On October 6th 2012 SENSATIONAL MIX announced the founding of a new free state: Vrijstaat AFRI! Vrijstaat AFRI (AFRI Freestate) is an artistic-political simulation in order to create a platform for and with the citizens of the Afrikaander neighbourhood in Rotterdam South. This area on the southside of the river Maas recently has been declared the worst location in the Netherlands and has been placed under direct state control in order to resolve problems like poverty, unemployment and criminal activities. Although citizens of Rotterdam South acknowledge the problems, they are also proud of their neighbourhoods. They have their own opinions and ideas but are rarely consulted. Citizens of Vrijstaat AFRI however will heard! Within Vrijstaat AFRI they are able to initiate plans and find people to collaborate in order to realise these plans. These can be plans regarding culture, education, environment, art…anything that helps to create a better atmosphere in the neigbourhood.
On the 4th of January 2013 SENSATIONAL MIX (as daily management of Vrijstaat AFRI) coordinates new years celebration activities of 12 organisations in the Afrikaanderwijk ánd initiates new activities especially for Vrijstaat AFRI.
Unfortunately there is no English version of the Vrijstaat AFRI website, but you could give it a try with a free online translation if you are interested in Vrijstaat AFRI, go to Vrijstaatafri.net
Take a look at the brochure/architectural guide in pdf which was part of the exhibition of Marion Möller. The text is in Dutch but you will probably get the picture…
With the exhibition of architectural ornaments of Marion Möller just finished, SENSATIONAL MIX is preparing now for the last workshop in the community center ‘t Kopblok in Hillesluis, Rotterdam South. The last workshop will be presented by Esther Urlus, filmmaker and manager of the Filmwerkplaats. The WORM.filmwerkplaats is an open studio in which you are allowed to work independently. Filmmakers and artists are free to use equipment to be able to shoot, edit and complete an entire film at minimum cost. Esther will teach on Thursday the 31st of May participants how to make simple animations.
A workshop ‘edible perfume’ by olfactory artist Maki Ueda, presented by SENSATIONAL MIX in the community center ‘t Kopblok in Rotterdam Hillesluis was a huge succes. About 20 people attended the workshop and class of 7 year olds came to watch the process. TV Rijnmond, a regional TV station made a news item out of it.
SENSATIONAL MIX report (in Dutch)
SENSATIONAL MIX starts 2011 with a pilot project for community centers: in ”t Kopblok’ in Rotterdam, five established artists will give workshops, each of them focusing on one of the five senses. Participating artists are: Harm Goslink Kuiper, Maki Ueda, Wapke Feenstra, Zeger Reyers and Esther Urlus.
The 20th of January the project started with a lecture by art historian Caro Verbeek and an introduction by Roland Groenenboom and Nathalie Houtermans of SENSATIONAL MIX. On the 27th of January Harm Goslink Kuiper presented the first workshop. Next in line is Maki Ueda, a specialist in olfactory art. The workshops are in Dutch, so a basic understanding of Dutch is necessary to be able to attend. More info (in Dutch) here.
The sound of garbage
Harm Goslink Kuiper is a visual artist and musician. He creates (amongst others) instruments of garbage and daily consumer goods. During the workshop he presented his work, explained why he moved from painting to producing instruments, played a song of his most recent CD and created together with the participants a snare instrument of an old wooden box one of the participants brought with her. He gave a lot of practical advise on how to create your own instrument, but most importantly showed an other way of looking ánd listening to things that seem worthless.
Young South African photographers Musa Nxumalo and Sydelle Willow Smith are invited to show the other side of the tournament and the impact it has on everyday life in South Africa through their photos. They are going to upload these photos to SENSATIONAL MIX on a daily basis to show them on the website (sensationalmix.nl) and as video projections and a selection as prints in the exhibition space. The Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam will show a selection of these images as prints as well.
