After the exhibition on Friday the International Design Workshop week has come to an end. It was a long and tiring week for all of our 23 workshop groups. but we must say we are proud of all they have accomplished. We saw lots of amazing ideas come to life this past week and the exhibition showed the students their projects in all their glory. But to all good things comes an end and so we have to say farewell to IDW 2017. We hope to see you all next year for new, interesting and amazing projects made by the Students of the Faculty of Design Sciences.
Thousands of refugees make their trip across the sea, not knowing what’s on the other side, forced because of war, political and economic reasons. Leaving everything on their hope and search to a promising better life, reclaiming their right to live. Totally clueless and powerless, they step aboard of rubber boots on bizarre and unthinkable conditions, not knowing if they ever going to make it to the other side. This scenario is something that we, the western world, will not know, and therefore it’s almost impossible to imagine what it’s like, to be in this situation.
Therefore the students of the IDW workshop ‘Mind the gap’ created their own artful sea full off obstacles, making it possible to visualize this problem. At the same time they're forcing people to take a different easier route because there is one and making people think about it. This is what makes us the lucky ones, there is an alternative, but what if there was none? Would you do the same, would you take the boat? The answer to this question that’s created by this workshop is very intriguing and calls for reaction. It makes people more aware of this horrible problem and on the other side how lucky we are, and that we should never take that for granted.
The students of Displacement and food created a social service during the workshop week. The intention of this project was to bring the refugees in the shelters of Antwerp closer to the the population of Antwerp. Restaurants and associations can open their kitchens for the refugees and volunteers, so they can cook together. The meals of the refugees can be used to connect people. The families of the kitchen team can join the table in this pop-up RefugEAT restaurant. The place of the diner determines the shared interesses. The students hope that the diners can become the start of new friendships and exploring other cultures.
Participants can make an account on the website, after that, the website searches for connections between participants and refugees. People can meet each other by organizing a diner at their place. The realisation of this project can have a positive impact on every participant. The ultimate goal of this project is to organise a try-out with the refugees of the left bankshelter.
Listen to the Radio 2 interview about the project of the “ Office for Phantasmatic Displacement” workshop-group.
You can watch the report of ATV in the video below.
On Wednesday the 15th of February the workshop group Displacement and food went for a visit at one of the refugee centers in Antwerp. Their goal was to find out if food can bring refugees and locals together. On this trip we followed a group of students that wants to achieve this by inviting both refugees and local people for joint cooking sessions. In this way they can learn from each other but more importantly be amongst each other!’
To find out the answer to the title of this blog, the students started to have conversations with some of the refugees and this turned out to be very interesting. In a short amount of time, more people joined the conversation, and it turned out that not only women or girls were interested in their concept, but (young) men were enthusiastic as well. One of them was the Kurdish 35 year old Omed. His dream is to share his cooking skills and that from other refugees to all of Belgium and beyond, this by driving around in his own (refugee employed) food truck. He told us that he already arranged the use of a food truck for him and his friends to spread his love for food! The amount of work he has put in his dream was clearly visible in his passionate story. This was probably the most pleasant and unexpected find of this trip, because it confirms the thoughts of the students, it is inspiring to hear especially during the IDW project week.
To find out more about Omed, check his story in this video below: