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Building Conversation

We declare love with words, we start wars with words, and we raise our children with words. From the first day until the last day, a person uses approximately eight billion words. We read and hear five times more. We use 4.400 sentences daily, during 21 conversations. Human culture is all about conversation and speaking. Europe is a conversation, the Netherlands is a conversation, we are a conversation. Building Conversation does exactly that; give attention to the way we speak. Outside our daily reality, free from existing tensions, free from our striving towards expedience, we create a space in which we can practice conversation. We invite you to join.

What does Building Conversation do? It challenges the way we view one another. A sort of practice in how to be human.


Building Conversation provides us with a means to truly engage and sustain healthy conversation, especially welcoming difference of opinion. How inspiring is it, for example, to create an alternate vision of the future together? It gives real hope and inextricably links us



Sun 20 October 2024
14:00 - 16:00

Ongemakkelijke gesprekken: nnb

#Amsterdam #Wereldmuseum
Linnaeusstraat 2
1092 CK Amsterdam

Geweld en agressie horen erbij. Toch? Sporten zoals martial arts kunnen deze kant van de mens (die we soms liever niet onder ogen zien) in banen leiden. Net als het kijken naar vechtwedstrijden en -films of het spelen van games. Of maakt dat geweld juist sexy en wakkert de agressie aan? In het licht van de verhoogde defensiebudgetten: zijn we jarenlang te naïef geweest en zijn mens en agressie onlosmakelijk met elkaar verbonden? Kom sparren over dit verhitte onderwerp!

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The Gathering autumn 2023

From Friday, September 29th to Sunday, October 1st, we will host a new edition of The Gathering and set up a Building Conversation atelier at the regenerative estate Yügen Forest. In this atelier, we will explore how we can shape ourselves as a sustainable ecosystem and we investigate which new forms want to be developed in the near future.

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Works licensed under Creative Commons license

We recently took a new step: several works including Conversation without Words, Digital Silence and Parliament of Things are now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means that from now on everyone is free to share, copy, and redistribute the work in any medium or format -and to adapt, remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.


Book launch 10 years of Building Conversation – The Scripts

Building Conversation celebrates and shares the work they have developed by publishing the scripts of several performative conversations in book form, making them available to all. The festive book launch of “Building Conversation – The Scripts”is on December 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam.


Building Conversation chooses collectivity and, as of 2023, will continue as a platform

After countless performative conversations in The Netherlands and abroad, inspiring collaborations and constant self-reflection, Building Conversation is undergoing a momentous change and will continue as a platform from 2023. With this transition, the organisation is making a radical choice for collectivity and participation.

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Building Conversation is a platform for Dialogical Art, which concentrates on the meeting of art, conversation and society.

In the dialogical art movement, which came into being in the 1970s, the conversation itself is presented as a work of art. Drawing on this politically engaged artistic practice, Building Conversation develops performances inspired by existing conversational practices from all over the world; from indigenous communities in New Zealand and Canada, to Occupy, Facebook and the root system of trees.

We have great faith in the possibility of actively contributing to the creation of new social and ecological forms of coexistence. We set to work on the basis of an active hope, in spite of and in reaction to the dystopian world described to us by science, politics and the media. In all our work we invite the public to be a co-creator and partner in conversation, the most important aim being to communicate the emancipatory power of the arts to as many people as possible in as many different places in society as possible.

Why The way we participate in social and ecological structures has to change. There is an urgent need for clear and unflinching reflection on the position we occupy, both in the world and in relation to each other. The increasing inequality between people and between man and nature demands a radical review of the value system our coexistence is based on.

Mission Our mission is to activate people to approach their own conversation culture like an artist. We challenge people to take charge of the reflection on and shaping of the way we talk to each other. With the aim of conscious participation in conversation in a dynamic social structure, while keeping in mind all the living beings with whom we coexist.

Vision The art space is a place for life exercises. Here, detached from everyday reality, we can reflect, rethink and reform in a free and experimental space. Practice, rehearsal and sketching are not preparatory side-effects of art, but the essence of what art is and should be. We establish art as an exercise area and as such return it to the world. An exercise area not just for professional artists, but even more for anyone who feels the need to rethink the structures within which they live.


Building Conversation
Vulhuis 5
1505RS Zaandam

Dagelijkse leiding
Daan ’t Sas – daan[at]
Famke Dhont – Famke[at]