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Clothing as Interface

Annet Couwenberg, the chair of the Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee, spent her sabbatical in spring 2010 as an artist-in-residence at the Crosslab at Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, where she worked on a collaborative project “Clothing as Interface: Cross-Cultural Muslim Identity.” She organized “Sewing Sessions” with Muslim women as a way of opening up extensive dialogues on the diverse views of fashion, politics, faith, beauty, modesty, and cultural diversity held by Dutch Muslims. Based on her experiences at Freehouse in Rotterdam, she and Hannah Brancato, a Baltimore community artist, developed “Sewing Circle,” a year-long social enterprise course for the students of the Maryland Institute College of Art starting Fall 2011.

Some of the participants

Some of the participants in the sewing sessions in Rotterdam. Photos © Annet Couwenberg. Reproduction prohibited without permission.

YouTube video about the “Clothing as Interface: Cross-Cultural Muslim Identity” project. Video © Annet Couwenberg.



More information

Annet Couwenberg’s website

Immigrant experiences: A talk

September 26, 2015

Annet Couwenberg plans to speak at the Baltimore-Rotterdam 30th year party at Creative Alliance about immigrants in Rotterdam, along with another speaker who will talk about immigrants in Baltimore.

Talk at University of Maryland

Committee chair Annet Cowenberg gave a presentation about her Rotterdam project, “Clothing as Interface: Cross Cultural Muslim Identity,” at the University of Maryland College Park on November 16, 2010. The talk was mentioned in the university’s The Diamondback newspaper and on WAMU 88.5 FM’s Art Beat on November 16.

Announcement on University of Maryland’s site

Article in The Diamondback newspaper

WAMU’s audio clips for November 16, 2010
(scroll down to the Art Beat section)