Alles over Zwaanshals
Wat is ZiM?
Wat doet ZiM?
ZiM in ZwaMoka
Wat is ZiM?
ZiM, Zenith in Motion, is a community art project in a street called Zwaanshals based in the Oude Noorden of Rotterdam. Active since 2004, ZiM is located in a predominantly migrant district, with a high Moroccan/Berber population, along with many other nationalities. Zwaanshals has a rich past in being a former Dutch working class area. Parallel worlds predominate and hardly any mixing occurs. "Curiosity about the other’’ seems nowadays a romantic image.
ZiM has chosen Zwaanshals as a microscopic representation of a global Western phenomenon – a broad field to experiment for those professionals who dare to come out of their closets - be it galleries, museums, universities, office buildings etc. Doing field-work and research, trying to listen, bringing in creative skills, learning from those who have a practise in activism, research and art. Exchange, share, mix and maybe, but not necessarily, imply theoretical as well as practical knowledge, in order to fill a big and scary vacuum. That’s the challenge, but there also lies the risk. Neither artists nor scientists can promise a solution to a vast and global problem with quite a historical baggage coming along.
Zwaanshals is also in midst a big urban-renovation/gentrification plan. This area has been chosen by the local government as well as housing co-operations to become one of the most drastically changing areas in Rotterdam. This can be a threat to the existing community as well as a chance. Will the present, very diverse community be able to cope with those new challenges and turn them also to their advantage? ZiM paradoxically plays an active role in this process, in having won a price given out by the Rotterdam government, called Groeibriljant. Artists play more and more an interesting, but rather controversial role in gentrification processes, often brought in and subsidised in the hope that they will create hip-ness around themselves. Well, apart from a win-situation in getting free space to use temporarily, ZiM tries to go beyond the goal of decorating and cheering up the neighbourhood.
ZiM sees its role to act as observer as well as mediator between the worlds of gentrifyers and locals, trying to open up mental as well as physical spaces.
The formation of multidisciplinary clusters seems desirable - the sharing of a diversity of knowledge and experiences. Theory, fantasy and activism mix into a wild chaos, giving birth to new approaches, unknown to bureaucrats of this world. That’s at least the vision!