by Sammy Baloji
Middelheim Museum has commissioned a sculpture in the public space of Antwerp,
which will be realized in the course of the year 2021. I want to use this as a
starting point for exchanges with the participants in my workshop.
The sculpture project will not be central to all the activities to be organized during the workshop. However, it seems to me that the questions inherent to the need to have a sculpture made by an artist of Congolese origin in Antwerp echo to a certain extent the challenges that IDW2021 wishes to take up by organizing the workshops and a festival in the area between Luchtbal and Lambrechtshoeken.
The Luchtbal neighborhood not only has a remarkable history, but it is also home to a diverse population that makes it a difficult urban area. In order to prevent the urban space that connects Luchtbal and Merksem from being a place of permanent tension, a set of social actions are necessary, including the assets of culture, design, architecture and art to make this space inclusive and a place favourable to meeting.
It is not about creating monuments or permanent sculptures. But, to envisage, during the time of the workshop and the festival, this space as a place of meeting, of inscribing the trajectories and memories of the populations of the two municipalities with the help of design, architecture and art. To create a path of meetings and sharing of memories of the two communes.