Writer’s Block Happenings: April

As I write this, a delightful ray of sunlight comes streaming through my window, caressing my face with its silken warmth. It’s official: spring is finally here! This is the last bit of motivation we’ve all been waiting for to go outside and do something! Wondering what it is that you could be doing? Well, conveniently I just happen to have list for you right here with all the hottest, hippest and most happening happenings in and around Amsterdam for all of April! Check it out!

Frank 9 April in cinemas. Surrounding the lives of the music band members of The Soronprfbs, Frank takes you by the hand to show you the ultimate musical creativity. Not without a big portion of comedy, the film promises more adventure than any other music film has ever done.

Het grote Museumpleindebat 12 April, 4 pm @ De Rode Hoed. The big three of Museumplein will discuss its future. Expect a lot of discussion and art experts. Need I say more? I’ll be there. Tickets €6,50 for students.

Etcetera’s Book Club Reads Orlando 14 April, 8 pm @ Werkplaats. A new month, a new book. This time Etc.’s book club is reading Virginia Woolf’s ground-breaking gender-bending Orlando.

Crisis of History 14 April @ Tolhuistuin. Showing of the documentary From My Syrian Room (2014), in cooperation with Festival Cinéma Arabe, in the presence of director Hazem Alhamwi. How do you stay true to yourself in a dictatorship that wipes out your individuality like an eraser and fosters a culture of fear? The Syrian Hazem Alhamwi (1980) retreated to his room and found freedom in drawing. When the revolution breaks out in 2011, the filmmaker and artist does not dare to confront his inner demons directly. Instead Alhamwi explores his memories, from his childhood to the present day – and thus the desire for freedom of his people. Free admission, reservations @ reserveren@framerframed.nl.

Amsterdams Studenten Festival 16-17 April @ several locations. Talented students from Amsterdam and beyond will gather their creative powers to host a two-day festival this April. There will be theatre, film, music, art and more, accumulating in a spectacular after party by Wicked Jazz Sounds on the 17th. Tickets are €6 for students. More information can be found here www.amsterdamsstudentenfestival.nl.

Record Store Day 18 April @ Concerto. Come and support your favourite record stores today to save them from extinction! Concerto, a vinyl/CD/film lovers Valhalla on the Utrechtsestraat, has organized a daylong line-up of revered and upcoming bands that you can listen to in the cosily crowded store. A long list of new releases specially (re-)issued for this day will also be sold in Concerto and other stores from this day on.

De lange avond van het korte verhaal 22 April, 8 pm @ Tolhuistuin. Seven short stories have been chosen by writers Sanneke van Hassel and Thomas Heerma van Voss. Both have been reading all short story collections published between 2010 and 2014 and ultimately decided on seven of them to outline on this evening. An evening that focuses on the powerfulness of the short story. Tickets: €10,- students.

Weijers & Van Saarloos: Mijn geheim with Dan Hassler-Forest 22 April, 8 pm @ De Rode Hoed. An incidental benefit of keeping up with this agenda is that you’re allowed to stalk your own teachers. Especially if they’re at an interesting event as this one about the utility of secrets. Tickets €10,- for students.

Wijsgerig Festival Drift 25 April, from 19.30 @ De Brakke Grond. The philosophically savvy can eat their hearts out on this evening filled with lectures, debates, and other cultural festivities. The theme of this year “Toward Chaos” will certainly lead to lively discussion about paradoxical topics such as structure and order, chaos and destruction. Tickets are €6,50 for students (in pre-sale, €8,50 at the door).



Writer’s Block Happenings: March

Exam week is coming up, so we thought you all could use some good advice on what to do in those delightful free days after. Or perhaps you could use a little outing this weekend to cool your nerves a bit? Regardless, you know the drill: here’s another edition of all the grooviest happenings in and around Amsterdam for the month of March.  Continue reading “Writer’s Block Happenings: March”

Writer’s Block Happenings: February

Aaaaaand… we’re back! Wondering what’s up, hip, and happening in and around Amsterdam during the rest of February? Check it out below!


Junior Company, Dutch National Ballet @ Dutch National Opera & Ballet – Those kids can dance! For a night of envy and excellent ballet you should definitely visit the Junior Company’s tour this month in Amsterdam. Although, I would still recommend you to not try this at home… Tip: students get to buy tickets for €15,- an hour in advance! Check the website for more information: www.operaballet.nl.

Five Truths, Katie Mitchell @ Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam – Definitely a must for those who love theatre and Hamlet. A seemingly simple visit to the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam for this installation will blow your mind. The Five Truths installation, directed by Katie Mitchell, takes as its inspiration five of Europe’s most influential 20th century theatre directors. It explores the difference between their work and examines how each of the five practitioners would direct the actress playing Ophelia in the famous mad scene in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ongoing at the Stadsschouwburg from Monday January 5th until Saturday April 4th 2015. Don’t forget to check the website (http://stadsschouwburgamsterdam.nl/voorstellingen/filter) for other special programmes of Katie Mitchell.

