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The Placing
5 & 6 October 2019

The Placing (translated from Flemish 'De Zetting') was an ode to the multilingualism of the Brugse Poort in Ghent and organized in collaboration with de Koer.

De Zetting Brugse Poort

The poster you see above was spread throughout the neighborhood and people who participated in The placing were asked to stick it behind their window facing the street. With the help of several people we managed to make translations of the Dutch variant in: Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, French, Farsi and the Turkish language. Visually it went into a dialogue with another ('knip') poster you find behind the windows in this neighborhood. This poster concerned a political discussion about the mobility plan of the City of Ghent and had caused polarization.

Around fifty houses decided to join The Placing, together they created a poetry that was both unknown and foreign to these stony streets of the Brugse Poort.

The Placing was inspired by 'finch sitting' which is part of traditional Flemish culture and shortly pronounced in Flemish as 'zetting' which means 'placing'. In a contest, a row of small cages, each housing a finch, is lined up along a street. Every time a bird sings a correct song ending with "suskewiet" a mark in chalk is made on a long wooden stick. In the Brugse Poort there used to be 'finch sittings' on the Groendreef and the Leiekaai.

De Vinkenzetting

The placing of these birds in a long row of 'boxes' and counting their correct songs has similarities with the way people are today placed in their houses, alongside the streets in the Brugse Poort. The people in this neighborhood are with diverse backgrounds and therefore we asked them to play the bird sound that represented their house best, loud enough so that you could hear it outside in the street.

People could subscribe by email and were marked on the map as you can see above. Around fifty houses decided to join The Placing, together they created for one hour on 5 & 6 October a poetry that was both unknown and foreign to these stony streets of the Brugse Poort.


The Placing was made possible in collaboration with the people from the Brugse Poort and the team of de Koer. Huis van Alijn provided the movie: 'My father likes crafting', Isabel Pousset showed her photographs of 'finch sitting' in the café of de Koer, Hristina Tasheva, VOEM vzw, Helena Lemmonier, Moshen Mahjooni, Kerem Basaran, Alexandre Colmant, Corina Bordeianu made translations of the poster. Thank you all!

With this sound work I followed the concept behind #theorganisation and want to make knowledge and means available for initiatives that serve society as a whole. Any tips or suggestions? Don't hesitate to contact me.

The Placing came under the attention from the following press: Jegens & Tevens, Gentcement, Tumult.fm, De zetting - Radio 2 Oost Vlaanderen (53min30sec).

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Best regards, Edwin Stolk.

Images made by Hristina Tasheva, Leontien Allemeersch and Edwin Stolk.