global collaborations

Global Collaborations is a three-year project, in which the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam aims to generate an informed and well-balanced overview of developments in contemporary art from a global perspective. 

With Global Collaborations, the Stedelijk Museum sets it sights on developments in the visual arts around the world, with special focus on upcoming regions, such as Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The project is based on collaborative partnerships with experimental and multifaceted art institutions around the world, and includes exhibitions, publications, events and an online platform.  

Blikopeners go Global Tumblr

In the fall of 2014 the Ghanese artist Bernard Akoi-Jackson developed a project together with the Stedelijk Blikopeners (young people that work at the museum as peer-educators) around topics as culture, burocracy and identity. Read all about it on the Blikopeners Global Tumblr (Dutch).


In the context of Global Collaborations, there are currently two exhbitions on view. The exhibition How Far How Near is on view from September 19 until February 1 in the Stedelijk Museum. The exhibition This is the Time. This is the record of the Time is on view from September 13 until November 9 in the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.


In the last few decades, the art world has expanded into regions that have often been outside the field of vision of Western art museums. Art from these regions is still often considered as ethnographic or local folklore. Postcolonial art theorists have repeatedly pointed out the gaps and limited scope of the conventional ethnocentric model that lies at the foundation of many Western museums of modern art. In our age of globalization and worldwide networking, it is high time that museums of modern art focus attention on art from ‘other’ parts of the world. At the same time, for a museum such as the Stedelijk, which has for generations been a point of orientation for modern and contemporary art in the West, this geographically expanded perspective poses an important challenge. It requires a repositioning of the museum's own collection and history, based on thorough investigation of the multiple array of developments in art in other parts of the world, and the histories of these developments, taking into account the fact that the concept of art, the teaching of art and art institutions in these regions often radically differ from those in the West

Global Collaborations envisions generating more than a correction of the traditional canons and/or supplementing the existing exhibition and collection policies. By way of collaborative partnerships, presentations and active research, the Stedelijk Museum will be investigating new models in which exchange and reciprocity are fundamental points of departure. 


Global Collaborations – as the title implies – is based on collaborative partnerships and exchanges, both with individuals and with experimental, open-minded and multidisciplinary art initiatives and institutions. The cornerstone of this working method is the simple conclusion that the production, presentation and teaching of art are a worldwide phenomenon. Global Collaborations envisions forms of collaboration, which are based on equality, in which one important factor is the drawing of attention to the specific, local contexts of art. 

In the current trend on the parts of Western museums wanting to exhibit and collect non-Western art, we can detect an echo of an old and greedy colonial habit: it is more a reinforcement of a Western-oriented perspective than a denial of such a perspective. Global Collaborations investigates alternative models with which a museum of modern art can relate to international visual art, without falling into the trap of new kind of cultural imperialism. This means maintaining constant exchanges of knowledge, art and ideas, and with that, an atmosphere of reciprocation and nuance.


Global Collaborations is a project in development, one that will unfold over the coming three years, and which, as it progresses, will be reflected in the programs of the Stedelijk Museum and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA), the museum's experimental project space. Global Collaborations comprises exhibitions, symposia, publications, public events and the Stedelijk Museum Online Journal, providing background information about the various activities included in the program. Global Collaborations continues through the end of 2015, and is an initiative of Jelle Bouwhuis, head of Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, and project curator Kerstin Winking. In the last few years, SMBA has gained experience by way of a similar project, entitled Project 1975, based on research and collaboration centered on visual art in West Africa and its relationship to the West and the Netherlands in particular. 

Global Collaborations is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund and Stichting Ammodo.

Collecting Geographies

The Stedelijk Museum – in collaboration with ASCA/ACGS at the University of Amsterdam, Moderna Museet Stockholm, Folkwang Museum Essen, and the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam – is proud to present the three-day conference Collecting Geographies, as part of the museum’s Global Collaborations program. The conference consists of a number of public keynote lectures and panel discussions, as well as more than 80 lectures divided over 24 themed sessions during the three days of the conference. These papers were selected from an open call, to which an overwhelming number of curators, artists, theoreticians, sociologists, and scholars responded. More info about the conference 'Collecting Geographies' >