Join the conversation: exploring colonial heritage through contemporary art 

Embark on a transformative journey with Contested Desires: Constructive Dialogues (CDCD).  

Are you a visual artist based in The Netherlands passionate about unravelling the layers of our shared colonial past and its impact on contemporary culture? This is your chance to be part of a groundbreaking transnational initiative funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.  

About CDCD 

Step into a realm of exploration where artists, cultural organisations, and communities come together to delve into the complexities of our colonial legacy. Contested Desires: Constructive Dialogues is a pioneering transnational project, consisting of 19 global partners, aiming to unravel the influence of our shared colonial past on cultural identities today. From Italy to Ghana, Tunisia to the UK, CDCD discovers the connections between our past and present, fostering dialogue and understanding across diverse perspectives. 



What we offer 

  • An immersive experience with international residencies, exhibitions, and knowledge exchange workshops to take place between September 2024 and November 2026 (artists are expected to participate fully in the program). 
  • Artist fee, as specified in the call (plus covered travel, accommodations, per diems, and production materials). 


This Open Call is to select two visual artists based in The Netherlands based on: 

  • Quality of artistic practice.
  • Quality of response to the questions in the application form. 
  • Experience in participatory and socially engaged practice. 
  • Experience in collaboration with other artists and across sectors.
  • Demonstrable interest in the role of contemporary arts in heritage contexts, with reference to the themes of the programme

Equity, diversity and equality  

  • We seek to ensure that no present or potential artist or project participant is treated less favourably than another on grounds of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, age, social class or offending background. 
  • While our ambition is to shape an open, accessible project, we also acknowledge that the nature of this project involves extended periods of travel, which may present barriers to participation. 
  • If you have access requirements to enable you to participate in the CDCD programme you will be able to identify this in the application form. If you need access support to be able to make your application, please contact

Sustainable art vision 

The CDCD project prioritizes environmental sustainability through self-regulatory ethical guidelines, alignment with global standards like the Sustainability Development Goals, and promoting eco-philosophy for artistic inspiration. The project monitors and assesses adherence to ethical guidelines while enhancing awareness of the interconnectedness between art and sustainability.  


Participatory and socially engaged visual arts practices. Selected artists will be encouraged to create ephemeral and mobile works that are environmentally conscious and that can be adapted to be site-specific to each place. 

How to apply: 

Visit the link below to access the complete call, as well as the application form, to take your first step toward joining CDCD’s transformative journey: 

Application Call available here.

Application Deadline: May 7, 2024 


Embrace this opportunity to challenge the narratives of the past and co-create more inclusive futures through contemporary art. We’re committed to fostering equity, diversity, and equality in every aspect of our project.  

For updates and other opportunities, follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

#ContestedDesires #ArtForChange #DecolonizeCulture #Europe #Colonialism #Community #CapacityBuilding #Dialogue 

Read now: Productive Archiving

Do not miss out on Valiz’s latest collaboration with H401:  Productive Archiving – Artistic Strategies, Future Memories, and Fluid Identities.

Edited by Ernst van Alphen, Productive Archiving discusses a variety of problems of archival organizations. It mainly focuses on three issues that are usually overlooked: first, the question of inclusion in or exclusion from the archive; second, the loss of individuality in the archive, the danger of homogenization; and third, that archiving may become a form of pigeonholing, boxing specific identities into a confined space.

It is especially this problem of homogenization and classification that is challenged by artistic archival practices. They use or make archives in order to explore alternative historical narratives and knowledge. […]

Instead of retelling the same heroic story, the archives should be challenged to tell other and different stories. And this can best be done by artists. Artistic research is employed as a method to discover something that is not intended and that is not already known, although hidden in this archival space.

van Alphen, Productive Archiving, pp. 25-26

Lars Ebert dives deeper into artistic research as a means for productive archiving with the chapter The Archival Space of Herengracht 401, pp. 146-164, within the section Archiving Memories and Histories.

By elaborating on H401 as an archive and on three artist residencies carried out in the space, Ebert offers three, among several, ways to actively engage with the (intangible) heritage of the foundation as well as Gisèle’s legacy. The artists presented – Amie Dicke, Ronit Porat and Renée Turner, focused respectively on a unique aspect of the archive: its decay, its ability to construct new meaning and conclusively its potential to engage in a conversation with the visitor.

