ongoing since 2014

Proposed by

Florian Malzacher



About the project

Building Conversation is a dialogical artwork that came to life in 2014. Inspired by conversation techniques from all over the world, different performative conversations were designed and are performed with participants all over Europe, up to 60 times a year or more. Participants develop the content by themselves. There is no goal other than to practice different ways of talking.

We aim to create an awareness on how we talk, the impact this has on the content created and the relations built: ‘the way we talk influences the future we create’. The subjects are brought in by participants and vary greatly, from how we relate to nature, to societal issues, religion or human rights.

Building Conversation does not only perform within the cultural sphere but is increasingly invited by organizations from other sectors, such as the Demokratiefestival for young people; civil servants from the environmental department in The Hague; a symposium ‘Reflecting the current trend to present dissident bodies on stage’ in Zürich in which mentally and physically disabled people participated.

More and more often we are asked to train people locally to be able to guide the conversations in their own language with the aim to continue Building Conversation in their country. Currently, we are busy creating new forms of conversations that we can perform in the suburbs of Amsterdam on the street with passers-by. With this, we want to create an accessible form of dialogue for people to get into practicing and experiencing talking with people they do not usually meet.

It is the mission of Building Conversation to contribute to a dynamic society that is in constant transition, in which it is possible to practice an antidote to the polarising society we live in.

About the artist

Building Conversation is initiated by Lotte van den Berg, an acclaimed theatre director and Daan ’t Sas, an independent visual artist. With a collective of artists they create and perform the conversations: Peter Aers, Andreas Bachmair, Katja Dreyer, Angelika Fink, Adelijn Huis, Floor van Leeuwen, Sodja Lotker, Dennis Molendijk, Zdravko Popovic, Bart van Rosmalen, Myriam Sahraoui, Ligia Soares, Iwona Soczewka, Marija Sujica, Justina Wielgus and others.