Het debutantenbal @ De Balie, Saturday 7 February 8 pm – Interested in writing a novel? Then this night should not be left unattended. A night about writing your first book with in the presence of a great amount of Dutch writers. Tickets €10,-: http://www.debalie.nl/agenda/podium/het-debutantenbal/e_9758368/p_11722231/.

De Idee #7 @ SSBA Salon, Friday February 13th 20:30 – on Friday the 13th the SSBA is hosting their seventh philosophical talk show. This edition will centre around the theme “class”. Topics will be class systems, the elite, school classes, stereotypes, etc. Tickets are €7,50.

Book My Valentine @ P.C. Hoofthuis, February 17th. Etcetera’s book club is introducing their first ever book-themed alternative speed-dating event! It doesn’t matter whether you’re single or not, bring your favourite book and talk about it with strangers and friends in short rounds of 7 minutes. Doesn’t that sound like seven minutes in book lover’s heaven?

Rebel Without a Cause @ EYE, Filmhallen, from February 19 – EYE and De Filmhallen are showing a restored edition of the at the time groundbreaking Rebel Without a Cause (1955). The film that portrays generational conflicts and youth culture, made a star out of James Dean and gave him the status of a cultural icon.

Cinema Egzotik’s Spaghetti Night @ EYE, February 20th 8PM – Martin Koolhoven and Ronald Simon’s filmclub is hosting a spaghetti western evening in EYE. Death Rides a Horse (Petroni, 1967) and For a Few Dollars More (Leone, 1965) will be screened.

De avond van het essay @ Perdu, Friday 20 February 8 pm – For those lucky enough to speak Dutch, this night centres around a selection of essays from Baudelaire, Adorno, Barthes, Didion and Willem Jan Otten. A must for every writer, fiction or non-fiction. €5,- for this literary evening.

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) in cinemas from January 22nd – Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (Biutiful, Babel) latest film tells the bizarre story of a washed-up actor in the days leading up to the opening of a new Broadway play. Starring Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts and many others.

Mr. Turner in cinemas now – with the releases of Whiplash, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and The Imitation Game, there’s a substantial amount of geniuses playing the main role in films. It’ll be hard to choose if you don’t own a Cineville pass (so yes, buy one!). Mr. Turner, however, not showing cliché dialogues, but a natural and believable storyline of a painter who can be great without being socially awkward, is truly refreshing in this line of new films. O, and it’s very British (bonus!).

Inherent Vice in cinemas from February 5th – Paul Thomas Anderson’s much anticipated adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name.

Jean Desmet’s Dream Factory, exhibition until 12 April @ EYE – EYE’s exhibitions have always been fantastic. When they showed the works and films of the Quay Brothers, it was hard to leave the exhibition room at closing time. Now with Jean Desmet, EYE has become my new home. This pioneer of Dutch cinema just keeps you coming back for his witty and sharp silent movies. You’ll probably need a day or three to see it all. Entrance: €7,50 and EYE also accepts Museumkaart.

WB Happenings – Week 40/41

Let’s face it: there simply are days that you find yourself with a desire to go out and do something awesome, but you’ve just got no idea where to go. Boy, have we got just the fix for you! Here, you’ll find a WB-approved selection of events happening in Amsterdam right now, or in the very near future. Do you happen to have a really good suggestion for the next edition of WB Happenings? Let us know through writerssblock@gmail.com, and we might include your suggestion in the next edition!



  • 20 July – 9 November Bad Thoughts @ Stedelijk Museum. Private collection by Martijn and Jeanette Sanders containing a diverse selection of photographs, drawings, and graphic design.
  • 17 September – 10 December Under Construction: New Positions in American Photography @ Foam. Group exhibition of a new generation of image-makers reassessing the value of the photographic image in the 21st century.
  • 10 October – 1 February Breitner schetst Amsterdam @ Stadsarchief.



  • 29 September Special screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off @ Kriterion, 22.00.
  • From 4 September and onwards A Most Wanted Man. Film directed by Anton Corbijn based on the homonymous book by John le Carré about a power struggle between bankers, lawyers, and counter-terrorists.
  • From 28 August and onwards Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 3D. Neo-noir film starring Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. Sequel to the film Sin City released in 2005.



  • 25, 26, 27 September Tasso, Het Nationale Toneel @ Compagnietheater (in Dutch). Play, originally by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, about a young talented artist named Alfonso who has to choose between a life of rest and regularity or a life of freedom and passion.



  • 25 September Battle of Ideas – Are We Facing a Democratic Crisis? @ De Balie, 20.00. Panel discussions with experts and an open dialogue with the audience about the democratic crises of today.


Books and magazines

  • 27 September Book signing and Q&A with Herman Koch @ American Book Center
  • 04 October Amsterdam Zine Jam 2014 @ Felix Meritis



  • 6-12 October Camera Japan. Japanese multidisciplinary cultural festival.
  • 8-12 October Afrovibes @ MC Theater and Bijlmer Parktheater. Music, arts and theatre festival celebrating South-African culture.
  • 15-19 October Amsterdam Dance Event. Electronic music festival with more than 800 events in over 80 clubs throughout the city.