For Queering the City of Literature 2020 authors Ayden Carlo, Kalib Batta, Roelof ten Napel and Welmoed Jonas wrote brand new texts about queer bodies and the city. Through queer literature they give you a whole new experience of Utrecht.

These texts were bundled in the publication Zine and on 19 November bookstore Savannah Bay presented it festively during What You See. The audience not only heard the work of these literary superstars, there was also music by Kopje Onder, designer Yasmin Katlich shared Zine’s design process and writer Anne Chris van Doesburg revealed a tip of the veil of QtCoL 2021. All audience members were given the publication to take home with them!

This event was also streamed live.

It was also possible to follow the foot steps of the writers and read their texts in a set out walking route. Here, you can find more info.


by: Savannah Bay | with: Kalib Batta, Roelof ten Napel, Ayden Carlo, Welmoed Jonas, Anne Chris van Doesburg and Kopje Onder | design Zine: Yasmin Katlich | photo: Kris van der Voorn

Language: Dutch

Thu 19 Nov
75 min

Theater Kikker
Grote zaal

Price includes Zine!


RADICAL TENDERNESS | various artists

Under the theme of Radical Tenderness, different perspectives come together in this energetic, moving and sincere one-night-only combo programme. With the dance performance Together by Donna chittick, a spin off of WAT WE DOEN’s Hoe ik talent voor het leven kreeg and writer Edward van de Vendel about his new book Gloei.

In Together, four dancers show us the women of today: confident, tough, fragile but most of all: together. In a contemporary mix of urban dance styles, choreographer Donna Chittick reveals the everyday life of women and the choices that come their way.
Especially for What You See, theatre company Wat We Doen and ICK Amsterdam create a spin-off of their project Hoe ik talent voor het leven kreeg. Through text and movement, four new Dutch citizens from the LGBTQIA+ community poetically share their experiences of coming to the Netherlands. In addition, Edward van de Vendel reads from his new book Gloei (Glow) in which young queer people share frankly what glows in their lives: love, anger, ambition. His lecture is embedded the drawn portraits of Floor de Goede.

The evening will be presented by (voice) actor, comedian and presenter Jürgen Theuns.

Together: choreography: Donna Chittick | dance: Liza Panjoel, Fiona Dekkers, Cedella Steur & Hannah Chandra Mahler| artistic coaching: Alida Dors | dramaturgy: Peggy Olislaegers | costumes: Kenley Chittick | light design: Simcha Hoed | music: Gabriel Damude / DJ Lovesupreme | photo: Annelies Verhelst || WAT WE DOEN : direction and text: Floris van Delft | choreography: Emio Greco / ICK Amsterdam | with: Amr Yehia, Farouk Ebaiss, Salih Er, Yusuf Grygorii Liëonovitsj Truba | costume concept: Parsa Adibi ||Gloei by and with: Edward van de Vendel en Floor de Goede || Host: Jürgen Theuns

Special thanks to: Fonds Podiumkunsten, BackBone, Solid Ground Movement and CC Amstel (Together).

It is interesting how strongly Chittick puts sisterhood in the centre: even if one of the dancers radically goes her own way.

Marijn Lems - theaterkrant.nl

The Netherlands
Dutch + English

Fri 20 nov
75 min

Theater Kikker
Grote zaal

IemeRADICAL TENDERNESS | various artists

YONIVERSE | Cherella Gessel

Yoniversal healing is needed! In Yoniverse, Cherella Gessel, Afro-Caribbean, woman and queer, together with like-minded people, goes on a search for balance and healing within the western, patriarchal, capitalist, heteronormative, racist society in which we live. Become part of an intimate cleansing ritual that takes place in an alternative universe. Here hip hop rhymes are healing spells, purple mist is cleansing and all traumas and negative vibrations are shaken away.

concept, performance & text: Cherella Gessel | coaching & direction: Samora Bergtop | rap coach: Kay Slice | music: Sliscobars | host & gate keeper: dragperformer Laeno Lolani Lashaaawn | image: Elisabetta Agyeiwaa

“Yoniverse: my healing hiphop concert for black, queer bitches!”

