Sep 2021 - Sep 2022

Iliana Metaxa

Project and Program Assistant

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Iliana presenting her research - Iliana presenting her research for the Radical Embroidery project to her Mediamatic colleagues during Bloggers Barcam Caroline Aravicius

During my one year working at Mediamatic, I was involved in a number of cultural projects like Beftival (Museumnacht 2021), Penny for your Thoughts, Radical Embroidery and Knit for Survival!. My involvement was project-based and covered a wide range of areas, from curation and production, to communication, writing and documentation.

During my time here, I further explored my interest in how we contextualize artistic and cultural concepts and how we can shape  them in an impactful way. I am happy for my involvement in the realization of such cultural projects here at Mediamatic, whose experimental character and creative community inspires activities that are inclusive, conscious and challenging in nature. 

My academic background is in literature, theater and culture and I am currently expanding my academic and practical pursuits by exploring the intersections amongst arts and culture, politics, space and lived experience, hence my doing a Master’s in Arts and Society at Utrecht University. I am interested in examining cultural and sociopolitical phenomena through the lens of critical theory and philosophy with a gravitation towards post-structuralist, postmodernist and feminist thinking. I am fascinated by cultural spaces and manifestations with an experimental, autonomous and DIY character that promote alternative ways of learning, co-living, and enjoying oneself through meaningful but also playful engagement with artistic practices and happenings. 

My time at Mediamatic as an intern was a mix of research, writing and website archiving, as well as concept development. I did a lot of research and wrote content for Beftival, Mediamatic's contribution to Museumnacht 2021, which was centered around exploring female sexuality, pleasure and preference, as well as curated the festival's online archive. After Beftival, I researched embroidery as an experimental artistic practice, which led to my conceptualizing and producing the Radical Embroidery workshop series. 

My blog posts and social media content related to Beftival aimed at giving context to the festival, as well as engaging our audience through content that makes artistic and cultural concepts accessible and interesting. Through my writing I got to share alternative perspectives when it comes to sexuality, destigmatize taboos, and create more open narratives. Interviewing Beftival's curators, Ine Poppe and Olga Middendorp was one of the most memorable parts of my involvement in Beftival, since we got to discuss the relevance and impact of such cultural activities, as well as the conceptual inspiration of the festival. I was also responsible for the production of the Shameless Jewellery and the Erotic Embroidery workshops that took place during Beftival.

The Mediamatic website is a space I spent a lot of time fidgeting with, which led to my impressive number of contributions (332!). I helped in the documentation of the Inhuman Carnaval program, Mediamatic's project for Dutch Design Week 2021, and also created all of the event pages on the Dutch Design Week website itself. I also curated the Beftival page, updated the photo archive and oversaw anything documentation-related for Beftival. My work in online archiving was very pleasurable since I love organizing knowledge and information, making aesthetic visual choices and fixing all the typos. 

After Beftival, I spent my time researching on embroidery as a subversive artistic practice, the output of which is outlined in my article Stitches, Threads and Needles. This research was the first step in the putting together of the Radical Embroidery workshop series. I worked at the early stages of the workshop's development along with artist and workshop tutor Desirée Hammen who I also interviewed. Being part of the creation of a new program line was inspiring and stimulating. It was also a great exercise in how one can go from concept development to production, how we can translate concepts and ideas into tangible cultural practices. I also felt quite proud that I was given the opportunity, autonomy and space to bring a new and different project to the organization.

 

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