NIKA Art Projects (Stichting NIKA Kunstprojecten) is an initiative from visual artist Karin Janssen and Nienke Verschuur. NIKA was founded in 2008 in the Netherlands, with the goal of using the visual arts to make society more open, tolerant and understanding through social art projects. NIKA's first project is Drawing her Story.
Drawing her Story, cultural integration project
Drawing her Story works towards integration, social and cultural participation, and enlarging the self awareness of non-European immigrant women by giving them drawing workshops in which the stories of the women are the starting point. The immigrant women are partnered with non- immigrant women living in the same neighbourhood and together they draw each other’s stories.
Whilst the course itself is important for the participants, the second part of the project plays a more vital role. The drawings that are made during the course will be exhibited at different locations. These exhibitions will travel to the local community centres in the neighbourhood where the workshops took place, to libraries, and to other local organisations. Here NIKA organises public discussions about culture, integration and identity, initiated by the drawings, where the participants are invited to take the lead in the discussions.
To accompany the course a selection of the drawings together with the stories of the women have been collated in a catalogue. Drawing her Story was undertaken in eight Dutch councils from November 2008 until July 2010. In this period NIKA researched the methodology of cultural integration, which resulted in a manual which can be downloaded here. This manual can be used by community centres and social care organisations to set up their own cultural integration project and is available at no charge (Dutch only).
Until now Drawing her Story has been successfully carried out in Amsterdam Oost-Watergraafsmeer, Amsterdam Osdorp, Bussum, Zaandam, Amstelveen, Den Helder, Hoofddorp and Groningen. The project has reached almost 50,000 people.
Catalogues and manual
FOUNDERS & DIRECTORS
Lisouk Thörig-Van de Pol,
Natasja Kemp, Bianca Tangande, Irene Mulder, Beatrice Graumann, Karin Janssen, Anja Lofvers
FREELANCERS & VOLUNTEERS
Miranda van Agthoven
Cool Shots Media
Leef in tekst
Hildegard van Nijlen
De Bolder Community Centre
Nieuw Vredeveld Residential Home
Vrouw & Vaart
Amsterdam Osdorp Council
Amsterdam Osdorp Public Library
Oosterpark Community Centre
Amsterdam Oost-Watergraafsmeer Council
Amsterdam Oost Public LibraryBussum Council
Palmpit Community Centre
Internationaal Women’s Centre
Art Centre Triade
Den Helder Public Library
Den Helder Council
Saami Women’s Centre
Hoofddorp Public Library
Foreign Women’s Foundation
Zaanstreek Public Library
Stee in Stad