Platform for City Culture and Public Debate
About us

De Dépendance is Rotterdam’s platform for city culture and public debate.

We work from the premise that the city of Rotterdam is intrinsically connected to international trends – from growing flows of capital, labour, goods and information to geopolitical shifts of power and the global climate emergency. In order to explain, interpret and critically reflect on these transformations De Dépendance researches how these trends manifest themselves in our cities and urban regions. 

We do this by initiating public programs with international speakers who engage with today’s major urban issues. We invite well-known and up-and-coming thinkers for lectures, discussions and interviews to debate the political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental challenges of our time. Founded in 2009 by design agency ZUS with the Schieblock as its permanent base, De Dépendance has been travelling through Rotterdam since 2015. With the city as our stage, we aim to bring new perspectives, divergent opinions, alternative solutions and (radical) imaginaries.


Thijs Barendse

Thijs Barendse is an independent programme-maker and the director of De Dépendance. He worked for three years at De Unie, the former venue for debate and dialogue in Rotterdam. Since 2012 he also works as chief-editor of the monthly Rotterdam Late Night talkshow, as secretary of the Pierre Bayle Prize for Art Criticism, and as a board member of WORM, Institute for Avantgardistic Recreation.

Sereh Mandias

Sereh Mandias studied Architecture at the TU Delft and Philosophy at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. In her work she oscillates between theory and praxis, with a specific interest in the creation of the contemporary city. She works as an independent writer and researcher, is the founder of architecture podcast Windoog, editor of Journal for Architecture OASE and teaches at the Chair of Interiors Buildings Cities (Faculty of Architecture and the built Environment, TU Delft) and the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture.

Farid Tabarki

Farid Tabarki is the founding director of Studio Zeitgeist, which researches the Dutch, European and global zeitgeist. Farid presented the parliamentary election edition of MTV Coolpolitics and television program Dare to Think, from Socrates to Sartre. He’s also a member of various supervisory boards and committees, among others the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and Mediamatic.

Geert Maarse

Geert Maarse is a journalist and programme-maker. Having worked for Erasmus University for over five years, he is specialized in connecting scientific research to public debate. He has a background in Business Administration and Cultural Studies. He is the founder and regular host of Studio Erasmus, a monthly science magazine broadcasted by OPEN Rotterdam. He worked on a documentary and published in a number of online and offline media (de Volkskrant, Vers Beton, Erasmus Magazine).

Nuria Ribas Costa

Nuria Ribas Costa is a Spanish Journalist and Jurist based between Rotterdam and Ibiza, her homeland. Formerly at OMA, she currently works as an independent researcher and policy analyst in the fields of urbanism and culture. She is part of urbanism agency Humankind, research group Vigla, the Center for Music Ecosystems and De Dépendance. She is interested in the relationships rural-urban, the politics of space and land and intersectionality in urbanism.

Hani Salih

Hani Salih is a researcher, writer, editor and curator sitting at the edge of a long list of disciplines and practices; Starting with architecture all the way over to systems and policy. Hani is interested in understanding wider contexts to social and cultural phenomena and is currently doing this through his teaching work in architecture and design education.