Travel agency for contemporary art

November 2009 -

Mediamatic Travel is a playful project with a serious undertone: a virtual travel agency to contemporary art throughout the world. In surprising locations including Kabul, Lima and Tbilisi. For professionals hoping to discover contemporary artists and art projects in unexpected locations, a new tool was recently launched: the open network Mediamatic Travel. This network wants to stimulate international cooperation between culture makers and improve the visibility of vital art initiatives. This involves surprising destinations such as Beirut, Colombo, Lima and Tbilisi . Or the capital of Afghanistan: Kabul. "Islamic fundamentalism is what comes to mind when people think about that city, not a cultural speed cooker", explains the Dutch conservator Robert Kluijver. He was in Kabul for years, where he established the Afghan Cultural Center. Now he works as intermediary for professionals who want to visit Afghanistan.


Aftaab Theatre

To introduce the Mediamatic Travel network, 40,000 copies of the travel guide with the latest destinations - Bestemmingen 2010 - were sent to targeted addresses throughout the Netherlands. In this guide, more than twenty local experts describe an example of a week-long tour of the interesting artists and projects in their cities. "One of the best people to meet in Kabul is film producer Timor Hakimyar, who is also the director of the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society. He can get things done if you want to work in Afghanistan", Kluijver explains. "Also extremely inspiring are the actors and producers at the energetic Aftaab Theatre - established after a workshop hosted by the Theatre de Soleil in Kabul. Or a meeting with local documentary makers, young media companies and pop musicians."

Take note: the example tours cannot really be booked, but are explicitly intended as a source of inspiration. Via the Travel website – which boasts an increasing number of destinations and tips - culture makers can establish direct contact with local experts and compile their own personal itinerary. A third project component of Mediamatic Travel is the Amsterdam Biënnale 2009. More than thirty curators from the international travel network will be presenting contemporary art from their cities there. New pavilions will be opened every week until 13 December 2009.

Mediamatic Travel is a Mediamatic project in collaboration with Partizan Publik. It is supported by among others the Hivos-NCDO Culture Fund, The Mondriaan Foundation and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.