Connecting Geographies #5, a project by Marjolijn Boterenbrood

With Munara Abdukharova, Bermet Borobaeva, Zulya Esentaeva, Nurperi Orubaeva and Malika Umarova.


Opening: 7 June, 17 – 20 hrs
Performance: 18 hrs  – Songline from West to East by Marjolijn Boterenbrood
Until 16 June, Wed – Sun, 14 – 18 hrs

A year ago Marjolijn Boterenbrood drove her van from Amsterdam to Kyrgyzstan, carrying a stack of reworked maps from an old Soviet atlas (her publication Letter to a Silk Road). On those maps she incorporated elements of the Dutch landscape, to seek a connection between the two regions. During her road trip to Kyrgyzstan she gets to know the rough landscapes in various sensory levels. And she invites artists to draw, paint, rub or scrape new layers on her maps. The van becomes the studio in which the artists can mould the maps to their liking. The ancient notion of the map is also offering Boterenbrood herself space to search for changes in perspective and to find an alternative form of cartography that is based on exchange.

In Connecting Geographies #5, she shows an installation featuring the edited maps of 31 artists from Central Asia alongside her own work Letter to a Silk Road and new works resulting from her trip to Kyrgyzstan. Also on display will be the work of the artists that Boterenbrood invited to take part in this edition of Connecting Geographies, which is a working period as well as an exhibition. The participants are seeking an exchange with the audience through workshops and through creating new work and performances. The exhibition will change shape during the week. Ultimately the goal is for the various installations to make their way back, via the same route as the van travelled a year ago.

We look forward to be welcoming you at Connecting Geographies #5.


7 June 17.00-20.00: Opening event with performance by Marjolijn Boterenbrood Songline from West to East at 18.00

8 June 16.00: A talk with Asel Kadyrkhanova about all our art practices. For more information see Asel Kadyrkhanova.

10 June 19:00. Bermet Borubaeva –  a talk about her research into the representation of coal workers in Kyrgyz fine art and the screening of her documentary about air pollution #BishkekSmog (co-author Iskender Aliev). The research presents the hundred year of history of coal mining in Kyrgyzstan though archival photos and documents, maps, museum objects and fine art master pieces. More information see:

13 June 18.00:  A talk with Noa Jansma and Ilja Schamle – two Dutch artists about their new book Entro pies, stories about and reflections on the apple pie in relation to Central Asia.

14 June 18.00:  Performance by Malika Umarova  – 10 unwritten plays, a performance-lecture-theater piece. Reflections on memories about people of her family through whom (as through many others) the country’s history speaks – history of Kyrgyzstan, and on relationships with language, and also on our nowadays life and what the artist sees around her.

15 June 20.00: Program at de Balie on the occasion of Connecting Geographies #5 with Kees Foekema

16 June      15.30 -17.00 Talk with Fabienne Rachmadiev and finissage, closing event at 17.00


When you plan to visit one or more of the workshops, please confirm your attendance in advance by e-mail to:

9 June, 15.30 – Munara Abdukakharova
Book of Nomads
A short presentation about Kyrgyz embroidery tradition. Personalization of participants’ wardrobe pieces by sewing texts or signs: personal messages, words and statements. The alternative way would be making a wish, sacrilizing embroidery and giving it to a friend or family.

13 June, 15.30 – Zulya Esentaeva
 “Kyrgyz visa” for Amsterdam Dwellers
Participants need to prepare a list written or drawings of belongings/concepts dear to them from where we start this exchange. We will be making boorsoks, a  nomadic bread, in the form of these belongings, cook and eat together. At the end of the workshop, Sher Tokombaev’s  and Zulya Esentaeva will present their collaborative book of Sher’s poetry and Zulya’s illustrations as visas or laissez-passe

Made possible by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and Mondriaan Fund