Photographer Antony Kaminju is one of the artists presented in LADUMA! About 20 impressive photo’s of his Soccer Fan series will be presented. He sent us a description of his experiences:
“My name is Long John Silver”, the man says firmly as he shakes my hand. Finding him was not easy, as I had to maneuver my way through small and dusty streets in Soweto tracing where he lives. He is in his mid sixties and is bare chest probably to keep the heat off as it is scorching hot on this afternoon. “I’m the King of pirates of the sea” he continues with his story. He quickly invites me to his bedroom which is adorned with black and white paraphernalia of a pirate’s world. I spot a long a long samurai sword next to his bed and a face mask. There is also a toy gun on the table.
Kenneth Metiba is one of the many soccer fans who support South African soccer clubs religiously. He is supports Soweto club , Orlando Pirates , ateam he has been since 1947 and he has never turned his support to any other club.Like many of the fans his lifestyle revolves around soccer. He collects any memorabilia that is associated with his club. He is such a devout supporter that when his club looses a match he does not eat for that day.
‘Mzion’ is another hardcore supporter of the Pirates club. He lives in Sebokeng a township outskirts of Johannesburg. Everything in his house reflects his devout support of his favourite club. In his sitting room there is a shrine where he worships before going out to a match. When he ushers me to his bedroom I notice that everything from the bed sheets to the floor mats, everything is adorned with his clubs logos. At the back of his house is a small room which he keeps his variety of ‘amakarapas’.
These are just a few of the soccer fans that I have been following and documenting. I was struck by the zeal and spirit that they show for their clubs. Like many soccer followers I have always seen them for a few seconds on TV blowing vuvuzelas. But after attending a soccer match at the Orlando Stadium in November 2009 for Soweto Derby it brought me closer to the real world of soccer fans.
I noticed quite a number of them carrying water melons, giant loafs of bread, telephone sets, cabbage, giant dolls and many wearing all kind of different masks. When one team scores or almost scores that is when their paraphernalia comes into play. In the midst of frenzy and ecstatic cacophony of different sounds a fan of the winning team will eat the cabbage or the water melon or take a big bite from the giant bread. The act is to send a message to the competing team that ‘we shall eat you up’. In one recent match there was a group of young men who brought along a boiled head of a sheep. They went on to enjoy the meat from now and then. Every prop that the fan brings to the stadium has its meaning and a time for use.
Tracking the supporters back to their homes indicates that their support is real. That is the life they live. Many of them have been supporting their clubs since childhood and the patriotism is being passed on to the younger generations at home.
Antony Kaminju is exhibiting at this moment in South Africa. Read the article in Mail and Guardian
An art project for the Afrikaanderwijk in the context of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Football, migration, culture and identity in relation to the specific history of daily reality of both the Afrikaanderwijk (Afrikaander neighbourhood) in Rotterdam and South Africa, are central to the project LADUMA! . It takes place during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (11 June tot 11 July 2010). Opening 10 June: 17.00 – 19.00 u.
Especially for LADUMA! new work is developed by Laura Emsley (South Africa/G.B.), Raymond Cuijpers (Netherlands), Musa Nxumalo (South Africa) and Sydelle Willow Smith (South Africa). Other works presented are by Siemon Allen (South Africa/U.S.A), Dan Halter (Zimbabwe/South Africa), Antony Kaminju (Kenia /South Africa), Rob Schröder (Netherlands) and Penny Siopis (South Africa).
A selection of photo’s of the photo diaries that Musa Nxumalo and Sydelle Willow Smith are going to keep during the exhibition period also will be presented at the Nederlands Fotomuseum.
As stated before Laura Emsley is one of the artists involved in the LADUMA! project (opening 10.6.2010 @ Afrikaanderwijk, Rotterdam). She is working on a video-installation in which she will connect the caves of Sterkfontein (Cradle of Humankind) to the Afrikaanderwijk, migration and football. She accomplishes this by focusing on Little Foot, an archaeological discovery of foot bones revealing the evolutionary link between quadruped and biped. From the moment creatures started to move about erect, migration, diaspora and football came walking into the history of mankind. Curious already? Here are some photo’s she recently sent us to give an indication about what she is doing: