. It’s easy to be blind, and not even notice that maybe, problems exist.”

Is being a minority in the school different from being it outside?

“To some extant yes. It’s a very secure environment, difficult sometimes. If you are a female you feel safer than in the city. Sometimes you also feel that being a female influence the comportment of some teachers toward you. As a light skin, I don’t feel as much pressure because of my colour as if I was in a small city.”

According to you, is the school involved in these subjects?

” I have the impression that Rietveld want more black diversity in the school. But it should be just about people. you create so much problem for yourself if you force it.”

Are there some significant changes that the school could implement to improve the ‘safeplace’ in an effort to reject minorities in art schools?

” Making school more adaptable for disabled and mental ill people with health care issues”

“Communicate to people who don’t want to hear that, instead of repeating it to us”

“Give a better support to people with financial issues, make it really accessible”

“Talking about, opening up. If you want to do something you also have to take the lead in something and take the initiative: not leave it to student in general. If you think that it is not relevant, then there is definitely something you don’t see.”



Log in