Farren van Wyk
Farren van Wyk
Farren van Wyk
Farren van Wyk

Having been born in South Africa, but then moved to the Netherlands at a very young age, gave me the feeling of belonging and not belonging to these two different countries. It feels absurd to have this mixed heritage, but it allows me to be the insider and also the outsider and work from these two perspectives.

I identify myself with the coloured community in South Africa. A part of them live in Schauderville, Port Elizabeth. The gangsterism in Schauderville was constructed throughout the apartheid history. Apartheid may have been abolished, but the trauma that originated from years of oppression is very much alive. Not knowing who you are and where you belong is part of that aftermath. With my work I am trying to find a way to connect with and understand the community.

Using analogue black and white photography, my work criticises the historical, anthropological studies that were done in Africa. More importantly, it refers to the idea of being able to participate in building a South African visual, and historical archive. Communities have the right to represent themselves. It is time to show a more humane and truthful way of representation.

Artist Bios

  • Farren van Wyk

    Farren van Wyk was born in South Africa and she has been living in the Netherlands since she was six years old. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography at the University of the Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands, in 2016. During her studies, she went back to South Africa for research and project purposes. This was the beginning of the journey where “I needed to leave home, to go back home.”

    She was part of the 2016 GUP New Dutch Photography Talent Award. Her work has been featured by internationally based i-D, New Dawn Photography, and also with The Bubblegum Club and Through the Lens Collective in Johannesburg, South Africa. Other exhibitions were at De Melkweg Amsterdam, Photo Rotterdam, and with GUP New Dutch Photography Talent Award.

    The first edition of the project Die lewe is nie reg vir my nie, was van Wyk’s graduation project at the University of the Arts in Utrecht in 2016. The project has been part of annual exhibitions at the University, running through 2017 till 2019.


  • Melkweg Expo

    Melkweg Expo

    Melkweg Expo is an exhibition space for contemporary photography and a platform for emerging artists, located in the heart of Amsterdam. With a focus on photography that explores identity, society and pop culture. Characterized by a distinctly playful and accessible approach, Melkweg Expo seeks to unveil high quality art – art that is innovative, engaging and inclusive.

    Melkweg Expo’s main goal is to nurture and promote emerging talent and present them to a broad audience – from admirers of art, photography addicts, art students and self-taught artists, to the casual passers-by of the venue’s central location and music lovers surfacing from the crowd of a Melkweg concert. Melkweg Expo is part of Melkweg.

    Melkweg stands for pop culture in the most broad of senses. Each year, hundreds of concerts, club nights, films and music films, theatre performances, expositions and multidisciplinary events together attract almost 540,000 visitors.

    The venue is located in the only surviving factory building on the Amsterdam canal ring, a former sugar and, later, milk factory.

    In the Melkweg, established names can be seen alongside new talent and emerging styles get the chance to reach a broader audience. The diversity of its programming and visitors have for years made the Melkweg a unique place.

Die lewe is nie reg vir my nie (This life is not right for me)

 archive : 2020

Featuring: Farren van Wyk

Curated by: Fleurie Kloostra Jenny Smets

Presented by: Melkweg Expo
  • Melkweg Expo

Supported by:

  • Dutch Culture USA


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