Street names are important because of their ubiquity and can be associated with happy or unhappy times. In this exhibition, Frederick Calmes wants to take you into the history behind these street names and show how he looks at these streets and buildings today.

30/06/2023 5:30 pm - 28/07/2023 8:00 pm


Expo opening Friday June 30th

Linnaeusstraat, Vrolikstraat, Dapperstraat and Camperstraat. Some of the names of streets in Amsterdam Oud-Oost where Hotel Arena is located.

What do you know about these street names, in which you move every day or where you might live?

In collaboration with project OOSTCAST, we invite you to learn more about the history behind these street names, among others, and the underexposed stories connected to them. OOSTCAST consists of a walking route, a podcast about street names and 7 illustrations by artist Fré Calmes that will be on display at Hotel Arena from June 30th. He responds from the perspective as a black artist to the stories behind these street names.

Street names are important because of their ubiquity and can be associated with happy or unhappy times. Since I have moved to the Netherlands, street names have taken on a different meaning for me. Most are named after men who have been violent towards my African ancestors. In this exhibition I want to show how I look at these streets and buildings in today’s context.

You can scan two QR-codes for each work: one with information about the scientist the street is named after and several other locations in the East district. A second QR-code with an Dutch explanation by artist Fré Calmes about the work in question.

Photo: Silver Bosch

Fré Calmes

Fré Calmes (they/them) was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti, grew up in Curaçao, has lived in Amsterdam-East since 2013 where they work as an artist and designer. Fré is polytheistic, they grew up with Catholicism and the voodoo religion.

Through voodoo, Fré can come into contact with his ancestors and Fré’s spirit guides such as Hiro Kami, Darcko Koi, Jack Noir and Freda Alexandra. Fré practices his own version of voodoo or as they call it, “Neo voodooism”. “Neo voodooism” means performing traditional voodoo rituals in an artistic form. For this exhibition, Fré worked as Darcko Koi.




The project ties in with the exhibition Zwartheid Onder Ogen Komen in The Black Archives (2022).

OOSTCAST Koloniaal Oud-Oost is a collaboration between de municipality of Amsterdam, BUROBRAAK (concept, design and execution), Beyond Walls (editing and podcast), Van Gisteren (final editing) and The Black Archives (content).