Sander Holsgens

Sander Hölsgens

Teacher Creative Business
Sander Hölsgens is an anthropologist and educator working across experimental media, installation, and performance to. At HU, he currently teaches the courses ‘Professional Development’, ‘Exploring Cultural Differences’, and ‘Interactive Experiences’.


Sander Hölsgens (PhD, UCL) is an anthropologist who mobilises experimental media, installation, and performance to scrutinise socio-cultural practices of resistance. Trained as a documentary filmmaker and having worked as a journalist for over a decade, he works at HU to interrogate the transformative possibilities of education. Sander is one of the founding members of Pushing Boarders, a platform tracing the social impact of skateboarding worldwide, while curating the film festival Field Recordings since 2018. Sander acted as the Visual and New Media editor of Cultural Anthropology between 2015 and 2019, and is the author of ‘Skateboarding in Seoul: A Sensory Ethnography’ (2021).

Next to his lectureship at HU, Sander also teaches at Leiden University.

Fields of expertise

  • Anthropology and cultural studies
  • Mixed-media storytelling
  • Engaged and critical pedagogy
  • The politics and mediation of sports (skateboarding)

Research themes

Sander’s current research continues to explore:

  • the anthropology of skateboarding as a contested practice of resistance
  • engaged and critical pedagogy as transformative approaches to education
  • the feminist critiques of emerging media technologies
Project title Pushing Boarders
Keywords Talking. Skateboarding.
Years of completion 2017-
General project description A platform that brings together the most and least heard voices in skateboarding. Including panel discussions, workshops, skate sessions, film festivals, photo exhibitions, podcasts, mental health campaigns, and more.
Your Role in project Founding member & co-director

Other recent projects

  • Field Recordings Festival – 2018- – Rotterdam – Curator
  • Film Place Collective – 2015- – London – Editor

Key publications

Professional publications

Scholarly publications

  • Hölsgens, S., Nguyen, P.T., Paveck, H., Loewen, R., Sborgi, A. (2022). Amidst: Afterimage, Affect, Architecture. In: Chee, L. & Mindrup, M. (eds). Remote Practices. London: Lund Humpries.
  • Hölsgens, S. (2021). Skateboarding in Seoul: A Sensory Ethnography. Groningen: University of Groningen Press.
  • Hölsgens, S. (ed.). (2021). In Whose Name? Cultural Anthropology, September 2021.
  • Hölsgens, S. (2020). ‘This body was just a body: Sky Hopinka’s Dislocation Blues’. In: Visual Anthropology Review, Vol.36-2, pp.412-417.
  • Hölsgens, S., De Wildt, S., & Witschge, T. (2020). ‘Walking the Newsroom: Towards a Sensory Experience of Journalism’. In: Journal for Artistic Research, Issue 21, online.
  • Hölsgens, S., De Wildt, S., & Witschge, T. (2020). ‘Towards an experientialist understanding of journalism: Exploring arts-based research for journalism studies’. In: Journalism Studies, Vol, 21-7, pp.928-946.
  • Askari, L. & Hölsgens, S. (2020). ‘Bridge to Kobani: Future Imaginaries and Visual Approaches to Kurdish Migration’. In: Arkomanis, E. (Ed.). Migrations in New Cinema, pp.55-64. London: Cours de Poétique.
  • Hölsgens, S. (2019). ‘Skill acquisition and Korean postcolonial architecture: toward a phenomenology of skateboarding in Seoul, South Korea’. In: Journal of Sport and Social Issues, Vol.43-5, pp.368-385.
  • Hölsgens, S. (2018). ‘Towards a spatial understanding of colour: the blue bedroom in Yasujiro Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon’. In: New Approaches to Cinematic Spaces, pp. 205- 216. London: Routledge.


  • PhD by design, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2018)
  • MA, Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester (2014)
  • MA, Artistic Research, Maastricht University (2013)
  • BA, Arts and Culture, Maastricht University (2012)