The taste of eels

In the OBA Oosterdok, while migrating eels pass around us, you will have the opportunity to get to know the mysterious eel in a completely different way. Did you know that this creature was already studied by Aristotle and Freud but no one has ever been able to discover how they reproduce, 6000 kilometers away in the Sargasso Sea? Eels disregard all boundaries: they cross land when they must, change gender and appearance as it suits them, and even seem to make fun of time. For eels, life is fluid and constantly changing. 

Eel park Oosterdok

In the Oosterdok, the Embassy of the North Sea is working with landscape architect Thijs de Zeeuw to create an eel park, a place where humans and the underwater world can meet. In the OBA Oosterdok from OCTOBER 1 – 31, 2022, we present a program with videos, workshops, art, and film to help us continue the conversation with the underwater world.

During the program The taste of eels – to be held during the opening of Anguilla anguilla – you will get to know the eel in a completely different way. Not by tasting them, but by getting to know this elusive creature better through taste and smell: senses they use during their epic journey. In this program, you will get the chance to learn all about their metamorphoses: from willow leaf larva in the Sargasso Sea and glass eel floating on the tidal currents to yellow eel and adult eel in the muddy waters of Amsterdam. Based on stories by Hanne van Beuningen, Blaka Online / Kofi Orunmila, Dewy Elsinga / BUTTERFINGAZ, Darko Lagunas, Theo Rekelhof, Noam Youngrak Son and Thijs de Zeeuw, topics such as migration, queering, transformation, indigenous holistic philosophy, water management ànd urban planning for non-humans will be discussed.

The Embassy of the North Sea was founded on the principle that the North Sea owns itself. We listen to the political voices of plants, animals, microbes, and people in and around the North Sea. In Amsterdam, we’ve been listening to the eel in particular and wondering how we can represent this, and other non-human citizens of Amsterdam. The eel is currently considered “critically endangered” due to the barriers – locks, pumping stations, dams, and dikes – she encounters on her journey, not to mention smuggling, overfishing, and pollution. If we do not want the eel to slip away from us any further, we will have to start thinking and acting in their interests – and those of underwater ecosystems as a whole.

Info & tickets

Start program 3 pm, followed by the opening of Anguilla anguilla at 5 pm

OBA-Theatre, Oosterdokskade 143 Amsterdam

Entrance 5 euro

Language mostly Dutch

Photo: Jakob van Vliet