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Symposium art and science in relation to current affairs

20 april 2023

Leeuwenpoort presents: Symposium art and science in relation to current affairs

April 20 from 10.00 to 21.00 Zeeuws Archief and on location Burgerweidestraat 20 in Middelburg.

Admission is free. You can still register for the symposium until April 19 by sending an email to:

Walk-in 10.00

Moderator of the symposium John Elenbaas
John is an independent entrepreneur in the agricultural sector; and has a worm farm, 17 ha of organic farming and a mini camping with 25 pitches. In addition, art, culture, science and philosophy hold his interest.

Exhibition in the Zeeuws Archief: Eyewitnesses of the slave trade.

In the eighteenth century, the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) shipped more than 31,000 people between West Africa and the West Indies. About 27,000 enslaved people survived the crossing, so 4,000 people did not survive the journey. What was it like during such a trip? This exhibition tells the story through the eyes of the people who were there.

10.20 welcome by Zeus Hoenderop

Artist and initiator Leeuwenpoort.The goal of Leeuwenpoort is to have professionals from the art sector collaborate with (inter)national artists, writers, musicians, performers, scientists, museums and art institutions, etc. on meaningful innovation in relation to current themes. The starting point of this collaboration is the artistic and autonomous vision and development of the artist. Leeuwenpoort starts from three different Artist-in-Residence locations in Zeeland: Terneuzen, Middelburg, Ellemeet. This is to strengthen the regional infrastructure of the art and culture sector.

10.30 to 11.30 Hannie Kool-Blokland

Director of the Zeeuws Archief. The archives of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) provide a great deal of detailed information about the transatlantic trade in enslaved people in the 18th century. This makes it unique in the world. The expertise of Hannie Kool-Blokland is the archive of the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC), which provides insight into the transatlantic triangular trade in enslaved people in the 18th century.

11.45 to 13.00 Inez Flameling

Reading about the effects of climate change on the sea.
Marine biologist, PhD research on photosynthesis of plant plankton.

13.00 to 13.30 pauze

13.30 to 14.15 Gerard van Keken

Researcher, author, inspirator.
Every city has hidden stories. History is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for these hidden stories. Middelburg, the capital of the province Zeeland, is well known of the Golden Age, which we have to call today the 17th Century. What is less known is that Middelburg knew a former prosperous period in the late middle ages, the fourteenth till the sixteenth century. Middelburg was an international trading place with a focus on the outside world. Winetrade was one of the drivers of this prosperous period.Nowadays you can still see a lot of remnants in the city, memories referring to the wine trade. The ‘kattekop’, an onion-shaped bottle, can be seen as a symbol of the wine trade of that period. Looking to Middelburg through a wineglass is experiencing the winetrade history of the city.

14.15 to 15.00 Peter van Druenen

Historian, writer, publisher, internet pioneer and chairman of the Royal Zeeuwsch Society of Sciences (KZGW). In the collection of the KZGW (250,000 museum objects!) there are countless objects from which the researcher can get a picture of the rise and fall of sea level over a very long period of time: from paleontological objects from millions of years ago to the remains of a Nehalennia temple off the coast of Domburg from 2000 years ago. In his lecture, Peter van Druenen makes the link between this collection and the ideas he published in his book The Climate Paradox in 2018, a search for the answer to the question why the theme of ‘overpopulation’ has disappeared from the climate debate. De Volkskrant wrote about this book: “We are probably too late, but few seem to recognize that,” says historian Peter van Druenen. “My fellow believers murmur in unison the mantras of problems and solutions.” Van Druenen examines the question of how the dream of a long and healthy life for everyone relates to the monster of overpopulation that is responsible for the rapidly changing climate. What did the Club of Rome say about that, and what happened to Thomas Robert Malthus’ famous essay on overpopulation? Van Druenen: “We will have to talk about our natural, but at its core destructive tendency to save and prolong human lives at all costs.”

15.00 to 15.15 pauze

15.15 to 16.35 ARTIST TALKS
Robert B. Lisek is an artist, mathematician and composer who focuses on systems, networks and processes (computational, biological, social). Drawing upon software art and machine learning, his work intentionally defies categorization. Lisek is also a composer of contemporary music, author of many projects on the intersection of spectral, stochastic music and noise. He is the author of 300 exhibitions, e.g. in ZKM Karlsruhe, IRCAM Center Pompidou Paris, STEIM Amsterdam, WORM Center Rotterdam, Venice Biennale, Prado Madrid, LMCC NYC, More at:

Jatun Risba is a transmedia artist whose practice fertilizes reciprocity between species and the rights to pleasure and ecosocial justice. Inspired from the world’s wisdom traditions, Risba uses performative ritualism as a vehicle for unveiling the poetry and magic within everyday reality, in order to re-pair Nature and Culture. More at

17.30 till 21.00 artist presentation at location: Burgerweidestraat 20 in Middelburg

Natascha J.A. Rodenburg

‘Vervlechting van Verhalen’
– a moment of continuation – interactive, performative, transformative

Sharing of stories, becoming part of it, into the futureNatascha sees herself and her work as a connector of stories: of material, location, the people in the area, history and her personal story. At the same time a work of transformation by connecting the past and the present to a transformative future.

Admission is free. You can still register for the symposium until April 19 by sending an email to:

Symposium art and science in relation to current affairs is made possible thanks to Zeeuws Archief and a contribution from the Province of Zeeland.


20 april 2023