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ME / WE: a Monument to Sexual Diversity in Rotterdam

There will be a monument to sexual diversity in Rotterdam. Commissioned by CBK Rotterdam, Shafelly Snijders made a video report about the process so far (shown at the bottom of this page), and 75B designed a special selfie wall. The selfie wall and reportage can be seen in various places in Rotterdam in the coming period and were previously in the Timmerhuis, the Rotterdam Library and in LantarenVenster during IDAHOT.

About the project
The Monument to Sexual Diversity is a citizens' initiative and acquired thanks to a motion broad support in the city council. The monument will be designed by the German artist Benjamin Bergmann. The Urban Development cluster of the municipality of Rotterdam and CBK Rotterdam, together with the initiators (Dora Borst, Gert-Jan Verboom, Claus Verbrugge and Marc Kabbedijk) are investigating the definitive implementation of the monument, the location and the way in which the monument can be financed.

The monument is first presented at different times and locations in the city. For this, filmmaker Shafelly Snijders made a report about the LGBTI + community in Rotterdam and shows the initiative for a Monument to Sexual Diversity. Graphic design agency 75B designed the selfie wall.

ME / WE is known as the shortest poem in the English language ever conceived by boxer Muhammad Ali during a speech at Harvard University in 1975. Artist Benjamin Bergmann incorporated this theme into various works of art. ME / WE was recently seen as a mirror image during the IJssel Biennial. According to Bergmann, ME / WE expresses that personal considerations must always be understood in the light of a common shared interest.

Initiator Gert-Jan Verboom endorses the idea: "The core of ME / WE is that you can give substance to WE (the collective) and the ME (the individual) in different ways. After all, you must be allowed to be yourself (ME) in our city of Rotterdam (WE). That is why ME / WE is a monument: it is a place where you can commemorate big events, but also a place where you can celebrate with the city. The monument can also be a helping hand for the young person who is struggling and when seeing ME / WE thinks: 'There are people in this city, and there are for me too.'

The realization of the monument is supervised by BKOR (CBK Rotterdam) in close collaboration with the Urban Development cluster (municipality of Rotterdam).

Benjamin Bergmann showed one of his ME / WE works at the Ijsselbiƫnale in 2017. Bergmann (Germany, 1968) makes sculptures in all kinds of materials with simple utensils as a starting point. With his work, he wants to question the functionality of spaces and objects and provide them with a different meaning.

The Rotterdam filmmaker Shafelly Snijders made the report about the arrival of the monument commissioned by CBK Rotterdam. Snijders works as a filmmaker in Rotterdam and previously, in collaboration with Hester Terpstra, made the series Rotterdam Pride Life it was broadcast on OPEN Rotterdam.

Shafelly Snijders - ME / WE: a new monument to sexual diversity in Rotterdam from CBK Rotterdam on Vimeo.

Publication date: 01 / 07 / 2018

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