Performance Joseph Semah on observatory Felix Meritis

On 4 May, Commemoration Day, we witnessed the transformation of commemorating to celebrating Liberation Day in a very special performance by Joseph Semah. One of the oldest observatories in Western Europe is located on top of Felix Meritis, above the roofs of Amsterdam. From the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th, the wealthy bourgeoisie studied the starry skies from there. At night the gentlemen pointed the telescopes upwards to the sky; during the day they peered downwards to observe the city and its bustle.

On top of the observatory of Felix Meritis on May 4, 2010, the transformation took place from commemorating to celebrating Liberation Day in a performance inspired by basic values such as freedom and democracy within our pluriform society. High above the city an intriguing meeting took place between twelve representatives of the arts, religion, politics, civil society, business and science, with the help of Steve Austen, Linda Bouws, Hedy d'Ancona , Ab Cherribi, Sinan Cihangir, Nelleke Noordervliet, Fokkelien Oosterwijk, Farid Tabarki, Jan Voss, Sigal Weissbein-Rozman, Julia Winter, Auke van der Berg and Jom Semah.

The action is based on Baruch Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus; the text was read in Latin, English, Hebrew, Arabic, Dutch, French, Russian, Turkish and German languages. The Felix Meritis motto, Connecting Cultures, was the central theme.