Eindhoven was still a village end of the nineteenth century and then industries like Philips came and now it is an urban area in Noord Brabant.

In that urban area Van Abbemuseum was in 1936 set up by a family that owned a huge tobacco factory. The tobacco came from Java and the cigars were made and smoked in the Netherlands.

Myvillages works with(in) the museum and it is our wish to question and shape in togetherness the role an art institute can have in the revisiting of urban and rural binaries. Binaries that are leading in European art and culture and have led to the objectivation of the (non)-human. To underline the cultural interdependence and multi-vocal cultures, we will mutual (un)learn what different soils, industrialisation and the history of colonisation and migration has added to the way we see and imagine rural culture.

We plan to work with villages, farmers and migrant in Noord Brabant (where Eindhoven is located), learn from a cooperation on the island of Schiermonnikoog and will connect to rural areas that are specialised in dairy farming and landscape clichés.

At this moment Noord Brabant and especially De Peel is part of much needed and radical changes in landscaping and reduction of live-stock in farming. Art institutes as Van Abbemuseum are also in transit – where can we meet and learn from each other? How to connect our ways of seeing to the institutional culture? And what about the rural undercurrents of Eindhoven? How can trans-local learning and our wider school network connect with Eindhoven?

Local partners
  • Van Abbemuseum
Distances from Eindhoven

Wapke Feenstra and Kathrin Böhm initiate the Rural School of Economics (RSoE) in Winter 2019-2020, combining their shared experience of working with diverse economies and rurality, RSoE draws on 20+ years of cultural and artistic interdisciplinary work. Some of it can be found on myvillages website.

Our partner in the Netherlands is Van Abbemuseum.

In March Inez Dekker joins Myvillages as an intern through the Erasmus+ funding programme.

During the autumn the first ideas on the project ‘Cow and Landscape’ in The Netherlands are explored by Wapke Feenstra. And Inez Dekker starts as a freelance researcher and co-creator of RSoE. They start to connect to farms in Het Groene Hart, Schiermonnikoog, and East Brabant.

The first RSoE classroom takes place live from THUIS Wageningen. The group consist of academic scholars, artists, and students. All are brought together by a shared interest in rurality & art, and the spaces where they interact. We are drawing that afternoon and rural imaginations like "free your inner-cow" and other non-linguistic approaches and methods let us delve deeper in the group’s rural mindsets.

Research continues. Wapke Feenstra visits Dordrecht to see old cows from Aelbert Cuyp and runs into some cows on the street.

a woman posing next to cow installation somewhere in the city
Wapke during research trip

Local partners
  • Van Abbemuseum
Distances from Eindhoven