The project will begin in November 2007 with a brief training programme consisting of four workshops, in which the team will learn the ins and outs of debating. First, Rineke Kraaij of Confetti (the youth editorial board of the Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture) will teach the participants how to go from an idea to a well-informed debate that makes an impact. In the next workshop, Farid Tabarki will use a number of Coolpolitics projects to show what options, forms, and methods are available when organizing a debate and phrasing the propositions to be debated. Rindert de Groot specializes in organizing formal debates, and during his workshop the participants will experience live debating, with special attention to argumentation, presentation, voice and posture. The final workshop, given by Aafke Steenhuis, will deal with two related topics: interviewing in theory and asking questions in practice.

December will be devoted to orientation, encounters and brainstorming. The Speak Out team will become acquainted with Witte de With, meet staff members and artists, and take the first steps towards selecting topics for debating. In focused brainstorming sessions, the group will generate wild plans and interesting ideas, both practical and impractical.

In January 2008, the ideas will be collected and jointly discussed; the group will select topics and assign tasks. Then the development, organization and production of the event and the accompanying magazine will begin. This will involve researching and exploring the topics selected. Writers, artists, performers and other guests will be invited. The group will begin producing and planning the distribution of the magazine and the flyer. And last but not least, they will organize the event and attract an audience.

On 1 March, the magazine and website will be published, with articles, interviews, propositions, columns, pictures, and other items introducing the event. The magazine will be distributed throughout the Netherlands. On Wednesday 19 March, in Witte de With, the event will take place. It will last an entire evening, with dynamic debates, lively encounters, and participatory workshops and performances.

Afterwards, the Speak Out team will reflect on the event in detail in their website, with interviews, articles and pictorial essays on the debates, conclusions, and topics. Audience responses will play an important role.
At, you can see the process unfold, provide input, and respond to topics and propositions. To receive updates, send an email to [email protected] with Speak Out in the subject line.

For more information, please contact Belinda Hak, 010-4110144, [email protected].

Speak Out builds on two small-scale events organized for young art lovers in 2006 by ten young people between the ages of 18 and 26. Each of these events was a varied, multidisciplinary full-evening programme of public conversations with artists, workshops, and performances. The formula for these events proved successful, and the first and second event drew audiences of 75 and 150, respectively. The working group documented the process and the events on weblogs: and

—Supported by

Mondriaan Foundation