It’s raining follow-ups

Many future projects, plans and dreams have been conceived and shared during the Specially Unknown project and Oracle of Amsterdam conference, from various cities, angles, of different sizes, nature, and formats.


All Specially Unknown partners took both the processes and practical products of Specially Unknown and Oracle of Amsterdam as a springboard for a series of programs, research and museal activities.


The Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp announced a long-term follow-up, stretching from the autumn 2019, to spring 2020. Beginning on 7 November with the opening of the exhibition “Fieldworkers”, and a presentation of the results of the Specially Unknown project in Antwerp, it continues with the program Fleeing your homeland – an artistic view. This program consists of four different artistic productions, on four important periods in a life of a refugee, each in another art form, but all inspired by interviews taken for Specially Unknown, and all made by refugees-interviewees (who happened to be artists, too) and fieldworkers of the museum/project: These workshops are especially meant for education purposes.


  1. The daughter of Dilbi, stories and music by Syrian musician Sally Ghannoum on a theme of memories of home (in November)
  2. Crossing worlds: Dumuzi’s memories, a live memory drawing about the journey to Europe, by a visual artist Saif Lama‘a, a.k.a Dumuzi (January 2020)
  3. Theatre play  Performing the self: the interview, about the arrival in a new city, with Palestinian actor Fady Al Ghorra (February 2020)
  4. Monologue I am Husein, who are you? by the Iraqi theatre-maker Hussein Mahdi, about searching for a place in a new society (March 2020)
    For more information about these events, please check the Red Star line Museum


While Antwerp’s follow-up builds mostly on cultural co-creation with the refugees, the follow-ups in Bochum – have a more “social cohesion” character. The first follow-up – a day after the Amsterdam conference! – was inclusion of the interviews in the festival The Night of industrial Culture (Die Nacht der industrie Kultur), by projecting quotes from  interviews  with refugees on the building of the LWL Industrie Museum and telling stories by the camp fire. The next follow-up was in the framework of the Bochum’s Week of Intercultural Dialog, which took place at the LWL Industriemseum Zeche Hanover in the last weekend of September. Later in autumn the LWL Industriemuseum will present the project  the “integration conference” held by the city of Bochum in the Auditorium Maximum of the Ruhr University. And finally a master student of “public history” at the museum will on the outcomes of the interviews and the development of a project up to the end of this year. For further announcements  check LWL Industriemuseum.


Follow-ups in Amsterdam are more aimed at “creating-future-cultural-heritage”. On one side, stichting BMP collaborates with the National 4th and 5th May Committee in the preparations for the 75th anniversary of the end of the WWII, by including the thoughts, feelings and experiences on freedom and remembrance of refugees interviewed for Specially Unknown. On the other side, BMP is working on transferring the interviews to the digital archive of DANS (Digital Archiving and Networking Services  of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences).


Rete Italiana di Cultura Popolare, the Turin partner, will officially present the collection of interviews to the public on November 10, during the 14th festival of popular culture. The theatre performance Espérer (Island of Hope) -produced in the framework of Specially Unknown – has already played in many cities and villages through Italy (e.g. in Naples, Palermo, Salento, Foggia, Lecce, Vignacstrissi, Benevento, and at the Suq Festival in Genua). The theatre tour will continue in the autumn in the region of Piemonte, but also in in Sicily, Calabria, Puglia, Campania and Emilia Romagna.




For any other updates and follow-ups of all kinds, visit the Specially Unknown website. In the autumn, for example, more fragments from the interviews will be added, as well as the outcomes of the Delphi research on Cultural participation of refugees in 9 EU countries. And – who knows -much more!




Links to the other articles of the 4th newsletter: