Discover the dark at the first ever Amsterdam Dark Festival

From Friday, September 22 to Sunday, September 24, 2023, Marjolijn van Heemstra will hold the first ever Amsterdam Dark Festival. At this new festival you will experience the beauty of darkness for a weekend during night walks, twilight sessions, poetry and silence. Discover the magic of a dark urban forest, explore the shades of gray of dusk during the transition from day to night or come to the darkness mass where we will explore the wisdom of dark thoughts.

Background

For the past two years, Marjolijn van Heemstra has been working with Najat Kaddour and a handful of ‘night watchers’ on De Nacht-Wacht: an investigation into the value of nighttime darkness in a city with far too much light pollution. A project of many forms and one mission: to improve our perception of darkness, because all that light is harmful to us and our environment. During more than 150 night walks, De Nacht-Wacht and enthusiastic visitors discovered the liveliness of deserted parks and the enchantment of a sky full of  stars and the moon. At the Amsterdam Dark Festival you can experience everything De Nacht-Wacht has explored and discovered  in recent years. Together we use darkness as a tool for tranquility, wonder and a healthy(/healthier) ecosystem.

Marjolijn van Heemstra: "We hope to make this festival an annual event. A patch of darkness that slowly spreads across the country. We want to contribute to a healthier society in this way. The name Amsterdam Dark Festival echoes the well-known Amsterdam Light Festival, which fills the city with artworks of light during the darkest days of the year. Along with all the light, we say, the dark is also needed. Not as a counterpart, but as a complement."

A selection of the many activities

Join a night walk in one of the forests in and around Amsterdam. Welcome the twilight at special locations: the NDSM, Hortus Botanicus, ARTIS, Huis ter Vraag or in people's homes. There will be a program at the ARTIS planetarium, a darkness mass at the Dominicus Church, a conference on reducing air pollution, literary performances by SLAA in the Tolhuistuin. Feel like taking action yourself? Come to the eclipse ritual in the Vliegenbos where we'll teach you how to become a night activist.

Practical information

The Amsterdam Dark Festival takes place from Friday, September 22 to Sunday, September 24 at various locations in and around Amsterdam. You can find the program at www.amsterdamdarkfestival.nl and ticket sales (for part of the program) have started.

Campaign by Noortje Boer:

Note to editors:

Other visual material available on request via publiciteit@marjolijnvanheemstra.nl

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Over Marjolijn van Heemstra

Marjolijn van Heemstra (1981) studeerde theologie met als doel conflictbemiddelaar te worden. Voor het zover kwam rolde ze het theater in en inmiddels werkt ze als dichter, schrijver, theatermaker, journalist en podcastmaker. Marjolijn onderzoekt in haar werk op een toegankelijke manier hoe we anders kunnen nadenken over onszelf en de wereld. Sinds 2019 schrijft ze voor De Correspondent over de vraag hoe de ruimte ons kan helpen om anders naar de aarde te kijken. Haar non-fictie boek over dit thema, In lichtjaren heeft niemand haast, werd verkozen tot NPO radio 1 Non-fictie Boek van het Jaar 2021. In 2023 schreef Marjolijn het essay voor de maand van de filosofie, Wat is ruimte waard. Daarnaast maakt ze regelmatig podcasts (o.a. Sør, Stadsastronaut, Als geschiedenis in je opstaat). De afgelopen twee jaar hield ze zich vooral bezig met De Nacht-Wacht, een onderzoek van meerdere jaren naar de waarde van de nacht en het donker.

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