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White Balls on Walls

by Sarah Vos
Netherlands, 2022, 90’
Presented at the 16th edition of Lo schermo dell’arte, 2023
Screenplay Sarah Vos
Cinematography Sander Snoep
Editing Gys Zevenbergen
We thank Pordenone Docs Fest for their collaboration.
Sound Mark Wessner
Music Alan McLachlan
Producer Frank van den Engel
vo: Dutch; st: English, Italian
From 2019 to 2022, director Sarah Vos followed Rein Wolfs, the new director of the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, and his team as they attempt to resolve the lack of gender diversity of the museum, in which 90% of the works of art of the vast collection had been made by white men. To correct this imbalance, the museum allocated 50% of its budget to buy works by non-Western artists and diversified its hiring practices. The film documents meetings in which issues such as racial, ethnic and gender representation are addressed, as well as the adoption of appropriate language: should “sex worker” replace “prostitute” in certain titles? They conduct research in the archives of art by women artists, often not even catalogued, and work to rearrange the collection along a new thematic path to contextualize the cultural, historical and religious circumstances in which the works ware created. White Balls on Walls shows the successes and failures of this difficult process. We thank Pordenone Docs Fest for their collaboration.
Sarah Vos’s films have been showcased at international festivals such as IDFA, CPH:DOX, Krakow Film Festival, Jerusalem Film Festival.
Selected Filmography
2021-22 Konig Op De Dam; 2019 De zaak Tuitjenhorn, 2017 Hier ben Ik