Reny van der Kamp

I studied special education and social work at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. I’m also a graduate from Artemis Styling Academy, in concept design. Besides my formal education, I skilled myself in many different crafts, mainly textile, through summer schools at Central St Martin’s in London, Edinburgh College of Art and smaller private courses in local communities. The mixture of these different sources enables me to work with a broad perspective. I have worked independently for design companies, Design Academy Eindhoven- master social design, UnAppSc Rotterdam- product design etc. Sustainable development has always been one of my main focus points.

Currently, I work as a staff member at Athenaeum, an independent bookshop in Amsterdam, where I specialize in design, fashion and current affairs. My job includes new business development and program development. We cooperate with Spui25, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Foundation Max van der Stoel (Afrikadag) etc.

My country of focus is Malawi. Together with Dick Wittenberg (the journalist who wrote the renowned book ‘Binnen is het donker, buiten is het licht’ about the village of Dickson in the rural west of Malawi) we started an assistance program for a community of 5 villages in 2007, which ended 5 years later as part of our exit strategy. I still visit Dickson every year, to develop crafts with young women and men, as part of a project that focuses on capacity building. Textile skills such as knitting and sewing are the main skills we work on, but also wood carving.

I am currently doing  a visual research project, of which the first edition is available in the library of the ASC: Utensils. I use photography a lot in my work, and this book documents a Malawian family's life through their utensils.

How did the Great Famine influence daily life on the Aran Islands and what can we learn from it regarding current and future famine risks in Sub Sahara Africa, i.c. Malawi? An interdisciplinary study on social, agricultural and historical issue. (Paper for the module 'Island Studies- a model for our world, a metaphor for our planet' at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Amsterdam).

Personal website.