Tools for Collective Learning

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Available from 7 November 2022 onwards.

Tools for Collective Learning
The Name Change Initiative of Kunstinstituut Melly, the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

This publication is also available in Dutch.

On January 27, 2021, the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam was renamed Kunstinstituut Melly. The name change was premised on the criteria that the former name impinged upon a pursuit of social inclusivity, which is vital to the relevance and contribution of cultural practice in general. The renaming was and is informed by local debates and international discussions; it is mobilized by ambitions that relate to social transformation, and by the felt responsibility in visualizing these changes, since the role as a contemporary art institution is presenting and discerning the present. This book is about the arrival at such criteria and ideas, as much as it is about the intricacies involved in our institution’s name change. As suggested by the book’s title, Tools for Collective Learning, the aim for this publication is to be more of a toolbox than a document. It is made with the conviction that all vital change happens through collective learning; that recording oral histories and discursively articulating embedded experiences can further this cause. The name Melly was inspired by Melly Shum Hates Her Job, an artwork by Ken Lum. This artwork takes the form of a billboard, and it has been displayed on the institution’s façade since 1990.


  • A Name is a Debt by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
  • Art as a Platform for Change by Rosa de Graaf
  • The Renaming Process by Vivian Ziherl
  • Public Reports & Announcements
  • Troika by Prem Krishnamurthy
  • Process in Process, A Statement on the Kunstinstituut Melly Identity System, 2020–2021, by its designers Callum Dean, Wooseok Jang, Nina Schouten, Alexander Tanazefti, Emily Turner, and Yan Zhihan
  • Undoing Timelines, Another Time by Boutaina Hammana
  • Collective Learning in Practice, A conversation between Yahaira Brito Morfe, Tayler Calister, Stijn Kemper, Jessy Koeiman, and Aqueene Wilson
  • Positionalities, Potentialities A conversation between Teana Boston-Mammah, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Alex Klein, and Rolando Vázquez Melken
  • Building Histories by Michiel Huijben
  • Acknowledgments by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy
  • Melly Team

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, with Rosa de Graaf, Jessy Koeiman, Jeroen Lavèn, and Vivian Ziherl

Veronika Babayan, Teana Boston-Mammah, Yahaira Brito Morfe, Tayler Calister, Callum Dean, Rosa de Graaf, Boutaina Hammana, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Michiel Huijben, Wooseok Jang, Stijn Kemper, Alex Klein, Jessy Koeiman, Prem Krishnamurthy, Nina Schouten, Alexander Tanazefti, Emily Turner, Rolando Vázquez Melken, Aqueene Wilson, Yan Zhihan, Vivian Ziherl

Editorial Coordinators
Milou van Lieshout, Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos

Copy editors
Annemarie van den Berg, Harriet Foyster, Rosa de Graaf, Milou van Lieshout, Alex Klein

James Hannan, Milou van Lieshout, Marie Louise Schoondergang, Jet van den Toorn

Julie Peeters, with Laura Martens

Vier-Türme GmbH, Benedict Press, Münsterschwarzach, Germany

Jap Sam Books, Kunstinstituut Melly

The building of Kunstinstituut Melly in 2022. Photographer: Bob Goedewaagen

LL Ruder Plakat (
Originally created in the early 1950s by Emil Ruder (1914–1970) and his students at the Basel School of Design, Ruder’s Plakatschrift was conceived as a tool for teaching typography at the school’s print workshop. A pioneer of asymmetrical composition, Ruder routinely challenged graphic design conventions of the era, bringing a holistic approach to designing and teaching that consisted of philosophy, theory, and a systematic practical methodology.

Every effort has been made to respect copyrights while remaining true to the spirit of this publication. Please contact the publisher if you nevertheless feel that there has been an error or infringement of copyright.

All rights reserved. © 2022 the editor, the writers, Kunstinstituut Melly, and Jap Sam Books.

ENG 978-94-92852-69-4

Print run, 2022

This book is available at:

Kunstinstituut Melly

Jap Sam Books, Prinsenbeek, the Netherlands
And also via the following distribution network of Jap Sam Books:

The Netherlands & Belgium
CB, Culemborg

United Kingdom & Ireland
Art Data, London

Spain & Portugal
Distribution Art Books, A Coruña

Mexico, Latin America
Nicolas Friedmann, Barcelona

Europe, America, Canada, Asia, Australia, New Zealand
Idea Books, Amsterdam, representatives: Perimeter Distribution (Australia and New Zealand), Helen Fung (China and Hong Kong SAR), Julie Onishi (Japan and Asia), Philip Galliani (USA and Canada), Stefan Schempp (Ger- many and Austria), Sébastien Richard (France, Switzerland and Francophone Belgium)