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[Nettime-nl] war by puppets
matthew fuller on Wed, 12 Mar 2003 21:44:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] war by puppets

a report on the street puppet theatres being run around Rotterdam by
Carla Cruz and others.

12 March 2003

Mathenesserplein from 15.45 - 16.30
Teammate – Jetske

It was the first time the theatre when on the “tram”, and it
was o.k. I’ve wanted to take the platform to different places,
further from the center of Rotterdam, so today we went
west. A lot of noise crossing the “war zone” in the karel
Dormanhof, now on construction, to the tram stops, from
the Kruisplein to the Mathenesserplein. This last renovated
not so long ago, it’s a quite multicultural and lively area. We
placed it first on the sidewalk, close to some benches, on a
crossing area; the box wasn’t even open and already
attracted a lot of attention because the faces of the starring
characters are pasted on the outside. Saddam and Bush
are definitely the faces of the moment. But It was incredibly
windy at that spot, almost blowing us and the structure
away, still we endure, answer a few questions, got a huge
support from some Muslim women, and then decided to
move across the street. We tried to get cover next to the
building there, but still, a gigantic fight against the wind. A
woman suggested that we should go to the Albert Hein
side, just in the corner of the building. We followed her.
As we got there the wind was even stronger, I though, not
such a good idea, but actually her idea was, and she
grabbed us and took us inside, to what we can call a
private square of a shopping place, that is also public, to
go inside. Ok, good idea, at least for a rest. Immediately we
had to deal with some discussion, and compromise
making with the security guard, that actually was quite
easy, he just asked if we were going to be there for a long
time, no? O.K.! And then the following was pretty good.

This location is really full of diversity, cultural and from
classes. The surprise was with women, those were the
ones asking more questions and coming to congratulate
us for the effort we put on the attempt to discuss the war
politics, and that they were all to blame, and wishes of
starting all over.  Muslin women, that don’t want to have
anything to do with this war.

Then at the mosque just across the road, the prays
stopped, and a flow of men start coming out, some enter
the building.

We could realized that in this area people are more
politicized, more aware of political issues, and willing to
discuss them, so then again as in the day of the European
demonstrations (15th February) the structure became
highly political. A lot of head nodding, smiles, getting others
to look, parents explaining their kids who are this people,
and whishing us success. No one, except a boy, actually
played, but I felt that a lot of people got something to think
out of it.

At the same time some girls came in to do a survey on
multicultural Rotterdam, do I feel an alien? Do I like the
cultural diversity? Are the cultures in Rotterdam mingling?
Yes, yes, not so much, maybe!

A woman that talked a bit more with me put the all event in
an excellent way, this is a great way of asking people what
do they think about this situation, and to think about that.

All the best,
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