Cherella Gessel


The Netherlands
Language No Problem

Sat 21 nov
45 min

Theater Kikker
Grote zaal

IemeYONIVERSE | Cherella Gessel

TENDER MEN | Koen De Preter (Dutch premiere)

Tender Men fascinates and confuses, harasses and triggers on the border between bro, bromance and romance. It shows the fearlessness, beauty and poetry of touch, but also the chaos and misunderstandings associated with it. Together with the four dancers, Koen De Preter creates a universe in which masculinity and sensitivity are central. How would men interact with each other, in a world without homophobia?

choreography & concept: Koen De Preter | dance & choreography: Benoît Nieto Duran, Johhan Rosenberg, Po-Nien Wang, Souleymane Sanogo | dramaturgical advice: Nienke Reehorst | light design: Fudetani Ryoya | costume design: Atelier Marie Dries | technical support: Eva Dermul | project management: Lenneke Rasschaert | distribution: Vincent Company | photo: Stanislav Dobak

coproduction: C-TAKT, DansBrabant, Perpodium | residencies: KVS Brussels, Cultuurcentrum ccBe Berchem, de Warande Turnhout, Dommelhof Neerpelt, De Nieuwe Vorst Tilburg, De Grote Post Ostend, Kunstencentrum STUK Leuven | with support of: Flanders, state of the arts and the city of Antwerp

They treat each other tenderly, empathically and tolerantly. In trashy and cliché moments of spectacle, but also in abstract moments, always playful and mischievous.

Tuur Devens - theaterkrant.nl

Language No Problem

Sun 22 nov
60 min

Theater Kikker
Grote zaal

IemeTENDER MEN | Koen De Preter (Dutch premiere)

WHAT YOU SEE RESEARCH | Barry de Bruin & Steff Geelen

In collaboration with Het Huis Utrecht, What You See Festival invited two artists to take part in a mini-residence. On this afternoon they will present their projects.

Writer and theatre maker Steff Geelen creates a new story of scars as a place where the skin meets itself again. On the basis of interviews with queer persons Steff investigates the healing power of the scar and the worlds hidden beneath the surface.

Singer and performer Barry de Bruin develops a methodology for singing and moving, The Smart Body, which focuses on the relationship between the breath and the spine. Barry explores his identity as the mammal human, playing with the social context of our being.

met: Steff Geelen en Barry de Bruin | begeleiding: Annette van Zwoll en Milone Reigman | in coproductie met Het Huis Utrecht | photo Barry de Bruin: Maarten de Leeuw

“I believe the wound is also a place where the skin reencounters itself”

Ocean Vuong - On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous

The Netherlands
Language: Dutch & English

Sat 21 nov
90 minutes

Het Huis Utrecht
Main Theatre

IemeWHAT YOU SEE RESEARCH | Barry de Bruin & Steff Geelen


Humankind has been putting everybody in labelled boxes since ancient times. Starting by teaching children nursery rhymes about ‘boys and girls’. But how do these boxes relate to identity? Are they useful in defining your identity? Students from various HKU studies create a world in which you, as a spectator, stand face to face with your own thinking patterns. Welcome to: HOKTOPIE!

This performance installation is only accessible for 4 people at a time. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the preview on Saturday, November 7, but there will still be the presentation at What You See Festival on Sunday, November 22.

by and with Stella van den Berg, Nik Beumer, Minke Bol, Sharona Maquette Diop, Dan Majdub, Danique van der Mik, Samantha Peeters, Joran Renckens, Evan Rouschop, Arthur van Spanjen, Freek Veneman en Kim Winder | schools: HKU Music & Technology Image & Media Technology, Interactive Performance Design, Writing for Performance and Theatre Design | coaches: Kim Vogels, Trudy Hekman en Mart-Jan Zegers | advice: Vincent Wijlhuizen | image: Danique van der Mik

Sun 22 Nov
Het Huis Utrecht
16:00 – 16:30
16:30 – 17:00
17:00 – 17:30
17:30 – 18:00

