Students from the HKU create a platform where artists from all over the world can share their work, even if they’re on the run.

About the speaker

The Publisher is an independent, nonprofit platform for stories and artistic work made by refugees.

A platform for creative work and stories made by refugees. Its development was started by six graduate students of the school of the Arts in Utrecht (HKU) and the website launched in January.
The team includes Sacha Schemkes, Welmoed Terpstra, Mirthe Vos, Jöran Zeeuw, Sophie Dochterom and Sophie Roumans. All studying different disciplines; art and economics, fashion design, spatial design and product design.

Sophie Roumans: “In the summer of 2015 the ‘refugee-crisis’ was all over the news. We had the feeling that we had to do something… We didn’t know each other back then, but a school project about re-defining society brought us together, all having the same frustrations about the topic.
We started to research the situation and visited many talks and meet-ups to learn more about initiatives. One in particular was very important for our thought process, “De vluchtroute” in Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Here we found our leading goal; changing the tone of the debate. To provide another sound in the pool of negativity. But how? We learnt that a lot of initiatives aren’t exactly what refugees are looking for. So we tried to set aside ourselves and our opinions of what we think is good and started listening to their stories and needs. When we heard what they wanted, our story began.”


At Creative Mornings we will talk about our creative learning process, what we have encountered and the challenges we are facing while taking this platform to its next level. We would like to brainstorm about how we can grow and discuss our future goals.

photo: Aad van Vliet

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