ATD-alumna Diede Daalman conducts research in the AHK Culture Club into theatrical forms that can reveal the construction of the child

[Translate to English:] Foto: Kirsten van Santen

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In the AHK Culture Club, alumni from all academies of the AHK come together. You are given the opportunity here to conduct research in a multidisciplinary manner, to organise events and to collaborate. Two batches of alumni have preceded you. This is the story of Diede Daalman, alumna of Academy for Theatre and Dance. 

Curious to know more? Read the stories of other alumni and their time in the Culture Club here. Would you like to set to work at this inspiring AHK location? Drop by on 25 June during the final presentations, experience the atmosphere and meet the alumni from Team 2! Click here for more info. 

Diede Daalman
In our society, a major distinction is made between adults and children, says theatre maker and teacher Diede Daalman (28). The alumna of the Academy of Theatre and Dance (ATD) conducts research in the AHK Culture Club into theatrical forms that can reveal the construction of the child. ‘The combination of image, movement and text is what appeals to me in theatre. I came to the Culture Club with the idea of making theatre for children. I take them very seriously in doing so and make them co-creator of the work by involving them in the creative process.’  

As part of the project Jong Beginnen (Beginning Young) of arts festival 2Turvenhoog, Diede is going to visit playgroups in order to conduct research. In combination with her work in the Culture Club, this will ultimately lead to a performance which toddlers are involved in from the beginning. ‘I want to create an environment for children that invites shared ownership. By making them part of the process and the performance, allowing them to help decide on the course and by taking them seriously, I expose the construction of the child. Is the way in which we look at children the right one and is it actually necessary for us to make such a major distinction between them and adults? We as humans are extremely good at making up fictional stories and believing in them. However, once we believe in a story, it’s difficult to change that. And that can be problematic, because it may promote or perpetuate equality. Art can expose these types of ‘stories’ and I use the story about the power relationship between adults and children to say something about all power relationships: we are not aware of them. And it’s only when we know they exist that we can change them. 

In addition to her theatre performance, Diede is working in the Culture Club with teammates on interdisciplinary projects related to the malleability of identity and she is setting up a theatre making workshop with, for and by young children for students of the AHK. ‘I had a tremendous need for more depth and I have the freedom here to explore that. Because everyone here has a different background, we learn a lot from each other and from the collaborations. It is an environment to grow in.’ 



[Translate to English:] Foto: Kirsten van Santen