As an institution we have learned to value the ongoing conversation with artists to negotiate the balance between the responsibility for the historical material and the mission to produce something new and meaningful for today. It is a field of tension that makes the archival space a productive space.

Ebert, Productive Archiving, p. 164


Editor: Ernst van Alphen

Contributors: Ernst van Alphen, Aleida Assmann, Annet Dekker, Lars Ebert, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Monika Huber, William Kentridge, Pablo Lerma, Inge Meijer, Santu Mofokeng, Merapi Obermayer, Walid Raad, Ana Paula Saab, Drew Sawyer, Carla Subrizi, Marjan Teeuwen, Daria Tuminas, Jeffrey Wallen

Design: Lotte Lara Schröder

Info: Spring 2023 | Valiz with support from Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds | pb | c. 24 x 17 cm (h x w) | 272 pp. | English | ISBN 978-94-93246-16-4

Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue during the Holocaust

On October 16th and 17th, H401 attended the ENRS Conference “What’s the point of history… if we never learn?” that explored the concepts of Dialogue, Remembrance and Solidarity in Europe.

On October 17th, ENRS inaugurated at the Faculty of Theology of the Humboldt University (Berlin) the German stop-over of the travelling exhibition “Between Life and Death. Stories of Rescue during the Holocaust”. This project sheds light on stories of rescue in twelve European countries: Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Through each panel, the exhibition amplifies the voices of the rescuers and survivors by focusing on their personal experiences of the hiding years and framing them in their larger historical and social context.

The exhibition first opened in Brussels at the headquarters of the European Commission on January 24, 2018 on the eve of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The following European city hosting the exhibition was Amsterdam, at the H401 from June 14th until August 15th 2018. 
H401 contributed to “Between Life and Death” by presenting Claus Bock’s story. He was one of the two young Jews, together with Buri Wongtschowski, that Gisèle aided in hiding in one of the apartments in the Herengracht 401 throughout the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands.

ENRS Director Rafaɫ Rogulski and Prof. Jan Rydel, member of the ENRS Steering Committee attended the opening at H401, at that time known as Castrum Peregrini.

“Between life and Death. Stories of Rescue during the Holocaust” is a joint project of ENRS (PL), POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (PL), and Silent Heroes Memorial Center (GR).

Link to the ENRS exhibition catalogue here, Claus’ story can be found at page 13.

Opening Exhibition at H401 on June 14th 2018 – photo credit  Bas Losekoot.


Opening Exhibition in Berlin on October 17th 2023 – photo credit Dominik Tryba.


Out now: European Academy of Participation 

The European Academy of Participation – Benchmarks, reflections and challenging practice on the interface between academia and the creative sector, by Lars Ebert and Joachim Umlauf, is now available.

This publication sketches the connections between participation, arts, identity and contested heritage that have been the focus of a series of EU-funded projects by Goethe-Institut and Stichting H401 in the last 15 years. Collaborators and partners in these projects reflect on the definition, potential and limitations of participation in the arts.  

The authors of this piece and editors of this book have in all these years built a unique trust and way of collaboration around which an ecosystem has emerged that made this collaboration possible. An ecosystem of individuals and organisations that have contributed to the projects, have grown in them and have stayed for a shorter while or longer. […] They have fostered diverse communities and have empowered artists and creative practitioners to grow and impact on the communities in which they work.

Ebert and Umlauf, Preface, pp. 7-10

The European Academy of Participation consists then of contributions ranging from policy recommendations to academic articles and friendly conversations: a resourceful collection of food for thought on inclusive and accessible participation in the creative and heritage sector. 

Publishing house: AVINUS – dem Verlag für Medien und interkulturelle Kommunikation, ISBN 978-3-86938-174-9, 152 S.

Lars Ebert also devotes a chapter to the Heritage Contact Zone (HCZ), a project in the frame of the European Year for Cultural Heritage funded by the EU subsidy Creative Europe. Throughout the project (2018- 2020), H401 together with the HCZ consortium, explored heritage spaces as space for creative dialogue as well as constructive conflict. 

