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Collecting the City #3


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wo 16 augustus 2023, 12:00 hour

Presentatie bodybuilding in aanloop naar Gay Games 1998 1997 Marian Bakker

Collecting the City #3

As of June 23, a new edition of Collecting the City will be on view at the Amsterdam Museum on the Amstel. For the third time, the museum and the city join forces to bring the spotlight on stories from Amsterdam. This edition features Amsterdam’s many tokos, narrative audio portraits about women from Nieuw-West, Noord, and Zuidoost, and a retrospective look at a special moment in history: the Gay Games, which this year took place 25 years ago.

Stories from the city

As in previous editions, Collecting the City #3 brings together different stories and perspectives from the city. The exhibition opens with portraits and audio stories of women from Nieuw-West, Noord, and Zuidoost. In the following rooms, the expo on the 25th anniversary of the Gay Games can be seen, which looks back at this special moment in history. The last galleries feature Toko Mokum, a theatrical and interactive story about food culture and tokos in Amsterdam, as told by the Dutch Indonesian community.

Women from...

On view in the first rooms is a presentation of portraits and stories of women from Amsterdam Zuidoost, Noord, and Nieuw-West. Dolls from Ellen Brudet’s Colourful Goodies, a shop which sells toys that everyone can identify with, are also exhibited. In addition, a new photo series is shown that was created through the ongoing collaboration between the Amsterdam Museum and Vrouw en Vaart, a women’s emancipation center in Osdorp. The series stems from the magazine Kruidenmix van Nieuw-West (Herbal Blend from Nieuw-West), produced by herbalist Leoniek Bontje. Based entirely on herbs, she traces narratives about family, origin, and identity.

Presentatie bodybuilding in aanloop naar Gay Games 1998 1997 Marian Bakker

Gay Games 1998

In the next rooms is an expo on the Gay Games, which were held in the Netherlands for the first time in 1998. After a lengthy emancipatory struggle by the queer community, this event put the Netherlands on the map as one of the most tolerant cities in the world. Objects, photographs, and moving images transport the visitor to the grand opening in the Amsterdam ArenA, the sporting and cultural programs, and the parties that drew participation from people from all over the world. Besides existing material, new stories were actively sought out. Photographers Tengbeh Kamara and Jonnah Bron created portraits of eight key LGBTIQ+ figures who share their recollections of this festive week. The exhibition was produced in conjunction with IHLIA, Queer Amsterdam, and others, and realized through collaboration with guest curator Feargal Agard, director of Humans of Film Amsterdam and Initiatiefgroep Gay Games Amsterdam 1998–2023.

Toko Samoeaada P C Hooftstraat Stadsarchief Amsterdam Eilers F Bernard 1878 1951

Toko Mokum

The exhibition Toko Mokum presents an interactive installation about Dutch Indonesian tokos and food culture in the Netherlands. Riboet Verhalenkunst, a collective of artists who trace their roots to Indonesia and the Moluccas, is noticing the gradual disappearance of traditional Asian tokos. In this exhibition, they chronicle several iconic Dutch Indonesian and Indonesian tokos and show how younger generations are reimaging the toko experience in a modern-day sense. They also call on visitors to the exhibition to share a recipe or memory of their own, or even lend objects.

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Operation Living

During this edition of Collecting the City, the exhibit Operation Living will remain on view. The presentation offers a retrospective look at a century of living culture in Amsterdam. Visitors learn about how living situations in specific Amsterdam neighborhoods have developed, with a special focus on the current housing crisis. Is there a difference between how you want to live and how you actually can live right now? And what is the solution?

About Collecting the City

Collecting the City is where the Amsterdam Museum collects and presents this vibrant city, in collaboration with various organizations and groups in the city. For the duration of this period, many neighborhood museums, community networks, local artists, and passionate residents will share objects and stories about Amsterdam. Every half year, new contributors are invited to showcase their ideas—whether it’s a fresh perspective on the past, a beautiful or painful moment in the present, or a new vision of the city for the future. The Museum om de Hoek foundation, comprising 23 local museums throughout Amsterdam, is a permanent partner in this endeavor.

Note to editors, not for publication

If you have any questions, please contact the press department at or 06 81 05 27 47. Members of the press who would like to visit the exhibition are invited to a press preview on Thursday, June 22, at 10 a.m. Please register by sending an email to You are also welcome to visit at another time. 

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