Tag Archives: Belgium

Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: second follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

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by Brent Blockx and Nathalie Brejaart

DFF-logoLast time we elaborated on the matter of selecting our youngsters. Our DFF-crew has been selected and now we’re submerging them in the world of diamonds. We took them to the Diamondmuseum of Grobbendonk. That museum displays a lot of materials that are used in the process of cutting and preparing diamond. There are a lot of personal stories to be found in the museum as well. The museum really shows the impact of the diamond industry in the province of Antwerp (diamond wasn’t only a big industry in the city of Antwerp, but in the province as well).

Next week we’ll take them on a tour through the “Diamond Square Mile”. That’s a neighbourhood of just one square mile (obviously), but it can be considered as the epicentre of the global diamond industry. There are a ton of companies, institutions and jewellers situated in that area, all occupied with just one thing: diamonds. Normally it’s pretty difficult to get an inside view of those companies if your not an initiate. So, that we’ll be an interesting experience for the DFF-crew.

With the input they got at Grobbendonk and the Diamond Square Mile we’ll start the difficult process of deciding on which story/stories to tell in the pop-upmuseum. More on that process in the following blogposts.

Besides the input we’re giving the youngsters, we were working on securing a location for the pop-upmuseum. As you can image, a very important task indeed! The location had to meet a few criteria: easy accessible, located in the town centre, spacious enough to display everything, the possibility to add things to walls, ceilings,… and off course safe enough to display valuable museumartifacts. You would think that it would be easy to find such a place in a big city as Antwerp, at least that’s what we thought. How wrong we were! It turned out to be a pretty difficult task, but we can now say: we found the perfect location! And the location is… KAVKA.

logo_kavka_cmykkopieKavka is an organisation that exploits a big infrastructure (an old schoolbuilding) that youngsters can use/rent to organize parties, courses, small events,… They are open to all sorts of initiatives. During summer there is a lot less on their calendar, so the coming of the pop-upmuseum is an ideal opportunity for them to fill up a quite period in their working. In Antwerp, Kavka is well known among youngsters, so that’s a big plus as well. The location definitely meets our demands (provided we change a few small things) and Kavka is very excited, as are we! We’re pretty confident that this collaboration will work out great.

The selection of the location was one of the elements of the project that the youngsters didn’t have a say in. The main reasons for this choice were that we started the search for a location before we had selected the youngsters of the DFF-team, due to limited time. Besides that, the location had to meet certain demands, as mentioned earlier, concerning safety and accessibility. This was something we ourselves, Nathalie and me, were limited by as well. The safety-coordinator of the province had to screen and investigate every location. When you’re working with diamonds, you just can’t take any chances. Eventually the decision was made by Nathalie and me, our mentors from AmuseeVous and the Diamondmuseum and the safety-coordinator. We went over the different possible locations and based the decision on different pro’s and con’s concerning every location. Eventually, Kavka came out on top.

For now we’ll continue preparing our youngsters and preparing ourselves for the tasks still ahead of us. And you can still follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Next time we’ll elaborate on the subject of social media a bit more as well. How and why we use it and if it helps our project.

Feel free to ask questions or share your ideas on the project! We would love to hear them!

 

 

Guest Blog: Jeugd en Poëzie Youth and Poetry

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ondertekening-roxWelcome to the living room in your head, where everyone is welcome for some afternoon delight or skyrockets in flight.

Jeugd en Poëzie (youth and poetry) is an organization in the Flemish part of Belgium who is trying to open the doors of imaginary living rooms everywhere.

By using metaphors you can tell your story without giving away everything immediately.

The poet doesn’t always want you to analyze his every word so you can discover the true meaning. Truth of the matter is, the writer wants you to fill the poem with your very own background and life as it is. Read and pour all you have in the poem.

Take for instance, this poem, written by Silke Vanhoof:

You, the undefined purpose of my lingering

You, the unfulfilled labor of my wandering

You, my tend to commit a crime in the cry of my demanding mind

You, my unrevealed rebel of pleasure and pavement in rewind

You, the undivided army of my wrecked out wrists

You, the unconsciousness of my worn out fists

You, the unsayable sourness of forced out smiles

You, my unwillingly running of nights endless miles

You, the unbearable transparency of my shouting skin 

You, the unreadable silence of speaking

You, my undone harm you unchosen road

You the caressing rope around my throat

Who that ‘you’ is, is up to the reader. If you use the poem as a mirror of your own relationships it becomes more then just words. The poem becomes you, or do you become the poem?

Silke is one of the many youngsters we guide in their journey from writing in their real living room, to writing books and performing on stages.

Youth and poetry is the negotiator between poets and their audience and developed a poetic collective called Brandmerk, especially for poets between the ages of fifteen and thirty years old.

If you consider writing your own poem after reading this, don’t think it’s only for the smartest ones among us, or the most literate. Poetry is in fact, fairly easy to get written down on paper. All you need is a pen, some paper, a dictionary and something to say. A secret (a white lie or a real lie) is always a good start. And don’t forget about metaphors. Look for inspiration in as many different shapes as you can find. Poetry is everywhere, you just need to get your poetry-goggles on. Good luck!

While we set up skyscrapers of language wherein junkies sided by judges mirror mirror themselves and finally find

all of our own worn-out appearances and so-called conducting make-believe constructions to be

(A fragment of another poem by Silke Vanhoof.)

If you would like a professional eye to read your poetry, don’t hesitate to mail us at dichter@jeugdenpoezie.be

Diamond Friends Forever Guest Blog: first follow-up @DFF_DiaMu

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DFF-logoby Brent Blockx and Nathalie Brejaart

In our first blog we introduced the DFF-project. A lot of elements were unclear then and are still now. But! Last weekend we had our first meeting with the coregroup of DFF. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. How on earth did we gather these youngsters?

We’re currently in our fifth week of our internship. Our primairy goal when we started was launching the call for youngsters to participate in the DFF-project. AmuseeVous already launched the call the week before, using there normal channels (facebook, mailing,…). Nathalie and me set out to reach a wider audience. Therefore we contacted a lot of organizations and schools. The organizations varied from art- or culture organizations to organizations working with youngsters in troubled situations. The schools were mainly the colleges from Antwerp and the university. We also contacted a few high schools trying to reach youngsters studying something that has nothing to do with culture or art. Continue reading →