The Roof – second event “What function The Roof should have?”

The theme of our second event was "What function this roof should have". People who joined us for this event was a mix of people whom we work with from the neighbourhood, from our different partners (TU endhoven, BSO, Regenboog), Moha community, people who already joined us for the workshop and event of the first week but as well always new people discovering the event in the moment. The challenge is therefor to find a way to introduce and integrate people in the collective imagination of The Roof. To make them feel like the roof belongs to them as well and that it is something they have the power to shape with us. 

We started the evening in the cafe downstairs with the opening of the exhibition from Makom shelter (Regeboog groep). As I mentioned in a previous post, we spent two months going every Monday evening to this shelter, building conversations around the roof. Together we imagined our different utopies, shared our stories, drew and wrote in our common notebook. Hassan who came to us every Monday, made series of fotos of his walks in the city with a disposable camera. This was his addition to the roof. Kriss, who is a painter, donated a painting representing the sky. Niko made series of passionate drawings inspired by his dreams, some of them going along with poems as well. With them we learned that yes a roof is a very practical need but yet what makes a good roof remains poetic and personal. For one of them a tree in Vondelpark was one of the best roof he ever had. 

We shared all these stories, and drawings. Hassan and Kriss introduced their work in person, while their friend played some guitar in the background. We used their work as an entrance to the collective imagination. Upstairs in the theater, we introduced all the models made during the different workshops and the previous event. Frits, whom we met in the street during our previous project The Office of lost time, prepared a short performance for us to cheer together before to start eating. We also invited a guest, Fiona, from Cascoland to give a small presentation about her work, which stands in the same line of The Roof.

We divided again in smaller groups and ate a very nice Ethiopian dish cooked by a girl from the neighbourhood. To discuss about the function of The Roof we decided to play a game called "needs and offers" inspired by the social muscle club in Berlin. Each person of the group had to write something they would need and something they could offer. We would then discuss each need and offer and if possible try to match them with the different people of the group. We started with personal needs and offers. Someone proposed an ear to listen, someone asked for a winter coat, someone needed advise for his taxes or a dance partner. From there, we moved to needs and offers in relation to the roof: What would you need from the roof? what would you offer to it? What do you need from and can offer to a moving temporary space in the city?

Needs: a place to see the sunset, a place to have a free and healthy dinner without social pressure, a place where I can do nothing and where I can rest my mind, a place to gather, a place to take a nap, a public bath, a place to dance outside, a place with no judgement, feeling at home, a place to share ideas, a place to build a dialogue with different voices and opinions, safety, a place where you can overnight out of home,a place that reflects the people who are under it, among others

Offers: I will invite people to the roof and make them feel comfortable, a moment for singing, my time, a party, helping to get the permission from the gemeente, to be the roof, I can sew warm pillow covers. I can take care of the roof, I will help to discover empty places, I offer to read stories, to teach dutch, a reading group, playing music, among others.

Each group placed their offers/needs on our manifest wall. We closed the evening with a dance we invented with our dance group "Move Dance Act" called The roof dance, on the song "kom van je dak af". After long talking, everybody joined this closing celebration.

The Roof artistic team: Artistic directors-  Alice Pons and Olivia Reschofsky, Designer- Merel Noorlander, Relational Architect - Zsofia Paczolay, Dramaturg - Nienke Schots, Satellite performance- Arthur Kneepkens, Rexallan Clemensia, photography - David Cenzer

The Roof is supported by AFK, Bank Giro Loterij and Cultuur Participatie.