Setting and imagery
Get inspired by Melanie Bonajo’s imagery, create surrealistic photography and discover her work methods.

Melanie Bonajo tries to shake up our concept of society in her experimental movie trilogy Night Soil. These movies are made from a photographer's perspective; her sets are constructed and colourful and the models in it are used to convey her story.

During this workshop you will be challenged to think about the imagery in Bonajo’s movies. You will get to answer questions such as: how does Melanie Bonajo convey her message to her audience? How does she create her story through imagery? These questions will help you to convert the imagery in her movies to photography. 

Please note: this workshop is given in English from 10.00 – 13.00 hrs. and in Dutch from 13.00 – 16.00 hrs. Please sign up for the correct time and language:


By using attributes and materials like plants, clothes, and face paint, you will create a surrealistic set based on Melanie Bonajo’s movies, and photograph each other.

The workshop will start with a short tour given by the museum educator where you are introduced to the work of Melanie Bonajo. During this short tour you have to opportunity to see some parts of her movies. Together with your group you will dig deeper into the context and imagery of her work and get inspired for the workshop.

After that, you will get to work in groups of 2-3 people. During the photography assignment you will decide together with your group how to create an image using the available materials. You can create a series of photographs or one strong photograph in which you capture the entire story. If the weather allows it, you will get a unique opportunity to use the backyard to take photographs.

After the workshop you will evaluate each other’s work. All of the results will be sent to you after the workshop. 

Since time is limited during this workshop, you have the opportunity to see the movies of Melanie Bonajo in Foam after the workshop.

Still from Night Soil / Fake Paradise, 2015 © Melanie Bonajo / Courtesy AKINCI, Amsterdam

There is a limited amount of spots available, so be sure to sign up on time. Tickets are only valid for reserved dates. Unfortunately it is not possible to change dates or cancel without charge after your purchase has been made.

Foam provides Olympus OM-D cameras for this workshop. Of course, you are free to use your own camera if you prefer. In that case, remember to bring a fully charged battery, an empty SD card and a transfer cable. The use of your own materials is at your own risk.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Delta Lloyd, City of Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Setting and imagery