About The Arts Bunker
We are a community of academics, artists, and writers with a passion for arts, media, culture, and the humanities. We think that arts and the humanities are of crucial value to contemporary society as they offer a space to reflect on, explain and criticize culture and society, while also offering alternative visions for the future.
The Arts Bunker aims to publish essays, visual art, pieces of research, poetry, reviews, or any kind of relevant writing to show the importance of the cultural sector and humanities perspectives for understanding contemporary culture and politics. We want to facilitate discussions and conversations between academics and artists, making academic work more relevant for the public.
We want to move away from academia in Ivory towers, and instead occasionally we will crawl out of our bunker and share insights that we find interesting or relevant to a wider audience.
Amalia Calderón is a poet, artistic researcher and part-time witch. She received her BA in Law and Sociology at the University of Warwick, an MSc in Sociology at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and is currently finishing an rMA in Artistic Research at UvA. Her research explores posthuman legal waterscapes, archival mythopoetry and feminist sexual storytelling. Her practice fluctuates through performative text, illustration, ecofeminist pedagogies and deviant forms of knowledge transmission.
Chiara Serio is a Research Master student at University of Groningen. Right now she is conducting a research project in a NGO in Spain about the use of digital storytelling as a methodology. Because of her studies, she is interested in English literature, digital culture and media interpretation. She also practices creative writing.
Christa Lankhaar is a junior teacher at the University of Groningen and studied Arts, Media and Literary studies. She is interested in arts, cultural theory, sustainability and human-animal relationships. She also makes digital art and is learning more about analogue and digital photography, how to portray society and culture through these and use art as a tool to open up dialogues about societal issues.
Hanne Nijtmans is a PhD candidate at the American Studies department of the University of Groningen. Her project titled ‘Podcasting Paranoia: Aesthetics, Politics and Community in American Fictional Podcasts’ focuses on the centrality of conspiracy narratives in fictional podcasts between 2012-2020. The project is based on research master’s thesis which explored how twenty-first century American fictional podcasts use dystopian future scenarios to express ideological critiques of American Empire and late-stage capitalism. Beyond this project, her research explores the ways new media, including videogames, podcasts, and interactive narratives construct different, and at times illusory, forms of agency.
Hilde van der Wal
Hilde van der Wal just obtained their Research Master's degree at the University of Groningen, specializing in Cognitive Narratology and Critical Film Theory. Their thesis Error-and-Trial Cinema: The Interplay Between Unreliable Narration and Cognitive Biases analyzed how cinematic unreliable narratives tap into the viewers' heuristics and what these findings imply for nonfictional unreliability (e.g., narratives performed by Donald Trump). Aside from this project, their research usually focuses on the critical intersection between cinema and socio-political situatedness, with a most recent interest in Marxist Film Theory.
As a research master student at the University of Groningen, Lesley Verbeek is aiming to specialize in Disability Studies within the Arts, Media & Literary Studies programme. She is interested in tracing points of possible connection between DS and academic fields such as Film Studies, Indigenous Studies, Ecocriticism and Critical Animal Studies.
Nathalie Schram is a research master student at the University of Groningen and holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art: Photography from the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam. She has specialized in two different areas: the narrative potential of photography, and art sociology. In her previous research, she focused on how the nature of photography allows for different tactics of storytelling and narrative affordances than in other single still images. In the last two years, she was part of two studies on the effects of the current pandemic on the cultural sector. One study focused on cultural entrepreneurs and the other on art teachers of amateur art classes and those enrolled in these classes. Her most recent research is on the way that entrepreneurship is taught at art academies.
Manar Ellethy is a PhD candidate at Leiden University and the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies. Her dissertation titled 'Paying the Dues: Early African American Documentary Film and the Quest for Truth' explores how African American documentary film in the 1960s attempted to subvert stereotypical understandings of black socio-political issues in an era of significant political transformations in race relations and black citizenship. Her research is within the 'Racial Democracy Project' which explores practices and institutionalized manifestations of “racial democracy” across time and space in American history, as well as acts of resistance to such practices.
Martin Essemann is a Research Master student at Universiteit van Amsterdam, where he researches performance ethics and the aesthetics of sweetness in contemporary culture. Occasionally, he also practices performance art himself.
Website: Hanne Nijtmans