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Talk, A Language Under My Skin

TAKE ‘EM DOWN Scattered Monuments & Queer Forgetting

A book launch with love: a presentation, a night of conversation, performances and an abundance of presence, hosted by Simon(e) van Saarloos and W139, Amsterdam

Cocktails & books available! Admission is free. W139 is wheelchair accessible but does not have a wheelchair accessible toilet. For this event, we have arranged that our guests can use the wheelchair accessible toilet at Hotel Krasnapolsky until 22:00 hrs.

Conversations with Margarita Osipian (curator, writer) and Simon(e) van Saarloos
Music by Jörgen Gario Unom (Sites of Memory, Poetry Circle Now) and Mira Thompson (singer & activist).
Reflection by Manoj Kamps (queer conductor & theatre maker)

About the book:
Take ‘Em Down. Scattered Monuments and Queer Forgetting

Who determines what is remembered and commemorated, and why? Slavery happened long ago, too long ago for apologies by the Dutch government, according to prime minister Mark Rutte. Neuroscientists investigate how past events influence lives today and call it ‘intergenerational trauma’. How can we commemorate something that is both in the past and a daily reality?

In Take ‘Em Down, Simon(e) van Saarloos is inspired by the historically invisibilized lives of LGBT people and queers. They demonstrate the power of forgetting and wonder if and how it’s possible to live without a past. At the same time, Van Saarloos criticizes the way that a ‘white memory’ – including their own – treats some stories as self-evident while other histories are erased.

Take ‘Em Down questions the normative architectures of commemoration: if a minute of silence signals respect during a vigil, how do loud bodies perform proximity to the past? What if toppled statues become barriers for able-bodied folks, disrupting capitalist rhythms? Take ‘Em Down is not about reconciliation through guilt but about living messy lives with pain and grief.