ode to new art in the city

During the online event CBK R'DAM x TENT x Operator Talks, word artists Tomas de Pauw and Chery Salinas paid tribute to two new works of art in Rotterdam. Tomás de Pauw we hear about Florentijn Hofman's Bospoldervos, which was unveiled on June 12, 2020 at Schiedamseweg. Chery Salinas wrote her ode on Everyone is dead except us. The full lyrics can be found under the videos. Watch the full event here.

Text Tomás de Paauw:

I am descended from foxes in the West
From old Delfshaven to all Mathennese
From street play to 1940 fights
From children's songs to the SP castle anthem

Who is not strong
Must be crafty
Spreading information secretly
I supported the freedom fighters
Not far before that part of transatlantic
Unfortunately I also violated freedom fighters
Know a history that cannot be summarized
Build on a future that can only be summarized

See people walking past this as if it were the center of the earth
See children playing together here where adults sometimes stumble over norms and values
Van Schiehaven aan de Maas, and all our bridges
Island politics would be easy, but we, we choose to bridge

Nothing behind nobody's back
Rotterdam, so, straightforward
I speak ABN, Turkish, Sranang, Polish, Moroccan and Spanish

I like to be self-employed on our streets
But those who are not strong must find strength in others
That's how we build the future, together

Descended from foxes in the West
From old Delfshaven to all Mathennese
From street play to 1940 fights
From children's songs to the SP castle anthem

Text by Chery Salinas:

The feet that carry us

These are the feet that carry us - firmly planted.
Even when dancing through life or when losing balance,
or at we forget how much we take them for granted.
But what if we were made to remember?
What if the many paths walked by feet before us
were engraved on our soles like wrinkles -
I wonder what stories they'd tell.

How many steps were taken to get us here
- alive, still breathing -
or exactly how many voices resound when we are speaking.
I wonder what bridges and waters
our great great grandmothers
- separated by generations from us - crossed,
and how on earth they managed to carry so much.

I wonder if we could retrace each of their teardrops
in the water beneath our bridges,
would we still drink it?
Would it still wash us clean?
What if the sounds of our footsteps were their voices,
would they be proud?
Do you think we embody their dreams?

And what if they said
everybody's dead except for us?
That No Matter How Much We look at the fits,
it only happens once,
so why linger after the lesson?
The present is with us wherever we go
but the future will keep coming back after every second.
I mean, what if they were all steadily walking towards that very second,
knowing they'd never see it with their own eyes, but simply walking
because they knew we'd need them to?

Because change may not happen over night,
but growth does.
So what if their steps all led to the changing of a world?
Because of courage,
because of necessity,
because of learning,
because of love?
Or simply
it led
to us

Publication date: 14 / 01 / 2021