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SELF-PORTRAITS THE OUDE WESTEN NEIGHBOURHOOD

For Self-portraits of the Oude Westen neighbourhood, visual artist Hans Bossmann and I toured the Oude Westen neighbourhood in Rotterdam for a month in June 2018. Every day we visited a different place, a place where people would gather for all kinds of reasons. For example, we visited Leeszaal West, Garden De Bajonet, Action Group het Oude Westen and the Homework Class, the sewing workshop of the Power Women…

Hans drew on furniture and objects with residents and visitors at every location. Dots, circles, squares. Always an easy to draw pattern, so that everyone could participate. While drawing we would get into conversation, so stories emerged, which I wrote down and collected on www.zelfportrettenvanhetoudewest.nl .

At the end of the tour, we brought all the drawn-on objects together in a living exhibition, reading the stories out loud as well. Once in the neighbourhood, in Speelcentrum Weena, and once in the city at Worm S/ash Gallery. In the latter, we also presented the special issue of REALmag magazine devoted to our project. After that, the furniture and objects were returned to the places where they came from, as a lasting memory of the project.

In October 2018 we were asked to organize a pop-up exhibition of Self-portraits of the Oude Westen neighbourhood as a part of the Week of Genuine Rotterdam Heritage in Museum Rotterdam.

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