Current Values: understanding economics and what is really of value

My second visit to Rotterdam was to attend a seminar entitled ‘Current Values’ at Tent, in Witte de With Gallery.

There were 4 presentations all around issues of economics and about how we understand what is valuable today; Raoul de Jong, Jay Tan, Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens and Jeanne van Heeswijk.

I was particularly energised by Jeanne van Heeswijk’s presentation on her work in the Afrikaandermarkt area of Rotterdam, with the project Freehouse.

She talked about questioning what might be considered of value in relation to the future of cities. She talked about the value of cultural production, and the value of the right to the means of cultural production. She is working on radicalising local production and co-producing alternative ways of achieving successful communities.

She described working with local people, to set up a series of interventions into the market area, challenging the cities anti-entrepreneurial rules and regulations, which have impaired the ability of local people to innovate. And outlined how together with local people they are setting up a range of co-operative work places Wijkatelier (neighbourhood studio) Wijkkeuken (neighbourhood kitchen) and Wijkwinkel (neighbourhood supermarket) in the Afrikaandermarkt area.

Below is an image from a performance by artist Jay Tan, exploring her understanding of economics.


About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking -
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