Presentation:

Happiness is Golden

a/Artist talk and workshop by Jam van der Aa

19 Feb 2024

We as a neurodivergent community have gold in our hands. Let’s mine this gold together. During evenings about autism, the emphasis is often on what doesn’t go well or isn’t easy. But there’s another side: autistic joy! 

Jam van der Aa, as an artistic researcher and someone with firsthand experience, draws on the latest brain theories and the work of various creators (comedians, writers, artists), to explore this positive autistic experience in the next a/Artist meeting. 

Tickets 

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Ragdol Jam van der Aa -

Autistic Joy

Jam van der Aa, as an artistic researcher and someone with firsthand experience, sees in the world of art and literature many traits of what you might call the positive or non-pathological side of autism. A certain “weirdness,” which of course comes in handy in the art world.

Using the latest brain theories and the work of various creators (comedians, writers, artists), Jam van der Aa explores this positive autistic experience in the a/Artist meeting. Having an autistic brain is actually wonderful! 

The second part of the evening is a workshop: Who is it? We will explore the positive autistic character in a playful, theatrical way. Together. Or, of course, on your own.

Workshop: The second part of the evening is a workshop, where you can work individually or in groups. Very autism-friendly.

Young creators encounter a lot of rejection in their professional practice, both direct and indirect. Neurodivergent creators likely face even more rejection, as they are not only judged based on their work.

Because, of course, people with autism do look autistic. Especially when they stop or have difficulty masking.

Rejection can be paralyzing. But it’s also an opportunity to reassess and explore your worth. How do you leverage your most valuable qualities? In our workshop “Who is it?”, we will playfully and theatrically design a new character/avatar to evaluate and rewrite our experiences with rejection.

We will design an avatar/character that clearly exhibits positive traits of autism, in order to explore the positive autistic characteristics of a character as a tool for better understanding Autistic Joy.

Meet the Presenter 

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Photo of Jam van der Aa - Photo by Isabelle Renate la Poutre

Jam van der Aa (writer, maker, editor, speaker) 


Jam grew up without radio and television and wanted to become a pilot as a child, but turned out to be color blind. 0.5% of all women are color blind. 1.1% of all women are autistic. According to 16personalities.com, 0.8% of all women score “her” personality, which Gandalf the Gray also has. Possibilities slowly close, like the boxes on the game board of 'Who is it?' and then only one possibility remains: this is Jam. Jam calls himself a maker, because as a maker you can choose a medium for each project that best suits what you want to show.

Jam also conceptualised and wrote the diagnostic 'Zelf Test' booklet for Mediamatic's 2023 Museumnacht program, and hosted a transformational ragdoll making workshop. You can read our interview with Jam about her artistic process on the a/Artist blog.

These a/Artist events on neurodiversity in the arts are held every third Monday of the month. We organise an evening with presentations by artists, a good conversation and something to eat (included in the ticket). Everyone is welcome!