about
Toon menu

snippets

Parckfarm Parabel

zaterdag 9 juni 2018
Deze blog werd geschreven door een van onze lezers. Wil je zelf ook beginnen bloggen in onze community, ga dan meteen aan de slag.
  • Kot-Kot burnt down - JP© BRUZZ, 19/3/2018, 'Buurtproject bij Parckfarm gaat in vlammen op' (scroll down for translated article)

Parckfarm Parable

In de zomer van 2014, in de grootstad Brussel, op een publieke plek, wordt een gemeenschappelijk kippenhok gebouwd door een groep buurtbewoners.
Ze worden gedreven door een gedeeld enthousiasme en optimisme, met de ambitie een collectief op poten te zetten.

In the summer of 2014, in the city of Brussels, in a park near a river, a collective henhouse is being built by a group of citizens. They are driven by a shared enthusiasm and optimism, by an ambition to create something new, collectively.

Ze bouwen een prachtig kippenhuis uit leem, op een stevige basis van stenen en aarde. Rond om rond komt een geweven structuur van takken en twijgen. Een waar kip-topia voor hennen en hanen genaamd Kot-Kot.

They build a beautiful henhouse out of loam, constructed on a firm base of rocks and dirt. The house is enclosed by a woven structure of branches and twiggs. A true chicken-topia they call Kot-Kot.

In de jaren die volgen leven de kippen een vrolijk en zonnig bestaan, hand in poot met de stedelingen. De stedelingen voederen de kippen met wat ze zelf niet opkrijgen in ruil voor verse eieren. De kippen zijn gezond, hun veren glanzen en hun vrolijk gekakel is tot ver in de omgeving te horen.

In the years that follow, the chickens and citizens live together in harmony.
The citizens feed the chickens their excess food and leftovers , while the chickens lay the eggs humans find so delicious. People are smiling and chickens are healty. Their joyful cackling can be heard from miles and miles away.

Maar in het jaar 2017 slaat het noodlot toe. Het vrolijke gekakel van de kippen komt toe bij kleine roofdieren als vossen en marters die ook hun onderdak vinden in de stad.
De arme kippen zijn volledig weerloos - het zijn maar prooidieren -, en de vossen en marters kennen geen genade - ze zijn echter roofdieren en moeten ook overleven. De stedelingen zijn al even machteloos en de kippen worden ’s nachts stuk voor stuk met huid en pluim verslonden.

But after two years of prosperity, disaster strikes. Small predators like foxes and martens discover the chickens and see them as any predator would.
The chickens are defenseless, as prey tends to be, and the predators are merciless, for they too are but predators who prey on prey in order to survive.
The citizens cannot help but despair, while their chickens disappear one by one during the night.

Er wordt getreurd maar mensen kunnen gelukkig op mekaar rekenen in deze tijden van rouw. Het project wordt voorlopig op pauze gezet, de stedelingen sluiten het hoofdstuk Kot-Kot af. Het lege kippenhuis staat symbool voor hun verlies en blijft verweesd achter. Een kippenhok zonder kippen heeft voor hen geen waarde meer. [8]

There is sadness but luckily people can count on each other in times of hardship. The project is pulled to a halt indefinitely, the citizens wrap up the Kot-Kot-case. The empty hen house symbolizes their common loss and is abandoned. A hen house without hens has no meaning to them, thus no value. [8]

Maar een kippenhok zonder kippen blijft een hok. De structuur wordt herontdekt en ‘geprivatiseerd’ door daklozen en mensen in nood die in de stad leven. Zij ‘lezen’ in het hok de bescherming die zij, zwak als ze zijn, zo goed kunnen benutten. Het hok wordt dus opnieuw gebruikt en heeft opnieuw een reden tot bestaan. Men zou kunnen zeggen dat het bestaan toelaat. [22], [23], [24]

But could a hen house without hens become a house? The wooden structure is rediscovered and ‘privatized’ by homeless and ‘people in need’. They ‘read’ it as a place for protection and isolation that they, weak as they are, so desperately need. The hen-house is once again in use and serves a purpose, a reason for existence. One could say it allows others to exist as well. [22], [23], [24]

