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Raquel van Haver

Raquel van Haver is a Colombian artist who lives and works in Amsterdam Southeast. The stories she tells with her art are influenced by Caribbean, African, South American and Western cultures. In her drawings, paintings and collage art she uses different materials, often in a raw and dark way, to create worlds in which culture and identity are explored. Her work is exhibited both domestically and abroad.

Canal Pride vs Greek Mythology in relation to the theme of “good citizenship”

Although her work is mostly monumental, the Canal Pride vs Greek Mythology series consists of “smaller” drawings that highlight the exuberant celebration of love, togetherness, lust and pride. Raquel noted that, in contrast to events like carnival as a celebration in Greek mythology, in the north of the Netherlands there are only a few big events in terms of collective celebration. From this perspective she drew Eros, Dionysus and Pan in the context of the Canal Pride.

While Eros (better known as Cupid) made people fall in love by shooting an arrow into their hearts, Dionysus used wine and parties to bring people together. Pan could be found on such matters, which can be explained by his lusty urge for lavish partying and (sexual) company. Eros, Dionysus and Pan are all three gods from Greek mythology who, according to Raquel, illustrate the experience of the Canal Parade during the Gay Pride in Amsterdam.

The Canal Parade contributes to the free spirit of the city of Amsterdam and celebrates, tells stories and ensures the freedom of the LGBT+ community. Celebrating the existence of this community, where someone may or may not be a part of, is in both cases an act of good citizenship.

Interview with Raquel

Photos by Les Adu

Video by Fidelio Faustino