Skip to content

SRV #8: Susanne Khalil Yusef

Café Disorient: Sound of the Camp

Residentie periode

za, 02 jul. 2022 / vr, 05 aug. 2022



vr, 21 okt. 2022 / zo, 13 nov. 2022

Kunstruimte H47

Haniasteeg 47
8911 BX Leeuwarden

SRV #8: Susanne Khalil Yusef

This summer VHDG presents an artwork on wheels by Palestinian-Dutch artist Susanne Khalil Yusef: Café Disorient: A traveling and colourful café, that will pop up at several locations in Friesland from the 2nd of July to the 5th of August. With her café, Susanne will visit several refugee camps to create an open space for music and drinking coffee. Susanne carries stories with her, closely related to that of the refugees, about the loss of your homeland, displacement through conflict and resistance against aggression. She will invite artists and people from the local communities to enter her cafe, and host live music performances and conversations on subjects that regularly reach the news in the Netherlands, but are not a contemporary reality for most of the inhabitants of Friesland.

Parallels between Palestinian and Frisian resistance
During her stay in the VHDG AiR in march earlier this year, Susanne was inspired by the Frisian resistance against the Nazi occupiers and she found a lot of parallels with the Palestinian resistance happening right now. ‘Café Disorient: Sound of the Camp’ explores resistance against oppression and invasion and its motives: The wish to live, and to do so on one’s own terms. Even though most of the Frisian freedom fighters are not among us anymore, Susanne observed that there’s still a large number of people in the province whose mere existence is an act of resistance. Did you know the number of refugee camps in Friesland exceeds those of any other province in the country?

What material to tell the story?
Another important part of Susanne’s work is that she experiments with a lot of different materials and explores the way that they can make stories manifest, and create artifacts to reassemble lost and unheard histories. For example, the faces of thirty Palestinian boys killed by Israeli forces can be seen returning in her work, first embodied through clay, then ceramics, and most recently bronze. Susanne will also visit the Langweer Glass Studios during her travels to explore working with glass. Friesland is famous for its craftsmanship, and Susanne is excited to learn from local experts and broaden her artists’ palette of skills, materials and techniques.

“Joy is an act of resistance.”
As a daughter of refugees and being a refugee herself, Susanne will travel through the province, collecting and connecting the stories of resistance from the people who struggle for their right to live in a safe environment. These people and their stories will fuel the exhibition that will follow the residency in October this year. The poet Toi Derricotte once said: “Joy is an act of resistance.” Susanne’s approach during this residency will embody this thought. Her playful installations, colorful sculptures and cozy concerts aim to open new doors for discussing difficult and painful topics in an open way and to make every visitor and participant feel safe and welcome.

Pop-up events throughout Friesland
Susanne will host several activities during her travels through the province of Friesland, all of which you’re welcome to join. These pop-up events will include one or more concerts with jam sessions, a game night, a glimpse into the Handala archives, and good conversations while enjoying some fine Palestinian coffee served in the unique ceramic pieces made by Susanne. Previously, Susanne has hosted this concept at several other places, among which are Valkhof Museum, WORM Rotterdam, Sonsbeek Festival and De Fabriek Eindhoven. We are very excited that she’ll be bringing this project to Friesland next and are very curious to see what this edition of the project, for the first time on the road, will bring.

We’d love to see you there, so keep an eye out for the detailed schedule of all the events that Susanne will host and check out all the updates on her travels through our website and social media channels!


  • 13 July, Wednesday: Coffee and concert at the refugee camp in Sint Annaparochie
  • 21 October, Friday, 16:00: Opening exhibition SRV #8: Café Disorient: Sound of the Camp at Kunstruimte H47

Design: Natalia Papaeva Supported by: Mondriaan Fonds, Gemeente Leeuwarden, Provincie Fryslan, Old Burger Weeshuis, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Ritske Boelema Fonds, Stichting Stokroos en het VBS Fonds