Podcast #7: Volkshortus Selwerd

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In the seventh episode of the podcast "What is that doing here?" Esther Didden and co-host Kamiel Verschuren spoke with visual artists Saskia Janssen and George Korsmit. Nicoline Wijnja of Kunstpunt Groningen also participated in the conversation.

For three seasons, Janssen and Korsmit work in the Selwerd neighborhood of Groningen. This neighborhood will be renewed in the coming years, which prompted them to formulate an art commission with the aim of bringing people together. Janssen and Korsmit came up with Volkshortus Selwerd, a greenhouse and meeting place in the heart of the neighborhood.

Three afternoons a week, the greenhouse is open. Residents can participate by contributing their own seeds or participating in the various workshops that are held. Over the next year, the greenhouse will grow a plant collection assembled by area residents to represent the residents and their diversity (eighty nationalities).

Thus, over the course of 2023, a portrait of the neighborhood emerges in the form of plants. The conversation turns to the question of when the project is successful, and whether it is far too short, nine months, to really bring people together. And how important is a client in this kind of project?



At www.bkinformatie.nl/podcast Besides listening to podcasts, you can also react to the statements we formulate for each episode. The statement accompanying the podcast with Janssen and Korsmit:

It is not necessary for an artist to commit to a project in a neighborhood or district for more than a year; after they leave, it is up to the residents themselves.

About the podcast
Under the title What's that doing here? BK-information brings a ten-part podcast series about artists and the social issues they deal with. In each episode, philosopher and expert on art in public space Esther Didden and a co-host discuss artists who realize their work within a social context. A context in which very different criteria apply than within the "usual" art discourse. Why do they work within that context and what does it bring to their artistry? What criteria do they have to deal with? And what does it bring to society? What does an artist add when he or she sits at a conference table?
You can also listen to the podcast via:
Apple Podcast
Podcast Addict
Player FM
Podcast #8
The next podcast will appear on September 22, at the same time as the next BK Information. In it we will talk with artists Sjaak Langenberg and Rosé de Beer about their long-standing partnership with care organization Reinaerde.
Together with the artists and designers they invite, they make new connections between De Heygraeff in Woudenberg - where people live with severe mental and physical disabilities - and the recreational environment. They will then develop installations, workshops, performances, prototypes and interventions in the outdoor space. In doing so, as much use as possible will be made of residual materials from the organization and the environment of De Heygraeff. In this way, care for people, materials and nature come together at ONEn place.
What is that doing here? is made possible in part by the Mondrian Fund and the Pictoright Fund.

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