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☰ Edwin Stolk

The Placing
5 & 6 October 2019

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

The poster you see above was spread throughout the neighborhood it says - "This 'bird' is singing along!" People who participated in 'The placing' were asked to stick it behind their windows facing the street. With the help of several people we managed to make translations of the Dutch variant of this poster in: Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, French, Farsi and the Turkish language. Visually this poster went into a dialogue with another ('knip') poster you could 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 we 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 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.

'The placing' of these birds in a long row of 'boxes' and counting their correct Flemish songs showed similarities with the actual political situation. People are placed in their houses alongside the streets in the Brugse Poort and influenced by gentrification. Certain politicians use slogans as "first our own people." The people in this neighborhood are with a rich diversity of backgrounds and therefore we asked them to play the sound of a bird 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 we 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 that wants 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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images | videos | de koer | map

Best regards, Edwin Stolk.

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