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Abraham Kuyper Lecture 2022

16 June 2022 17:00 - 18:00

“Ik draag mijn tong in mijn borst” - Abraham Kuyper Lecture 2022 by Babs Gons, writer in residence at VU Amsterdam

(English translation will be available)

Every age has its contemporary troubadours, its griots, poets, noisemakers, shouters, declamationists with their social and poetic commentary on life, love, death and everything in between. Spoken word is a new variant that is capturing the hearts of many. Babs Gons says about this in her Abraham Kuyper Lecture: "For me, spoken word is a way to connect. With art, but above all with a company, a congregation, a community of like-minded people, of other noisy people. 

It is love. It is passion.

It is belonging somewhere where

recognition and acknowledgement

through language

through story

come about.”

The lecture is the opening programme of the Déjà VU festival.

Rector Magnificus Jeroen Geurts will present the first copy of the publication Ik draag mijn tong in mijn borst that  Writer in Residence Babs Gons wrote especially for VU Amsterdam. Attendees of the lecture will receive the extended version of the lecture as a paper booklet. 


A copy of the livestream of the Abraham Kuyper Lecture will soon available. Please check


17.00 Welcome by Kila van der Starre

17.05 Lecture by Babs Gons

17.20 Spoken Word intermezzo with Rachel Diaz and Onias Landveld

17.25 Reaction to lecture by Wim Manuhutu

17.30 Conversation with Kila van der Starre, Babs Gons and Wim Manuhutu

17.35 Musical intermezzo with Shishani

17.40 Reaction to lecture by Kathleen Ferrier

17.45 Conversation between Kila van der Starre, Babs Gons and Kathleen Ferrier

17.50 Jeroen Geurts hands out the first copy of the book to author Babs Gons

17.55 Brotherhood brass band guides us to campus square for opening of Déjà VU Festival

About Abraham Kuyper Lecture 2022

Starting date

  • 16 June 2022


  • 17:00 - 18:00


  • New University building
  • Griffioen 2


  • De Boelelaan 1111
  • Amsterdam

Déjà VU Festival

Experience the campus like never before

View programme

Programme guests 

Babs Gons | Writer in Residence

Spoken word is the favourite literary form of Free Writer Babs Gons. She also writes short stories, articles and columns. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and has received many awards. In her Abraham Kuyper Lecture, titled Ik draag mijn tong in mijn borst, she interprets contemporary spoken word poetry, with special attention for the social role of this genre. She published an anthology of Spoken Word texts under the title Hardop. Recently she published Doe het toch maar with her own texts.

Marjolein Moorman | Alderman for Education, Poverty and Integration

For Marjolein Moorman, equality of opportunity is the main motive for being politically active. As alderman for Education, Poverty and Integration, she wants to invest more in good education for children who need it most. 

Wim Manuhutu | Historian and heritage expert

Wim Manuhutu is a part-time lecturer in political history at VU University Amsterdam since 2019. He is involved in several initiatives aimed at a critical examination of the colonial past and its aftermath in today's Dutch society.

Shishani | Musician

Shishani means ‘crown’ in one of Namibia's native languages. She is a uniquely versatile artist whose music transcends genres and cultures. Shishani is a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter loved for her soothing and powerful voice.

Onias Landveld | Spoken Word artist

Onias Landveld is a writer, voice-over actor, storyteller, spoken word artist and the former city poet of Tilburg. In 2015, he won the Van Dale Spoken Award for Storytelling. Since then he has been giving workshops in spoken word and (corporate) Storytelling. The latter he teaches at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, but also at companies and institutions. 

Onias was born in Suriname, but fled the country because of a civil war in 1989. After a brief return to Suriname in 1992, he has lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1998.

Rachel Diaz | Spoken word artist

Rachel Rumai Diaz is a writer, poet, performance artist and programmer. She is also the founder of the feminist literary festival Zus en Zo, a platform that focuses on intersectionality and modern sisterhood. Her goal is to introduce youth and young adults to word art in a non-traditional way.


Kila van der Starre

Kila van der Starre is a literary theorist and a Dutch Language Specialist (University of Utrecht) and works as a freelance academic and poetry critic. "In my research, I focus on the use and meaning of poetry in everyday life. I am interested in the way people use and circulate poetry outside the book."