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Folia has FOMO | Reconcile with the dark at Amsterdam Dark Festival

13 september 2023 - 15:21

No plans for next weekend yet? Stress due to all the options in Amsterdam? Then check out our two weekly culture column Folia has FOMO, with culture tips from the editors between 13 and 27 September. From a dark mass in the Dominicus Church to an opera about sex, money and drinking.

Amsterdam Dark Festival | various locations and prices | 22, 23 and 24 September

‘Hello darkness my old friend...’ Bringing back the darkness for a moment, reconciling ourselves with it. That is what UvA alumni Marjolijn van Heemstra wants to contribute to as organiser of the Amsterdam Dark Festival. Especially in Amsterdam. The city ‘where stars are barely visible, and where we are shone upon all the time’ by street light.


From a literary programme in the Tolhuistuin on being present in the moment - ‘exciting and adventurous with very nice writers,’ says Van Heemstra - to night walks in the Geuzenbos and a dark mass in the Dominicuskerk. Darkness comes in all its facets. And it is necessary too, Van Heemstra believes. ‘It is bad for our health that we can never escape the light. You are on all the time. Sometimes it is important to be invisible for a while and that we learn to live in a rhythm more.’

Foto: Dana van Leeuwen
UvA-alumnus Marjolijn van Heemstra, organiser of the Amsterdam Dark Festival

Tickets are going fast, warns organiser Van Heemstra. Some parts are already sold out, the site shows. Yet there are still plenty of activities to take part in. So for those interested, who want to become one with the darkness in an adventurous way: be quick!


Amsterdam Fringe Festival | In several theatres | Tickets from 8.50 | 7-17 September

Haven’t had enough after the Parade and Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA)? Time to look forward to the Fringe Festival: young, vibrant playwrights enthusiastically experimenting in small theatres. Find the love for football in ‘The Game’, come as a man to ‘All Men Must Die’ and try to leave the auditorium alive or fear losing your life at ‘Killing You Softly’ due to the dangers of AI. Or imagine yourself to be a chicken for a moment at ‘Chicken: Theatre Performance for Chickens’.


Werner Herzog: The Estatic Truth at Eye Filmmuseum | Eye Filmmuseum | Exhibition: 15,-.Film: 7.50 - 12.50 | 18 June - 1 October

Exhibitions, film screenings, talks and documentaries; Eye does not just open its doors to anyone’s entire arsenal. Unless you are a very, very big one. And that can be said of Werner Herzog. The German director created a fuss in the 1960s and 1970s with grandiose films that felt like documentaries, and in the decades that followed with documentaries that felt like epic films.


In his film productions, actors were often actually put to the test. And in his documentaries reality was often given a helping hand. Among other things, these mysterious films, the legendary props in them and Herzog’s brother and producer can still be seen and heard throughout September at ’t IJ.


The FRIENDS experience | NDSMterrein | Ticket from 22,- | 1 September - 19 November

Always wanted to step into the world of Joey, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Rachel? Since this month, you can. At the NDSM site in Amsterdam North, a pop-up museum has been set up with the set and clothes used for the world-famous sitcom. Take a seat on the iconic orange sofa, and imagine yourself for a moment in Manhattan, New York.


Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny | At the National Opera & Ballet | With student discount: 19,-. From 33,- | 6-27 September

Someone who did have enough of the ITA is former ITA-director Ivo van Hove. In the opera he directed in the fictional city of Mahagonny, sex, lust for money and booze gradually begin to take their toll on characters and audience members. It is a true spectacle with green screens, live camera footage and great singers.


And all to the jazzy music of renowned composer Kurt Weill (also known for the song ‘Mack the Knife’) and famed playwright Berthold Brecht. Are you under 16? Then you will not be let in. That might promise something for the lusty listener.


Art Bar in Sexyland World | Free | 20 September

Every week, artists in any field can test their idea with an expert at cultural clubhouse Sexyland. This week, you can receive constructive criticism from Hester Alberdingk Thijm, director of the AkzoNobel Art Foundation. Are you an art lover, art student or simply artistic? Then show your work to Alberdingk Thijm and she will provide you with artistic advice, commercial ideas and possibly a beer.