A report by Floor Fiers

Age of Wonderland
Jan 29, 2018 · 4 min read

Intimacy in current-day society, a rich and astonishing field

ntimacy has a different meaning for every single person on this earth. Exploring the wide range of connotations intimacy seems an incredibly fascinating, but endless study. Today’s Age of Wonderland Talk digs deeper into the topic of intimacy in all its form it takes in our current-day society. What does intimacy mean in different cultures or in different times? Let’s explore!

This morning, hosts Arne Hendriks and Christine Wagner welcome five main guests onto the stage. First is Angelique Spaninks, who is the director of art spaces MU and STRP, and ambassador of Embassy of Intimacy of informs us about her embassy. Mirjana Smolic is a Dutch-Croatian bonding coach introducing the audience to a meditation session and Christiaan Furneaux and Joost Janmaat tell us about their special friendship, Chinara Seidakhmatova, who is an expert on Kyrgyzstan nomadic life, finishes the talk show with her intriguing views on intimacy and love.

Emotion and intuition

Angelique kicks off the talk show with an introduction to the Embassy of Intimacy, a department of World Design Event 2017. She explains it as an enclave of human contact. In the venue, which is located at the Ketelhuisplein, visitors discover all their senses. While throwing yourself in, new experiences open up to you: Visitors meet other visitors, hugs are granted to one another and surprising — possibly intimate — conversations arise. Angelique says her colleague Tom Loois and she get a lot of feedback covering a wide range of emotions. Some visitors leave the place laughing, others are touched and even some are scared.

Emotions is a theme that returns throughout the entire talk. Chinara Seidakhmatova has a rather interesting approach to the involvement in emotions in intimacy, due to her upbringing in a nomad Kyrgyzstan society, in which it is not normal to touch or look each other in the eyes. While some argue emotions are essential in human interaction, Chinara preaches there is no space for emotions and recognition in nature. Distancing oneself from the conscience and therefore the conscious emotions brings us closer to our intuition. Intuition is important, Chinara believes.

Nowadays, people only believe something when having the ability to touch it. This withholds the human from their natural identity, which makes a greater use of instinct. Chinara also talks about what it means to love someone. Loving is to remember the other’s scent, their way of moving and the sound of their voice. Together the three aspects of remembering someone — smell, vision and sound — form the manifestation of human instinct.

Love and friendship

Christiaan and Joost enthusiastically speak about their exploration of love and friendship. When Joost married, he realized the legality that comes with marriage. While friendship is for many at least as important of an institution as marriage, there is really no established legality surrounding friendship. Christiaan and Joost decided to bring change to that. Together with the help of a notary, they captured their friendship in legal documents. Their notary believes Christiaan and Joost might be the first ones worldwide in a stream of social change. According to Christiaan, friendship is a profound way of navigating life and should be more recognized.

In a short hour, Arne, Christine and our guests explored different examples and approaches to the topic of intimacy. Just before the end, an idea sparks in Masha’s head. Masha is the Dutch-Russian artist and mathematician who has been part of Age of Wonderland for three years now. Full of enthusiasm, she proposes to rename the 100 Days of Learning to 100 Days of Intimacy, as intimacy is a rich and astonishing field with the potential for so much more than this one day of learning.


This Day of Learning was part of Age of Wonderland’s Daily Talks.
At the core of World Design Event, People’s Pavilion at Eindhoven’s Strijp-S, Age of Wonderland hosted a daily talk show. Each day focused on a specific topic: Activism, Energy, Ecology, Learning by doing, Sense of self, Community, Intimacy, Empathy and Empowerment.

visit www.ageofwonderland.nl to find out more about this program.

100 DAYS OF LEARNING

A journey from knowledge to wisdom — turning lessons into action

Age of Wonderland

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100 DAYS OF LEARNING

A journey from knowledge to wisdom — turning lessons into action

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