Exhibition Urban Jungle - city illustrators 2023 (Photo: Fred Ernst)


How (un)secure is life for Rotterdam residents?

Every year, Rotterdam City Archives and CBK Rotterdam look for artists who observe the city and depict their reflections in drawings: our City Drawing Artists! Over the past two years, the City Drawing Artists have depicted the consequences of gentrification and the tension between city and nature.

This year, a current theme has once again been chosen: livelihood (in)security. We ask the illustrators to portray this subject in the coming period. The resulting drawings will be presented in an exhibition in Kunsthal Rotterdam at the end of the year. They will then be included in the collection of the City Archives and become part of the Rotterdam Collection.


The word was buzzing everywhere last fall: social security. The certainty that one can provide living conditions, such as a home, access to food and education became the central theme of the House of Representatives election in 2023. It is also an urgent topic in Rotterdam: it is the poorest city in the Netherlands. 15,4% of Rotterdam residents live below the poverty line. The rising costs of living due to inflation mean that daily life for Rotterdam residents is becoming increasingly uncertain. About 85.000 people in the city earn too little to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, housing and health care. This means that more and more people are dependent on aid, such as the Food Bank, to survive. In addition, approximately 50.000 Rotterdam residents are struggling with debts. At the same time, the tight housing market is causing overcrowded night shelters and people sleeping in porches and on the street. As a protest, tent camps have been set up several times in front of Rotterdam Central Station and the city hall in recent months to draw attention to this problem.

What poverty and livelihood (in)security will look like in 2024 is changing and is not always visible. We are convinced that this urgent topic, which directly or indirectly affects many Rotterdam residents and has many faces, needs to be brought into focus. That is why we are asking the City Drawing residents to work on the theme of social security this year. We are looking for artists who can capture the many nuances of this subject with integrity.


Do you want to become a City Drawing Artist of 2024 and do you have ideas about how you would shape the theme of livelihood security? Then send us your motivation and portfolio.

Documentation can be sent until 15 March at the latest stadtekenaar@cbkrotterdam.nl

This consists of:

  • a motivation (max. half A4)
  • a concise CV (max. 1 A4)
  • images in the form of a link to your page on artoffice.info or a digital portfolio of max. 20 MB.

The fee for the city draftsman 2024 is € 3.500 per artist.

Read the general terms and conditions here.

The chosen city planners will be notified and will be listed on our websites within four weeks of the registration deadline.

Publication date: 17 / 01 / 2024