ABSTRACT: The scholarly field on inclusivity, diversity and power structures in the Dutch contemporary art scene has proved to be an extremely narrow one. Even when the Dutch pride itself for their ‘solidarity’, and new diversity and inclusion codes have been implemented in Dutch art institutions over the years, female and BIPOC artists still seem largely underrepresented in the Dutch contemporary art elite. The Dutch contemporary art scene still allows for issues such as power abuse, sexism and racism to thrive, as no sector-wide protocol, regulation or safety net for the protection and fair treatment of (mostly self-employed) artists has been implemented. The Dutch government has started treating the Arts as a commercial leisure sector starting from 2008. This has resulted in a competitive climate of the Arts in the Netherlands as a whole, turning the sector into an unsafe environment, in which hierarchy, and a fight for inclusion in the same, small space, silence voices of the less privileged. By taking a close look at the scholarly field, eminent journalist articles, recent developments and by surveying and interviewing artists and other actors within the Dutch contemporary art scene, the first part of this thesis seeks to fill in and sometimes explain parts of the gap within the field. By generating inclusivity data on art academies and museums, and by looking at their policies, the second part of this thesis numerically backs up these narratives. The research shows a discrepancy between the fact that 70% of art academy students are female and 13.4% of the people represented in Dutch museums being women. Reasons for this discrepancy, as demonstrated through this thesis, can be brought back to to a lack of a sense of urgency, and to the existing structures within the Dutch contemporary arts, which have been reproduced through the years. The fact that these structures have proven to remain mostly unchallenged, is brought back to the concept of space, and mostly the lack thereof.
KEYWORDS: Inclusivity, Diversity, Power constructs, Contemporary art, Modern art, Art academies, Museum policies, The Netherlands, Feminism, Decolonialism.
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