Heelz on Wheelz


installation, video, text 

In collaboration with Jennifer Hopelezz, The House of Hopelezz, JP Magis, Sabina Aliyeva, Shaquille Joy, Hanneke Wetzer, Wouter van de Goor. Graphic design by Studio Harris Blondman.

The exhibition ‘Heelzz on Wheelzz’ was dedicated to the experiences of very different groups of Amsterdammers: taxi drivers, drag artists, and other queer folk. It kicked off with a lunch on May 5th, 2024 at Melkweg Expo, in which those two groups came together to share their stories of prejudice and exclusion.

The exhibition included a collection of quotes gathered directly from these groups. Through them, we uncovered the uncomfortable realities of their daily lives. From being denied service to facing verbal abuse and violence, both of these groups confront systemic discrimination that denies them their basic rights and dignity. But within these struggles, a powerful reality comes to light: that despite their huge differences, there is more that these groups have in common.

Installation shots from Melkweg Expo, Amsterdam, Netherlands:

Even though hatred always has different reasons and root causes, it's universal and something that, in a way, is being fed to us by politicians, religion, family, and society in general. The following quotes take on different experiences of discrimination and hate crimes collected through a series of interviews with drag artists and taxi drivers.

When encountering hate and discrimination, we always have to choose how to react and deal with it—whether to reproduce it and get stuck in an endless loop of violence or try to break free. 

The tables in the space were left for the course of the exhibition as an open invitation for discussion, a plea for understanding, and a step forward into a society where everyone is treated fairly and with respect. The visitors were asked to share their own experiences and thoughts on how we can get better on the tablecloth.