The project Afri Ontsnapt (escapes) is inspired by the Afrikaanderpark in the South of Rotterdam. The garment creates a dialogue about various insights and relevant issues around the Afrikaanderpark and the inhabitants of the Afrikaanderwijk.
Willem de Kooning Academie, 2021 Photography: Maartje Mestrini
Represents the fences around the Afrikaanderpark, several straps with a belt. The act of tightening the belt, feels like the tightening feeling of being surrounded by high fences. Everything is covered except for the mouth, this represents the right to speak. The garment is made out of water- and windproof material, so you are protected against the elements from outside.
The act of turning the garment inside out, opening up, creates vulnerability. The inside of the garment represents the straight crossing lines in the park. The reflectors light up when you shine a light on them, this represents giving a voice to the local resident.
The garment has the possibility to be connected to other similair garments. This creates a human fence, with the idea to function as a protest.
concept research (3 short films)
In collaboration with Madelief Broekman.
Short film 1 | "To thank them for rebuilding Rotterdam."
Research into Afrikaanderwijk; The action in various events from a one-sided perspective and the image that has arisen. The Afrikaanderwijk. There is a negative image in the media,
structurally no response is given to the residents (such as changing the racist street names), the developments since the guest workers were brought to Rotterdam in the 1950s and helped to build Rotterdam, the momument to thank the guest workers that is created by a white Dutchman, the gap between the current neighborhood and the city vision, and so on.
Short film 2 | "Not for the neighborhood, but with the neighborhood."
Research into the residents of Afrikaanderwijk; Thoughts about the park, the lost opportunities and wanting to be heard. A place that isn’t inviting, it feels closed-off and this makes it feel unsafe for women. People (especially from abroad) can only find this area when there are certain events, otherwise it’s empty. It’s a place with a lot of potential, the ideas and animo is there, but chances aren’t.
Short film 3 | "Screaming for its freedom, but surrounded by fences."
Artistic research and social experiments around the Afrikaanderpark and neighborhood; Ways to represent and translate the insights and spread the message “Afri escapes from its fences”. The grass from the Afrikaanderpark, is symbolic for the neighborhood resident. The 2 meter high steel fence around the park, is symbolic for the municipality and the imposed boundaries. We’re discovering ways to let Afri escape from its fences, both literal and symbolic. For example; Bridging the fences itself, spreading tiles of grass around and outside the park laid down by the resident itself as a way of making their voice heard (silence protest) and creating a poem to spread (digitally) around.