WORM Focuses On Cool

Mon 8 Oct '18

I wonder if anyone remembers that annoyingly catchy sticker we printed a few years back: the pink one with the text, “of je gaat naar WORM”? That cultural battle cry emphasized WORM’s role as a place for those who feel they have few public places to go, or feel that the increasingly homogenous city centres offers little in the way of cultural enlightenment or even contact. And it’s still relevant, it will never leave our DNA. This slogan shows itself in different forms as the years roll by, seen even when we peer out into the streets around our kultur-bolwerk on the Witte de With.

We said in our Open City statement that every inner city needs artistic uncertainty, fluid identities, creative mess and gung-ho spirits to tackle the current gentrified ossification. WORM’s central location is a healthy counterpoint to the gourmet food chains, boutique shops and set-piece, top-down, cultural events. WORM has always revelled in its role as an interface where everything – however undeveloped – is possible.

In essence WORM is open for ideas, people, meetings relationships, developments. From anywhere, anyone, and in any time-zone. And there is an obvious social and local aspect to this line of thought, which has got us on our feet and talking to the neighbours a bit more than previously. Maybe it’s this changing cityscape that forced us into action. We see the city centre developing in ways that maybe don’t always promise a positive, fully inclusive socio-cultural outcome.

Goats, Gherkins and Good, Good Parties
Over the last couple of years WORM has got off its collective backside, walked out of the building and engaged with its immediate surroundings in new ways. Some of these excursions and have been gloriously unplanned and mildly chaotic, some have been wildly inspiring, some have gone calamitously wrong. We’ve always been an visible presence in the area as those who go to the Kunstblock tours, or drink on our #Wunderbar terrace, know. Recently, WORM has shown locals how to milk a goat and change a bike tyre, thrown the entire building open for our free multidisciplinary “festucatios”, and pounded the streets of the city, during which we drank vodka, ate a gherkin or two and held a requiem for the soon-to-disappear water sirens. We’ve also scarred the kids of Rotterdam for life with our performances at Afrikaanderpark during Tentakel Festival.

Cool in Cool
This last year we’ve concentrated on what’s (in) Cool. This made us realise that there are many ways to make people understand that they too “could also go to WORM”. So, we’ve wrestled out the issues in the ‘hood in UBIK, with show wrestling as the midwife to such pains in the collective arse as Cool District’s parking problem. Every first Monday of the month we host meals for the district’s older inhabitants via the Eten en Ontmoeten in Cool organisation, where you can get a cracking feed and have a natter with a neighbour you never knew. And starting tonight (8 October 2018, the very same) is a series of free dance-and-movement-related culture workshops organised by locals specifically for children between 5 and 12. It runs all the rest of the year and into 2019. So why not bring the kids down and get them involved in some cultural fun?

WORM is a meeting point, a place to party, a place to think, a place to do. By taking risks, experimenting, messing up, by simply being there as a place to go, WORM can help others find and define success that in turn, help to shape the modern cityscape.