“The HCZ project provides a set of methods and tools, online and analogue, that will help develop a space of European heritage for multiple voices, a shared heritage-making space for all citizens, which enables sharing various heritages with one another and working through the conflict that comes with it […] HCZ aims at dealing with conflict as something cathartic and creative.“

Ebert, Heritage Contact Zone pp. 139-144

The findings and outcomes of the project are collected in the HCZ Toolkit, a guide designed to assist practitioners working with complex heritage. The Toolkit is available online here:

The project partners were: Goethe-Institut (GR), H401 (NL), Human Platform (HU), Etz Hayyim Synagogue (GR), Timisoara European Capital of Culture Association (RO), Culture Action Europe (BE) and The European University Institute (IT).

European Cultural Citizenship

The VENICE MANIFESTO for European Cultural Citizenship was announced during the EUROPEAN HERITAGE SUMMIT 2023 in VENICE. Still open to external feedback. Please send any suggestions to Ted Oakes, Policy Coordinator, by Friday 6 October]

From the Manifesto:

[…] Referring to Europe’s uniqueness does not mean that Europe is an island, entangled in its borders: its achievements have repeatedly included a spirit of openness and solidarity, which have contributed to its attractiveness for generations of people coming from across the world. This dimension must be remembered at this particular moment in time, when Europe and its increasingly pluralistic society is facing a long series of crises: environmental, political and social; all of which underline the necessity to unite these diverse generations of people together, through education, culture and heritage. Further to this, Europe must leverage its culture and heritage to build partnerships with other countries and continents across the globe. The authors and signatories of this Manifesto wish to emphasise that in calling for a European Cultural Citizenship, this does not replace the national, regional or local expressions of our identities. Rather, it reinforces them by recognising and embracing a European dimension to which they are complementary, evidencing firmly and clearly the multi-layered identities that all citizens in Europe enjoy. […]

Read the full text of the Venice Manifesto 2023 here: The Venice Manifesto: “For a European Cultural Citizenship” – Europa Nostra.

Secretary-general Europa Nostra Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Europa Nostra at The Human Safety Net in Venice stressing the invaluable role of Culture and Cultural Heritage, both tangible and intangible, for the future of our continent.


Stichting H401 is a member of Culture Action Europe (CAE), Brussels.

CAE is the major European network of cultural networks, organisations, artists, activists, academics and policymakers. CAE is the first port of call for informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in the EU. As the only intersectoral network, it brings together all practices in culture, from the performing arts to literature, the visual arts, design and cross-arts initiatives, to community centres and activist groups. CAE believes in the value and values of culture and its contribution to the development of sustainable and inclusive societies.

Since 2020 CAE together with their partners European Cultural Foundation and Europa Nostra launched the campaign #CulturalDealEU.

The Cultural Deal for Europe is a call to the European Union to place culture at the heart of its political vision and ambition for years to come. The proposed Cultural Deal for Europe can help to mainstream culture in its key policies. “Endorsed by thousands of organisations, individuals and 110 European cultural networks, our initiative became instrumental for setting the symbolic goal of 2% for culture in national recovery and resilience plans (post-Covid) and, in turn, mobilising and securing an estimated 12 billion EUR for culture across the European Union.”

#CulturalDealEU is looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, they formulated a renewed call on the European Union, EU Member States, and wider Europe to, read here: Cultural Deal.

Team #CulturalDealEU: Secretary-general Europa Nostra Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, director European Cultural Foundation André Wilkes, Secretary-general Culture Action Europe Lars Ebert.

Gouden Lucifer Ceremony 2021 / 2022

Stichting H401 had the honour to receive the Gouden Lucifer (Golden Match) on the occasion of the Feest der Onafhankelijken at H401 on September 5th 2021.  An initiative organised by the artists: Merapi Obermayer, Bülent Evren and Henk Wijnen. This yearly event brings together a rare collection of independent thinkers of artists, writes, scholars, enthusiasts, and laymen from Amsterdam and far beyond. They come together to celebrate food & drinks & food for thought. Performances, speeches and/or happenings take place. During a year, H401 was the holder of this so called non-award. This little gem in all its simplicity of appearance, at the same time represents all the complexity of society we live in today.   

On October 16th 2022 at Tettero, the award has been passed on to: Jacqueline Lamme and Roland Berning. They will be guarding ‘independent thinking’ for a year. Congratulations, and may the force be with them.

H401 receiving the Gouden Lucifer in 2021
Gouden Lucifer Ceremony 2022