How to Motivate Someone to Leave Voluntarily - A discussion about art and refugees

thursday evening open

How to Motivate Someone to Leave Voluntarily A discussion about art and refugees

19:00 - 20:30

On Thursday 23 February the Van Abbemuseum is organizing a public discussion about art and refugees, following the presentation by Robert Glas of “How to motivate someone to Leave Voluntarily.” The presentation is named after the eponymous film that will be screened, together with two photographs from the series “Voor vrij Nederland” (For the free Netherlands). The two works show invisible moments in the lives of refugees in the Netherlands. Considering the ongoing and even increased relevance of the issue of refugees, the Van Abbemuseum has decided to extend the presentation to the end of April 2017. 

The film will be screened in the Studio between 6.30 and 7 p.m. on 23 February. At 7 p.m. this will be followed by a discussion with Robert Glas about his work, and reflections from refugees, aid workers, volunteers and other people involved in supporting refugees. The evening will take the form of an open discussion.

The complex tension involved in the surfeit of information available about refugees is central to the evening, although it leaves large parts of the reality of the lives of refugees invisible. It is difficult to get a clear picture from the jumble of moving images and alarming statistics, and there is an overriding uncertainty about what to do and what to think. It’s also clear that it’s an enormous challenge to discuss this complicated theme with others. However, despite these problems, many people still decide to act. Works of art, such as those by Glas, provide their own contribution by making invisible moments visible, without passing any sort of judgment. At the same time, many citizens and civil servants are (fortunately) taking initiatives to help and to look for solutions. In addition, every citizen with the right to vote has an influence on the process because the issue of refugees will be high up on the agenda in the coming elections. What can we learn from each other? How can we gain access to each other’s views and share our concerns and solutions with each other in a constructive way? These questions will allow this evening about art refugees to go in any direction.


6:30 – film: How to Motivate Someone to Leave Voluntarily
7:00 – discussion between curator Steven ten Thije and artist Robert Glas
7:30 – open discussion with experts who have had experience of refugees and all the participants
8:30 – conclusion

Languages: English and Dutch.


Reserve your spot here (attendance to the film screening and the discussion is free if you have a valid museum ticket). 



How to Motivate Someone to Leave Voluntarily is part of :