2018–2020 Saskia Burggraaf (The Netherlands)

Saskia Burggraaf’s practice revolves around an active sense of political engagement, Most noteworthy she has been active in local politics, squatting and neighborhood initiatives, such as the Give Away shop in Haarlem, as well as organizing protests against illegal imprisonment of people and representing the squatters of Haarlem as a spokesperson for press and police. These exemplary facts give a measure of her capacity for self-initiative, as does her current project, The Bass is Queer, which reflects on patriarchal structures entering the Anarchist scene. She does this by using the sound of the bass and resonance as a conceptual device, employing the global soundsystem and rave culture (deeply integrated in European activist scenes) as a tool to reflect on anti-colonial practices. This is achieved by means of improvisation, reconsideration of anthems and terminology (e.g. 'occupation'), and taking up space in the context of squatting, masculinity, and the body. Her engagement with certain collectives (soundsystem and rave culture, squatters, immigrants, trauma survivors) inevitably raises thorny issues of using other people’s struggles to increase one’s cultural capital. Saskia is aware of the intrinsic problematics of an engaged artistic practice such as hers and doesn’t shy away from them. On the contrary, providing a sensitive and appropriate response is likely to become the center of her research at the DAI. She has been part of several collective practices including The Holls Collective (since her graduation at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, 2012), and the current interdisciplinary research duo with queer social science researcher and medical anthropologist Anne Mul.