Installation of home movies by migrants @ Wasserette Zwaanshals
Assembled and edited by Daniela Swarowsky and Jan Adriaans
June 2002 - February 2003

Daniela Swarowsky chose the Wasserette / Zwaanshals 255a as the location for this project. The Wasserette is a classic laundry shop where local people from diverse nationalities and backgrounds come to wash their clothes. It is owned and run by a Moroccan family. The shop serves as an informal meeting point, one of the few platforms where cultures mix. People sit, wait and chat about life. In May 2002, Daniela Swarowsky chose this environment to install a monitor and VCR inside opposite the waiting area where changing video programs related to questions of identity, home, and the neighbourhood were shown.

In the second half of 2002, this video program evolved into Vacation_Destination>Home which Daniela Swarowsky developed together with Jan Adriaans and opened in January 2003 at the Wasserette.


Most of the people who live in the Zwaanshals are migrants. In June, everyone in Zwaanshals was talking about their upcoming vacations. Almost everybody was going on vacation > home. Many of the shopkeepers and inhabitants planned to visit their families in their countries of origin. The idea emerged to ask some of those planning to go home, including the Wasserette owners, to produce 5-minute films about where they come from. Daniela Swarowsky's idea was to ask people for their own representation of 'home': to make photos or videos choosing whatever they want to show about their 'other' home to the Rotterdam public, the majority of which is unaware or ignorant of their co-inhabitants' cultural backgrounds. The migrants' home videos were to be mixed with artists' videos about the notion of 'home'. This program was to continue as the video program at the Wasserette.

The first screening of Vacation Destination>Home took place in the newly renovated Teahouse Al-Hoceima in January 2003 (read further under "Bistro Jasmine"). 


A Zwaanshals Experience:
Vacation_Destination>Home @ Wasserette
Text by Daniela Swarowsky
March 2003

After the summer vacation, Jan and I were confronted with the fact that although quite a few people promised to make 'home movies' while on vacation, not a single person actually did so. Was it a matter of trust? Was it a matter of insecurity? Was the problem that they did not know how to make such a film? Didn't they want to share their backgrounds with others? Was it too intimate a thing to ask? Many questions arose...

After the initial disappointment, we decided to ask people for old vacation>home material. Two people finally handed us old footage: one from a family picnic in the Moroccan Rif mountains and the other from a latest visit to Arbil, the Kurdish capital of Iraq. We took instructions from both participants on how to edit their material... READ MORE