Julée Al-Bayaty de Ridder

Portretfoto Julée Al-Bayaty de Ridder
The programme is very socially relevant and really focuses on how art students and scholars can participate in socio-political issues. 
Julée Al-Bayaty de Ridder
Art and Visual Culture (research)
Study start date
Study end date
Previous education
Amsterdam University College (bachelor), International School of The Hague (high school)

Dutch and Iraqi student Julée is doing a double Research Master's programme in Art and Visual Culture and Social and Political Philosophy.

What do you like about the programme and why?

What I really appreciate about this programme is that the courses, teachers and fellow students in the Art & Visual Culture specialization are geared towards novel and experimental ways of analyzing and engaging with art. The theories that we learn are often very engaged with contemporary issues, and this gives me the feeling that the programme is very socially relevant and really focuses on how art students and scholars can participate in socio-political issues. 

What do you think about the atmosphere in class?

I often hear that there is a lot of competition between students in Master's programmes, but until now I have not experienced this. In fact, I really enjoy the classes; the atmosphere is serious but also playful. We are encouraged to express ourselves -- whether our opinions are 'mainstream' or perhaps a bit controversial -- and this allows for an open discussion with curious participants. The teachers are also very friendly, approachable and interested in the work of the students.

What do you find most challenging in your Master’s?

What I find most challenging is organizing the internship semester. The programme gives you all the freedom to choose whatever internship you would like to do (whether that be at a university, a research institute, or a museum), and I really appreciate that we get so much freedom. However, it is also quite stressful when having too many options, and not knowing where to start. Also, I'd like to mention that the programme does not offer sufficient funding resources for such an internship. We are strongly encouraged to do an internship outside the Netherlands, but this inevitably means high costs, and unfortunately the programme cannot sufficiently cover such costs. I will be doing my internship from September to December 2023, hopefully as a curatorial assistant at a museum.

Do you already know what your thesis will be about? 

I still don't know what my thesis will be about because I still have to finish my philosophy degree. However, I do think it will be along the lines of the relations between humans and environments and the ways in which contemporary artists are dealing with the troubling climate reality of our times.

What are your plans once have received your Master's degree?

I think it's important that people realise the impact art and culture have on the political realm. Individuals with an art degree are able to critically look at society, at culture and at artworks and are able to convey new ways of looking at and dealing with present troubles. After my degree, I aim to pursue a PhD in art and philosophy where I hope to further research the entangled relations between politics, culture and the environment. I then aim to teach academically.