Maar er is van expliciete win-win geen sprake meer. Daklozen kunnen wel in een hok slapen en kippenvoer eten maar leggen geen eieren. [15] Stedelingen komen in een ongemakkelijke situatie terecht. Mensen die wonen in hun kippenhok, in hun park? Daklozen en drugsverslaafden? Ze zullen het hok kapotmaken want het is helemaal niet gebouwd voor mensen! Ze zullen er drugs nemen en vrijen in het hooi! [29], [32]

But the situation has changed. The explicit win-win scenario is no longer in place. Homeless can sleep in a henhouse and eat chicken food, but lay no eggs. [15] Citizens feel wronged. People living in their henhouse, in their park? Homeless and drug addicts? They will damage the wooden structure as it was not built for humans! They’ll do drugs and hump in the hay! [29], [32]

Er zijn ook stedelingen die dit anders zien; als een symbool voor een problematiek van de stad Brussel en zijn beleid. Maar de problematiek is te groot om door vrijwilligers en buurtbewoners op te worden opgevangen. De stedelingen geraken het maar niet eens, er komt geen besluit of oplossing, de situatie sleept aan.

There are also those who see things differently, see the hut as a symbol for the political problems Brussels struggles with as a city. But the problem is too great to be handled by volunteers and local residents alone.
The citizens cannot come an agreement, no conclusions or solutions are offered and the situation drags on.

Op een nacht ontstaat er een brand in het kippenhok. Het hok gaat op in vlammen en uit de verkoolde resten rijzen vragen op. Sliep hier iemand vannacht? Heeft die de brand aangestoken? Was het een wanhopige kip of een sluwe vos? Niemand die het antwoord kan achterhalen, een onopgelost mysterie. [20]

One night in March, the henhouse catches fire. The structure goes up in flames and from the ashes questions arise: Did somebody sleep here tonight? Did he or she start the fire? Or was something else involved? A desperate chicken or a cunning fox? The facts are irrelevant and the mystery remains unsolved. [20]

Wat geen mysterie is, is dat het probleem zichzelf heeft opgelost. Geen hok, geen schuilplaats, dus geen onverwachte bezoekers, bijgevolg geen discussies meer. Er hoeft niet gedacht te worden aan oplossingen of toekomstplannen voor de bestemming van het hok want de knoop die moest worden doorgehakt is doorgebrand.
Uit de assen zal een steviger en veiliger gemeenschappelijk kippenhok oprijzen, 'voor iedereen'. [9], [10]

What’s not a mystery, is that the case closed itself. Without a henhouse, there can be no unexpected visitors, thus no more discussions. No need for debates about solutions and future designations because the cord that needed to be cut has been burned.
From the ashes a structurally more sound, safer henhouse will arise, 'for everyone'. [9], [10]

(open) Einde.

(open-) End(ed).

Thomas Rasker

 

The parable refers to: 

 - PARCKFARM, ‘Kot kot – Project wordt gepauzeerd’, (http://www.parckfarm.be/nl/kot-kot-3/ ).

‘Kot-Kot is a collective henhouse in the city of Brussels designed , managed by the neighborhood residents. The purpose of the project is to support activities concerning the self-production of food in an urban context. Local families and volunteers attend to the chickens and the infrastructure, and face all challenges involved in an urban context.

However, 2017 was a tough year for the project. The henhouse fell victim to the attacks from small predators like foxes and martens. The infrastructure was in need of proper maintenance. The project was put to a halt by Parckfarm, to make reinforcements to the structure of the henhouse so as to insure the safety of the animals, and to gather a group of motivated volunteers who want to engage in the project’s future. The organization asked people not to put any animals in the henhouse for the time being.’ (translated from the Dutch article)

- BRUZZ, ‘Buurtproject bij Parckfarm gaat in vlammen op’, 19 March 2018 (https://www.bruzz.be/samenleving/buurtproject-bij-parckfarm-gaat-vlammen-op-2018-03-19 ).

- CUYVERS, W. ‘Musea voor actuele kunst, van het bordeel via de school naar Ikea’, July 2007 (https://www.dewitteraaf.be/artikel/detail/nl/3206 ). (partial English translation by Liesbeth Kennes found on ‘www.community.dewereldmorgen.be’ below; the numerical references in the article - i.e. "[15]" refer to Cuyvers' 36 characteristics of public space).

