About the part that art plays in a globalising society

Framer Framed

Jakup Ferri's presentation at Werkplaats Molenwijk (2023). Photo: Cas Bool
Selection of embroideries made between 2011 - 2023 Photography- Leonit Ibrahimi
Jakup_Embroidery Session
De Molenwijk door elkaar
De Molenwijk praat door elkaar
De Molenwijk door elkaar
Foto: Padrick Stam

A dialogue of embroidery: from Kosovo to Molenwijk with Jakup Ferri

April 2023 marked the start of Jakup Ferri’s residency in Werkplaats Molenwijk. For the contemporary artist, lecturer at the Pristina Art Academy and guest advisor at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, the residency in Molenwijk was a return to a familiar district. 12 years earlier, Jakup lived in Amsterdam Noord – on the then undeveloped Van de Pekstraat. His stay in the Molenwijk began a wonderful reunion for him to Amsterdam Noord.


Dutch text by: Padrick Stam

For the past few months, Werkplaats Molenwijk was home for Jakup Ferri. “I heard through Framer Framed that it is a quiet and green neighbourhood where many people with a refugee background live. And that it’s very diverse.” During the months he was able to call himself a ‘Molenwijker’, Jakup experienced the neighbourhood in his own way. “It is wonderfully peaceful and quiet. It’s different from the city at large, but for me, it was a relaxing place.” He also enjoyed the Molenwijk’s location between the greenery of the Twiske and the hustle and bustle of the city.

During his residency, Jakup worked with the Molenwijk door elkaar group, a community project organised by Framer Framed and Stichting BMP. The group, composed mainly of women from the neighbourhood, gather weekly at the Werkplaats. They worked with Jakup on a number of embroidered textile pieces. Throughout this process, Jakup worked on sketches and drawings, which were then applied to fabrics. The ladies of the group then embroidered the lines of the drawings, bringing them to life.

Jakup Ferri’s presentation at Werkplaats Molenwijk (2023). Photo: Cas Bool

In the past, the group embroidered a tapestry for the neighbourhood and they found it valuable to work on a new project together. Some group members took the fabrics home to continue the work. Even though it was a new way of working for Jakup, he enjoyed the collaborative process. “It was laid-back. I didn’t work with hard deadlines for this project, which suits my own working method. I will develop the drawings I made in the Molenwijk into a new artwork at a later date.” So, in addition to his collaboration with the residents of the Molenwijk, Jakup has laid the foundations for a future work.

Wandkleed gemaakt door de ‘Molenwijk door elkaar’ groep

Borduursessies met de ‘Molenwijk door elkaar’ groep. Foto: Padrick Stam

“My individual works are part of a bigger picture and a continuous process.” Jakup’s works constitute a complete practice. They are a reflection of his nomadic existence and his personal development as an artist. In this bigger picture, Jakup has already collaborated with women from Albania, Kosovo, Burkina Faso, Suriname, and now the Molenwijk. Jakup’s artwork is characterised by a simplicity and directness. He portrays people in their isolation, estranged from their surroundings. In the Molenwijk, too, he felt somewhat alienated from his environment. “I don’t easily feel at home anywhere. Because I’ve lived in many different places for so long, you kind of lose the feeling of being at home. So I’m also not looking for that feeling.” Jakup prefers to meet people at a distance. “You don’t always need a conversation to get to know someone.” Still, sometimes it felt like coming home to the Werkplaats. During his residency, he had to leave the Molenwijk several times due to personal circumstances. “When I came back to the neighbourhood, it did feel like home. For the upcoming period at least!”

Jakup’s drawings, whose outlines were embroidered by Molenwijk residents, will travel to Kosovo where they will be finished in a traditional style by local artisans to create colourful tapestries. The tapestries will soon tell a poetic story about the Molenwijk, Kosovo and all the places Jakup has visited on his personal and artistic journey. The works will return to the Molenwijk at the end of the year for all to see. And Jakup? He will begin a two-month residency in Bern, Switzerland. “I don’t know much about it at the moment, I like to be surprised. I’m quite spontaneous. I find a space and see what happens, which is exactly what I did in the Molenwijk.”

Borduurwerk van dames uit de Molenwijk. Foto: Padrick Stam

Translation: Evie Evans

Amsterdam Noord / Molenwijk / Residencies /


Soup in the Molenwijk
The Molenwijk door elkaar group organises a program with soup, stories and recipes to share with the neighbourhood.
Werkplaats Molenwijk 5-Year Celebration
A festive program including a parade, a book launch, a walking tour, workshops and more!
Revealing of tapestry: De Molenwijk door elkaar
With Stichting BMP and Werkplaats Molenwijk community in OBA Molenwijk


Jakup Ferri