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Irina Baldini

Irina Baldini - foto Fenia Kotsopoulou
Irina Baldini - foto Fenia Kotsopoulou

is a dancer and creator. She has performed at festivals, galleries and museums, including the Venice Biennale and Tate Britain, and choreographs for theatre and on location. She co-founded the 4bid Gallery, non profit place, project and platform for encounters between visual and performance arts, and created the performance events Highs & Lows at OT301, both in Amsterdam. As a dancer, Irina Baldini responds to chance and circumstance and works with temporary methods. During the 2023 Winternachten Festival, on the evening of Friday, 21 April, she moved to the words of poet Marwin Vos and respond to the question: what is the raw material of the poem?

(WN 2023)

Archive available for: Irina Baldini

  • Winternachten 2023

    De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems)

    With: Alara Adilow, Asha Karami, Caro Derkx, Dean Bowen, Irina Baldini, Johan van Dijke, Maarten van der Graaff, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Martin Rombouts, Marwin Vos, Maxime Garcia Diaz, Mustafa Stitou, Willie Darktrousers

    For the closing event of the 2023 Winternachten festival, poets and artists seeked out the raw material of poems. How do the violence of resource extraction, the destruction of lives and worlds, and the depletion of Earth become audible and palpable in language? What are poems made of: can they, too, plunder and harm?

    De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems) was a Dutch-language event with familiar and new voices, unexpected performances, dance, music and images.

    Anyone who opens a children's book about a farm does not see hyper-modern, destructive industry, but lovely scenes. This obfuscation of reality, according to British zoologist, author and activist George Monbiot, is due to persistent images about our dealings with animals and land, borrowed from poetry. "One of the greatest threats to life on Earth is poetry," he wrote provocatively.

    Yet the plundering of Earth has indeed made its way into modern poetry. In the poem Sinaasappel, bitter je schil (Orange, bitter your peel) by Surinamese poet Michaël Slory, the minerals themselves bear witness to that history:

    'Op Afobaka wil ik zijn
    als de arbeiders staken,
    de morgen zich boort
    in de papaya,
    het bauxiet woedend zingt
    over zoveel misbruik,
    zoveel leugens
    zoveel misleiding.'

    ("On Afobaka I want to be
    when the workers strike,
    the morning drills itself
    into the papaya,
    the bauxite sings furiously
    about so much abuse,
    so many lies
    so much deception.")

    Bookstore De Vries van Stockum will be present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others — including signing opportunities!

    De grondstof van het gedicht was curated by poet and writer Maarten van der Graaff.

  • Winternachten 2018 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    The streets of Istanbul: Resistance and Poetry

    During the Gezi-protest of 2013, the streets and squares of Istanbul were places of resistance against authoritarian politics and ruthless market forces. It was an attempt to trigger change in Turkish politics.

    Five years on, how does the young poet, essayist and critic Efe Murad see the situation in his country? And what does the literary map of Istanbul look like right now? Murad talks about the city, wanders through it and reads from his work, including poems from Kapital Öldürür!, written with his generational cohorts Sinan Özdemir and Ismail Aslan, which constitutes one of the most direct confrontations with the Turkey of recent years.

    Poet Çaglar Köseoglu looks at Istanbul from The Netherlands thus enlarging the map. His poetry alters the history of the Republic of Turkey and the situation in The Netherlands towards something new, showing how violence, language and geography alternate.

    During this short performance, Irina Baldini follows an improvised dance trajectory across the map of Istanbul across streets, along skyscrapers and luxury condominium towers; while moving, she reminisces about the search for clearings in a city where the state has taken over the public space.