Day 1: right through a building

Hello,

Imran (7 years old) was the first person awaiting me. Ief asked if he had friends. He was going to get another 2.5 friends and eventually returned with his neighbor Adan. They took me in the elevator to the 8th and 9th floor. They hung my head and tail from the windows of Mustafa’s apartment and Siham’s apartment. They hung my middle section over the gallery at the back of the building. I surely hung 30 meters high, right through the building. Laundry and sheets fluttered out of the windows below me and above me. I don’t know why I hung here. It was cold, I felt small and the laundry had nothing to say.

Mustafa brought us tea that he poured into the cups from a great height. Maybe this was a kind of sport and he wanted to show his skills. His wife prepared food and wore a scarf over her head. Mustafa said it used to be better here. That young people are now destroying things and using drugs. That his neighbor has been living here since 1955 and that someone was also born and died in this building. This building and the architect used to be famous throughout Europe. Ief said that even the United Nations Housing Commission had visited here. A dream on earth with built-in kitchens, galleries on all floors and strange “elephant legs” on which the entire building rests.

Now the doors hang from their hinges, the concrete is rotten and there are notices in the elevators telling you to pee at home. That seems logical to me, but I never have to pee so I am definitely not going to make any statements about this.

Tomorrow I will lie down on the grass in front of these buildings. I am going to imagine that the doors hang in their hinges, that the concrete is smooth and strong and that it makes sense that you don’t pee in lifts. And then I will visit Mustafa’s neighbor and look inside her memory of this dream on elephant legs, 65 years ago.

Rope






Day 2: the dream of Charles

Hello,

In the morning we went to a Mosque. Children learn Arabic there. Rajaa showed us how to write “Rope” in Arabic. I could not read anything, I only saw curls and stripes. Ief told the children who I was and what I had experienced yesterday. Afterwards the children carried me into the classroom and into the prayer room, where I was part of the lesson and the prayer. Everyone here was friendly and the children were incredibly good. The girls wore scarves. I don’t understand why the girls are colder than the boys.

In the afternoon I was lying on the lawn between the ‘Braemblokken’. Ief was with Charles, on the 12th floor. In 1955 Charles was one of the first to move into a new apartment in the Braemblokken. He still lives there now. “For that time they were very, very, very luxurious. We both had to work to afford it. The kitchen with cold and hot water was new to me too.” He says that a lot has changed and gives me a book that he wrote: ‘my life’. About his time in the Braemblokken. “When I close the front door behind me, I am still happy. But outside it isn’t the same as before.”



In the afternoon I was lying on the lawn between the ‘Braemblokken’. Ief was with Charles, on the 12th floor. In 1955 Charles was one of the first to move into a new apartment in the Braemblokken. He still lives there now. “For that time they were very, very, very luxurious. We both had to work to afford it. The kitchen with cold and hot water was new to me too.” He says that a lot has changed and gives me a book that he wrote: ‘my life’. About his time in the Braemblokken. “When I close the front door behind me, I am still happy. But outside it isn’t the same as before.”





Ief took a photo from the 12th floor, of Charles who was standing down below. I looked into his eyes as deep as I could and saw how beautiful it was here then. The stairs before you enter an apartment, the passage that is like a small street onto which the apartments open out, the openings between the floors so that you can see your neighbours above and below. The children’s paddling pool between the buildings. The coloured areas on the ceiling of the entrance hall.

Meanwhile Noor and Ziad are playing on me. Noor stepped alongside me and knew exactly how long I am: 60 meters. Exactly, not 5 cm difference. I am a rope. Noor is a bit of a yardstick.

Rope


Day 3: I am Ball. I am a ball.

Hello,

The exit of the shopping center is on a square. It is busy there. The ‘Braemblokken’ are around the corner. There was a holiday atmosphere, as if the beach were here on the corner. Ief spoke to people and showed them pictures of what we had done the last few days. He spoke with a group of girls and they wanted to help carry me into the shopping center. Not because of me, but because of the bag of sweets.

I know now that the girls are not cold and that it has something to do with the Mosque where we were yesterday. And the Mosque has something to do with the one who made everything: the flowers, the trees and the people. According to some, anyway. I was made by Ief and a number of prisoners. That is true for everyone. I will no longer make stupid remarks about scarves. It makes me a bit insecure how many other silly things I might say.

At one point there were enough people to carry me. Ief divided everyone across my full length. I always feel a great slowness in me. An urge to persist in my existing state of non-movement, to remain lying. A great force is needed to give me a different direction or speed.

Someone from the security stood at the entrance. The children would cause too much nuisance in the shopping center. I was a minor problem. Instead they carried me to the basketball court on the square. The porters laid me down. A number of them remained seated and watched the game. I was a kind of grandstand. The ball rolled over the ground and flew into the air. I was fascinated by how simple that was for the ball. I am good at lying down and very difficult to move. I am more complicated. A ball is round, you can’t make it any easier. I shut myself off from the world around me and dreamt that I was rolling over the ground and flying in the air. I am Ball. I am a ball.

Rope







Day 4 - Betty’s Medals

Hello,

I lay on a large lawn marked with white lines. Maybe there will be a parking lot for cars here, and they haven’t finished painting all the lines on the ground yet. They placed me on a circle drawn with a white line, and I turned out to be just a little too long. Then they put me on a white line that traversed the entire field, and I turned out to be a little too short. Then a woman called Betty came. She pointed to everything on the ground that had been here before. Back then there was a high jump area, a shot put area and an athletics track. Betty laid me in a kind of V shape. It was the place where javelin throwing was done. Betty won a medal for javelin and running here. I was closer to the ground than anyone else and heard the sounds from long ago. It was the same period as when the ‘Braemblokken’ were still a dream on earth.


Several people entered the site. They picked me up and carried me from the lawn onto the street. There are many people everywhere. As if people live outdoors here. We walked in the middle of the street so that the cars had to wait behind us.

We walked through a park and then through a small building to another lawn, also with white stripes. Betty was there again. She was standing in the middle of the lawn, on a white dot. Betty won medals on a track that is now buried under the turf with white stripes. But here she has created a new track, where she trains young people so that they might also win medals. The porters walked on the running track around the lawn, and then walked over to Betty. We circled Betty until I formed a spiral around her. They lowered me to the ground. Everyone sat down, except Betty.

Rope