IemeHOKTOPIE | HKU Students


During this Queer Cafe in the library of Utrecht we celebrate the opening of the video-exhibition Ik mag zijn wie er is  (I can be whoever is there), in which Erik Alkema and Eveline van de Putte portray five elderly transgender persons. Presenter Teddy Tops questions Eveline about her books Stormachtig Stil (Stormy Silence) and Nieuwe Namen (New Names) that entail the personal stories of elderly queer / transgender individuals. In addition, photographer Marvel Harris tells about the newly released photo book Marvel, as a result of the Inner Journey project. Sharona Maguette Diop and Dan Madjub will talk about Hoktopie, a project of 12 students of the HKU as part of What You See. The evening will be concluded with a literary performance by Senna Pauli .

The Queer Cafe will also be streamed through the online channels of What You See Festival. There will be room for Q&A, so drop in and join the conversation from wherever you are!

This Queer Cafe is realised in collaboration with feminist bookstore Savannah Bay and the Utrecht Library | presentation: Teddy Tops | guests: a.o. Erik Alkema and Eveline van de Putte, Marvel Harris, Vincent Wijlhuizen, Sharona Maguette Diop, Dan Madjub and Senna Pauli.


Language: Dutch

Sat 21 nov
150 min

Bibliotheek Utrecht


I CAN BE WHOEVER IS THERE | Erik Alkema & Eveline van de Putte

The exhibition Ik mag zijn wie er is (I can be whoever is there) shows portraits of elderly trans gender people. They were pioneers who discovered their feelings at a time when there were hardly any examples and role models. In the project Elderly Trans Genders, visual artist, film and theatre maker Erik Alkema and storyteller and writer Eveline van de Putte recorded their  stories in a series of film portraits. Eveline van de Putte also published a book about them. This video exhibition about their insecurities, desires and courage will be on view in the Library of Utrecht (Neude) for a month from 19 November.

made by: Erik Alkema & Eveline van de Putte | with: Hanna, Jacqueline & Gonnie, Angela, Niek & Betty, Sofie | thanks to: Utrecht Library

The Eldery Trans Gender Project is a collaboration between the Empowerment Foundation and SEENIK and is supported by Roze50+, ANBO, AFK, IHLIA en COC The Netherlands.

The Netherlands
Language: Dutch
(English subtitles)

Thu 19 Nov – Wed 16 Dec

Opening times:
Mo – Sat: 9:00h – 21:00h
Sun: 10:00h – 18:00h

Library Neude (Utrecht)


IemeI CAN BE WHOEVER IS THERE | Erik Alkema & Eveline van de Putte


Queering the City of Literature is an initiative of Savannah Bay, and allows you to experience your familiar city with different, queer eyes. In June, authors Kalib Batta, Ayden Carlo, Welmoed Jonas and Roelof ten Napel hung their specially written texts in places in Utrecht that have a personal meaning for them. These routes will return during What You See Festival 2020 and can be walked at any moment of the day for free.

Interested in more background information? Then buy a 1 euro ticket and come to one of the four introductions to the project!

Queering the City is a yearly event initiated by Savannah Bay | authors 2020: Welmoed Jonas, Roelof ten Napel, Ayden Carlo en Kalib Batta


The Netherlands
Language: Dutch

Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
15 min

Theater Kikker



Over the past few months an international group of youngsters met online for the workshop series Anatomy of Togethernes. Led by the choreographers Monica Gillette and Gary Joplin, they explored new ways of dancing in the digital space and shared their questions and wishes around gender identity and expression. During What You See Festival you get a sense of the creative proces that they were a part of.  On several locations within the festial they zoom in on there Gender Talent and Gender Joy! Take a look at the exposition, join the workshop and watch the video-interviews. More info follows.

Anatomy of Togetherness is a collaboration between Theaterfestival Boulevard & What You See Festival | initiative, concept and online facilitators: Monica Gillette & Gary Joplin | thanks to: Daniel Mariblanca, Tommy Noonan and Murielle Elizéo


The Netherlands & Germany
Language No Problem

Theater Kikker | Online