Angels of Amsterdam


“Angels of Amsterdam” is a VR-experience which brings you to a truthful recreation of a 17th century café in Amsterdam. Here, you share key episodes in the lives of Maritgen Jans, Juliana, Elsje Christiaens and Pussy Sweet: four fierce angels who were not getting their fair share of the Golden Age’s gold and took their destiny in their own hands. The characters respond to eye-contact, and share their tales in the form of song, dance or musical performance.

These stories show the dark side of the wealth and liberty which is generally associated with the port- and trading city of Amsterdam. The power relations between rich and poor, as well as between men and women in that young capitalist society also concerns us. Details from these stories now may seem odd, but the essence effortlessly transcends time frames. These stories have brought us to where we are now.

Angels of Amsterdam is a critically acclaimed Immersive experience (VR), which had its world premiere at the 78th Venice Biennale. It is the first Dutch VR-work ever to be selected for the official competition. The work has received praise for bringing together historical storytelling and groundbreaking VR-innovation in an unprecedented way. The work was created by Avinash Changa, VR maker and director of WeMakeVR, and Anna Abrahams, filmmaker and VR programmer for EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam.


The developers describe the content like this:

Angels contains one moment with a very brief moment of female nudity, comparable to nudity in classical paintings. This moment is required to emphasise the theme of female/male inequality in that specific scene. Visually the moment has been styled in a responsible, tasteful manner, supporting the artistic context of the work.