The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam is mounting a series of exhibitions in 2017 and 2018 that explore different aspects of the theme migration. “I Am a Native Foreigner” examines migration by focusing on the museum’s collection: what are artists views on migration, and how do they visualise it in their work? This collection presentation considers the effects of migration on artists both past and present, and reveals how they dealt with, and depicted, the impact of displacement. The title “I Am a Native Foreigner” is taken from a statement made by the Mexican artist Ulises Carrión (1941-1989), who settled in Amsterdam in the 1970s.

The work in “I Am a Native Foreigner” ranges from photographs of Dutch immigrants disembarking at New York’s Ellis Island around 1900, and Surinamese-born Dutch who made their home in the Bijlmer in Amsterdam southeast in the late ‘70s, to more recent images of refugees off the coast of southern Spain.

“I Am a Native Foreigner” is one of a series of exhibitions on the theme of migration staged by the Stedelijk in 2017 and 2018. As director Beatrix Ruf noted earlier this year: “It is important to always tell new stories, both with our collection and with separate exhibitions. I believe it’s important that, at the Stedelijk Museum, you can see how art addresses this issue, and how art can confront us with how we think and allow us to reframe our thinking.” The exhibition is part of a new, long-term research programme, Stedelijk Turns, in which the museum approaches, interprets and presents its collection in an experimental way.

A programme that looks at the topics raised by “I Am a Native foreigner” has been developed specifically for older secondary school students. A visit to the exhibition will encourage students to look critically at the issue of migration, and consider its implications. The programme reflects the lesson plan of the new CKV trajectory, as well as tying in with civics and social science curricula. During a guided tour and workshops, students will discover how art can bring us face to face with our preconceptions

More on the museum’s website.