Witte de With Contemporary Art
First Things First
First Things First

First Things First seeks to engage with decoloniality. Departing from actions and discussions about the decolonization of higher education, the collective continues to challenge and raise awareness about the colonilaity of power, being and knowledge in different social domains of the Dutch society and beyond. First Things First consists of Katayoun Arian (researcher, independent curator, writer), Louise Autar (activist, organizor), and Max de Ploeg (activist and political/cultural programmer).

Katayoun Arian is a researcher, curator and writer with an interest in how diversity is undestood, an understanding which often misuses and neglects the reality and contradictions of displacement as it relates to under-exposed histories and the (de)coloniality of knowledge, being and power. Her background in art history and social science/anthropology coalesces into a wide range of projects including exhibitions, discursive events, screenings, reading circles, and other forms of interdisciplinary and collaborative work. Recent curatorial projects include: I Speak in Tongues (37PK, 2017), Voices Outside the Echo Chamber (Framer Framed, 2016) and The End of This Story (And the beginning of all Others) (Framer Framed, 2015).

Louise Autar is an organizer and activist who is currently predominantly involved with diversifying academia in Utrecht University. In this light, she is also involved with the preparation of the national student conference on Diversity in Academia in the Netherlands. Her interests include decoloniality, displacement and material religion, especially in Caribbean and Dutch contexts. She is currently writing her thesis to complete the Research Master Gender & Ethnicity. In addi- tion to being a member of First Things First, she is currently helping the Sarnámihuis in The Hague with the preparation of the Indian History Month.

Max de Ploeg is an activist and organizer. He was the founder and program co-coordinator of the Decolonial School that took place between March and June 2016 in Amsterdam. Since the Maagdenhuis occupation at the University of Amsterdam, early 2015, he has helped in setting up the Diversity Commission at the University of Amsterdam and worked as an assistant and coordinator during the commission’s research. He has worked as a radio-host and workshop-organizer, and has been involved in setting up symposia, lectures, community events and other collaborative projects. Currently he is a political & cultural programmer at Studio/K, a non- profit cultural center.