Accompanied by film footage and photographs from the 1920s, actors Stijn Westenend and Gonny Gaakeer read out passages from the correspondence of architect Han van Loghem and his wife Berthe Neumeijer about their time in the Siberian city of Kemerovo in 1926/1927. A film by Pim Zwier and the International Institute of Social History.
Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
Free, register via Tickets
Guided by political conviction and social consciousness, Han van Loghem travelled to Siberia in the mid-1920s. The Soviet Union was in need of specialists to help design and construct entirely new cities in the Urals and Siberia, which were to become important mining and metallurgical centres. Filled with ideals and the desire for adventure, modern architects from West Europa left for the future workers’ paradise.
“When I was invited in 1925 to help build Soviet Russia, I didn’t hesitate long. As a pioneer in Soviet Russia I might be able to produce not appearances, but necessity.”
Building amidst Solitude reveals how Van Loghem’s journey to Siberia was also a quest for personal and professional fulfilment, which he felt he lacked in the Netherlands. Van Loghem’s personal quest had repercussions on his marriage, causing his wife Berthe Neumeijer, who initially planned to stay in the Netherlands, to join him in Siberia in an attempt to save their marriage.
The screening at Het Nieuwe Instituut will be a live performance with the actors Stijn Westenend and Gonny Gaakeer. Building amidst Solitude is a collaboration between filmmaker Pim Zwier and the International Institute of Social History. It will be introduced by IISG researcher Gijs Kessler and followed by a short lecture by Alice Roegholt (Museum Het Schip, Amsterdam) on the architectural heritage of architect Han van Loghem in Kemerovo.
Thursday Night Live!
In Het Nieuwe Instituut’s Thursday Night Live! programme thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad discuss urgent issues, innovative research and critical reflection related to architecture, design and digital culture. Why not grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut? Dinner vouchers are available for €7.50 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link at the page or at the bar this evening.