    ‘Wim Cuyvers 

In an article on museums as security space in the art magazine De Witte Raaf, the architect Wim Cuyvers (google him and his 'transgressive architecture') gave a series of definitions of public space that merit to be considered apart from their context and deserve to be translated, as they give a very unusual but inspiring content to concept of ‘public space’.

  1. Public space is the opposite of private space, it is the opposite of privatized space.
  2. He who privatizes space has acquired this space, he bought it or has inherited it, he confiscated or occupied it. He is protected by laws, habits and power.
  3. He who privatizes space, has power.
  4. He who privatizes space, exercises control over it.
  5. The powerless needs public space.
  6. Public space is uncontrolled space.
  7. Public space is the space of powerlessness.
  8. Public space is economically insignificant, worthless space.
  9. The perfect public space would be this space where everyone could do anything at any time.
  10. So, public space is a Platonic notion: one hundredth percent public space seems unthinkable.
  11. The street is far less public than one would think at first sight: the street separates various flows of traffic, it avoids conflict between these various flows of traffic: you need to have a car to be allowed on one part of the street, or a bike to be allowed on another part of the street.
  12. Likewise, the square is public space only in limited terms, the pub owner or shopkeeper appropriates this space, installs his terrace or his goods and carefully sweeps the garbage away.
  13. Leisure kills public space.
  14. One can recognize public space by garbage littering it: in society unequivocally focused on profit, the places littered by garbage are ignored places.
  15. Public space is the space of loss, not the space of profit.
  16. In public space garbage is blown against a vertical structure, a sidewalk, a long wall of an industrial building, a railway verge, a natural rift: the garbage or those considered garbage by society.
  17. Public space is the space of squander (of energy), not the space of frugal saving.
  18. Public space is, by definition, located near privatized space; a remote forest is no public space.
  19. The moment of social transgression is this moment when one gets in touch with oneself and the world.
  20. Real transgression happens outside of monitored private space: the child looking to light a small fire, the first sexual encounters, drugs,…
  21. Public space is the space of transgressing the social norm(s).
  22. Public space is the space of being.
  23. Public space is the space of non-possessing.
  24. Public space is existential space.
  25. Public space is the space of need (the compulsion of having to transgress the societal norm).
  26. Public space is the space where those in need are.
  27. Public space is the space where those in need meet each other.
  28. Those in need leave their traces in public space (garbage from garbage), such as their bodily fluids: tears, urine, blood, sperm. There is no one to sweep it away, the space belongs to no one, nobody feels responsible for it, no one has appropriated it.
  29. People of different ages, race or culture, people with very different needs, all seem in search for the same public space. Those who are, in various ways, in need seem to read space in a virtually identical way: the child and the aged, the drug addict and the person looking for impermissible sexual encounters…, all make use of public space in the same manner: right beside a parking lot near a bustling road, just behind a screen made of bushes. Those in need, who give in to their need, who accept it, read the place, read the space in the same way.
  30. He who accepts his very own need will see public space, will read it and understand it. He reads this space as did the other destitute person, who, before him, has seen and identified the space as being ‘public’.
  31. We all need transgression, we need the space for the transgression, we need public space; we are all in need and vulnerable.
  32. When a writer writes a book, the reader reads a different book and a next reader will read something else. It seems we can read space univocally, without disruption or interference, when we accept our need (instead of power and knowledge, overview and comprehension).
  33. Via space a non-verbal – or maybe better pre-verbal – speaking becomes possible.
  34. If I am able to read space in a way similar to many others, I’m able, across this space, to speak with those others; about myself, those others, about our needs and our fears, about the world.
  35. I can touch you, for just one moment, through (public) space.
  36. Maybe common space, the space we have in common, is a better word for public space.’

Source: these theses are taken from Wim Cuyvers, Musea voor actuele kunst, van het bordeel via de school naar Ikea. De Witte Raaf, editie 128, juli-augustus 2007 (translated by Liesbeth Kennes)’


  • KOTKOT blog
  • Henhouse after completion - from the KOTKOT blog: http://ici-hier.blogspot.com/