Meet Up Rotterdam 
11 – 13 October, 2019

Written by thisismama - 04/10/2019

OTP Rotterdam – Feijenoord District

Welcome to Rotterdam! A city that is rapidly and constantly changing, a city of passing people, a city with character, a city of lights. Rotterdam is one of the most diverse cities of Europe, alongside London and Berlin. In 2017, Rotterdam has been characterised as one of the notable creative cities of Europe. And how could it not? It has a large human capital in high-tech and cultural industries, along with a safe, tolerant and diverse milieu including important urban amenities, as well as access to nature and recreational areas. It is a place where creativity and talent thrive. 

But is this truly the situation? By creating a fictional image you may turn fiction into reality. All what is needed is to convince the people that the idea is the actual fact and then they will start to behave accordingly until it becomes real. How this is achieved is an interesting question though. There seems to be no harm in presenting Rotterdam as a notable creative city with all the aforementioned positive qualities. But is there any possibility that the path for reaching and sustaining such a progressive image may be filled with actions that ‘serve the aim’ instead of its residents?

Rotterdam is, let’s say, divided in two, the city above the Maas and the city below the Maas. The first mostly gentrified and upper-class Rotterdam and it´s southern counterpart, the neglected and lower-class. Feijenoord is one of the southern districts and although it is recognized as one of the most diverse areas of Rotterdam, in terms of population, creative practices and possibilities, it is mostly known by its stigma of being ‘problematic’. It’s high percentage of poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment is perceived to be so severe that problem solving policies have taken shape in a nationally funded programme. 

And how is this done? By seeking to improve and support socio-economically Feijenoord district by imposing higher living standards, in other words gentrification. And as the plan unfolds it’s clear that it is focusing on actions serving the middle- and upper-class needs while pushing out lower income households. A contradiction when you realize that Feijenoord’s diverse character is used to attract these new middle- to upper-class residents and investors. Recent studies are pointing out the problematic aspects of such plans and address the need to reform already existing policies. As Liz Ogbu points out in the TED-Talk “What if gentrification was about healing communities instead of displacing them?”, neighbourhoods could flourish in a sustainable way by driving the attention to the residents, their needs and possibilities, in order to generate opportunities for an improved quality of life by enriching the local community and economy contributing to the creation of a sustainable milieu.

And this is our aim. We want to present another image of Feijenoord district which is inspired by ‘its people’, by its residents, presenting what makes Feijenoord actually Feijenoord and how this is being threatened by gentrification and other policies of fighting socio-economic issues. 

Our “on the Point” project creates an audiovisual story via multidisciplinary art disciplines aiming to (re)present Feijenoord through the eyes of the artists and the residents in order to bring acknowledgement to the area and the people living there. 

Based on this idea, three workshops have been created, each involving various art disciplines such as filmmaking, photography, sculpting, and sound art.
Each On The Point participant will have to choose one of the three workshops to participate in on 11 & 12 October, and together we will reflect on the situation of Rotterdam-Zuid. On 13 October presentations of the outcome of each workshop will take place.

We hope that you will enjoy it ☺

Nabil, Nikki, Yorbi

References

Mascini, L. (2017, October 6). Rotterdam als kunstwerk.. NRC. Retrieved from https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/10/06/de-stad-als-kunstwerk-13369991-a1576101

Visser, K., Bolt, G. & Kempen, van R. (2015). ‘Come and live here and you’ll experience it’: youths talk about their deprived neighbourhood. Journal of Youth Studies, 18:1, 36-52, DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2014.933196

Peterson, M. (2015). Social cohesion in hyper-diverse areas: how important are encounters in semi- public spaces? Utrecht: Utrecht University.

Tersteeg, A.K., Bolt, G. & Kempen, van R. (2015). Fieldwork inhabitants, Rotterdam (The Netherland). Utrecht: Utrecht University.

Trip, J. J. (2007). Assessing Quality of Place: A Comparative Analysis of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Journal of Urban Affairs, 29(5), pp. 501-517.

WORKSHOPS

We request everybody to bring their laptops and smartphones to the workshops.
Please let us know who has the following applications on their devices:
– Adobe Creative Suite
– Photoshop

Other material will be provided by MAMA

We would also like to ask each group to prepare a 15 minute up-date of their projects. We will prepare a hand-out with the bio´s and jpgs, so we can get reacquainted quicker!

Workshop 1 – Feel Afrikaanderwijk, by Nabil Tkhidousset

What kind of emotions do we experience when we visit a neighbourhood for the first time? And do the residents of the neighbourhood recognise themselves in those emotions? And if so, which stories do they have about those emotions? 

What kind of emotions do we experience when we visit a neighbourhood for the first time? And do the residents of the neighbourhood recognise themselves in those emotions? And if so, which stories do they have about those emotions? 

Nabil Tkhjidousset invites you to find out how it is to take a walk through Afrikaanderwijk and to find out what kind of emotions live in Afrikaanderwijk. The workshop is inspired by his final project for On The Point, where he aims to capture the different personalities of Feyenoord’s 8 burroughs in a short film. 

In his two day workshop participants are asked to first generate a framework of feelings they have when encountering Afrikaanderwijk, as well as engaging in conversation with residents about their experience. Finally this serves as the source material for a short film which will be story boarded on Day 1 and executed on Day 2 of the workshop. 

Workshop 2 – The arc de memoires, by Yorbi Gutierrez 

The Arc de Triomphe and similar structures were built as memorial in which important local events were documented and honoured as memories by text and images. 
The object of this workshop is to experiment with different forms in which memories of post-war rebuilding can be visually expressed. For this theme the participant will focus on memories based in the places where they come from.

We start firstly by (co)describing a general situation where exclusion and/or inclusion during the post-war rebuilding are the main themes and that everybody could relate to on a personal level. Based on what feelings and memories this description stirs up – everybody is going to create a physical manifestation by firstly coming up with concepts, using whichever discipline the participants feel comfortable with.

During the second day, the participants will be using wood and the different tools in a workshop to create a physical structure – based on their concepts.

Workshop 3 – The space in-between, by Nikki Georgiou

The place in-between is the place between sky and earth where humans dwell creating their own microcosmos (C. Norberg-Schulz, 1967). It constitutes by the physical space, the landscape, such as walls, ceilings, roads, bridges, trees, mountains, and the energetic space, the sensory qualities of a space, such as warmth, smell, color, light, and sound (S. Sterken, 2001, page 263).

In this workshop we will examine and reflect on how people connect to places through sounds. By conducting field-research the participants will select-record sound(s) that will appeal to them. Through a process of questioning, looking deeper, and analyzing the participants will figure out why they were appealed of such sound(s) and which memories and feelings were triggered aiming to come a step closer in understanding how we connect through sounds. Later on, we will seek to visualize this connection in order to comprehend how image and sound interconnect in to creating The space in-between aka our personal interpretation of our existence and its milieu.

SCHEDULE

Thursday 10/10/2019 

Concrete Comedy Club @ Club Haug
For the early arrivals
Doors open @19.30
Show starts @ 20.30

Friday 11/10/2019

09.00 – 10.15 | Breakfast at MaMA HQ, Boomgaardstraat 

10.15 – 11.15 | Welcome by MAMA and On the point Rotterdam team

Small presentation of the other groups and what they were doing the past months

11.15 – 12.00 | Walk to Feyenoord/Rotterdam Zuid 

12.00 – 13.00 | Introduction to the project, watch the ted-talk video, and separation into project groups

13.00 – 13.30 | Introduction of the separate projects

13.30 – 14.00 | Lunch 

14.00 – 18.00(18.30) | Workshop time 

18:00 (18.30) | Head back to the center

19.00 – 20.00 | Kunstavond at Kunstblock – tour through the WdW Straat at 7pm sharp!

20.30 – 22.30 | Dinner at Bazar

Night out in Rotterdam

Saturday 12/10/2019

09.00 – 10.15 | Breakfast at MaMA HQ

10.15 –11.00 |Head to workshop locations

11.00 – 13.00 | Workshop time

13.00 – 14.00 | Lunch @ workshop area

14.00 – 19.00 | Workshop party hell yeah

19.30(20.00) – 21.30 | Dinner tbc 

Night out in Rotterdam

Sunday 13/10/2019

11.00 – 12.30 | Breakfast at Fenix Food Factory

12.30 – 14.00 | Presentations of the workshop projects at Fenix location close by

14.00 –15.00 | Bites, drinks & Bye bye´s.

Departure time

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