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Malique Mohamud is a writer, director, performer and programme maker who developed an interest in the relationship between urbanity and street culture in his youth, when he stole tapes by Wu-Tang, Tupac and Outkast from his brother’s room. The son of a Somali poet and a general, he champions and looks for meaning in cultural production through an Afro-diasporic lens. Autonomy, subversiveness and (skewed) power relations are recurring themes in his work. The word on the street is that he makes the best toasties north of the Maas and is still a little bit in love with Lauryn Hill. Through Concrete Blossom, the organisation he founded, this creative jack-of-all-trades is currently investigating how the transformative qualities of street culture can contribute to an inclusive society.

The Bodega aka Avondwinkel as a site of archival practices

“This project hopes to articulate the emergence of a Diasporic esthetic situated in Rotterdam by means of a Bodega. It’s a contemplation of an (future) institution derived out of the typology of el Barrio. In this research, the Bodega is viewed as a historical, physical and conceptual site where life situated in up rootedness comes into meaning. A space that houses interactions and transitions, and simultaneously represents resilience and shared lived experiences. A place where the maturing of this multicultural society is viewed through a counter cultural lens.

Rotterdam, the harbor city of a former colonial super power, is home to some of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods in the world. The ethnically diverse counterculture this city has birthed, has become the face of popular culture in the Netherlands. Still ‘it’ resides in a vacuum of institutional underrepresentation and systemic marginalisation. Thus, the convergence of narratives and localities in neighbourhoods like Delfshaven are trapped in informality. Here, the term informality refers neither to a typology of space nor to a type of users, but instead illustrates a way of using space that differs from the intended regulatory use. But what happens when the informal becomes formal? What would happen if spatial agency is written into everyday practices? Such a reimagination and or reiteration could serve as a means to mitigate past, present and future trauma’s linked to black subjectivity in this post colonial era, a way to harness the potential for innovation, self reliance and allround dopeness. Malique Mohamud and the Concrete Blossom network will investigate what such an institution could and/or should be. Can I get an Amen?!”

Delany Boutkan, Marten Kuijpers, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Setareh Noorani
Alex Walker