storytelling mirror magnet, special edition of Rotterdam Told by People

commissioned by Sweatshop Deluxe for the event Swan Walk 2014


Rotterdam Noord used to be a real working class neighbourhood. Now it has become a lot more multicultural, but still working class. At a certain point the Turks took over the shops, they were also a bit higher on the social standard compared to the Dutch living there. So they actually improved the whole area, including Zwaanshals, which is very funny.
— Fons (58 years old)
The north of Rotterdam is becoming nicer and nicer. Over there the Swan Market was originated. And on Zwaanshals you’ve got all these nice new stores, kinda the shopping point of the area. It’s a nice neighborhood, lots of great things are happening there. And some pretty amazing shops, like this one that’s specialized in wool, named ‘Ja, Wol’. There’s also this whiskey specialty store. Oh, and at the waterside of the Zaagmolenkade, there’s this furniture store where we regularly buy vintage furniture, Contemporary Showroom. I used to be in the neighbourhood a lot because my physiotherapist was there, so on my way home I would always pass by the Moroccan fishmonger to pick up his amazing fish soup, or get some ice cream at Doppio’s. The area has really changed a lot; back then there were just all these little grocery stores and shops primarily aimed at the Turks and Moroccans living there. Nowadays the stuff is more aimed at, how should I call it, a more trendy audience.
— Rob (55 years old)

Swan Walk is an annual three-day event that opens up the Zwaanshals neighbourhood in Rotterdam for visitors to get to know the local creative scene. People walk through all creator studios and shops in the area following the flagged locations. For the 2014 edition, this special and limited edition magnet was developed to be distributed to all visitors together with the map of the walking site.

As a little sibling of Rotterdam Told by People, this special edition fridge magnet was also inspired by the stories of locals and visitors.

More and more I feel like an inhabitant of Rotterdam Noord; it’s such a nice neighbourhood. The ‘artist density’ is about the highest in the whole city. That’s kinda weird! Well, maybe not that weird, but very noticeable. There’s a lot of stuff going on here. Nice shops have opened up on Zwaanshals, mostly of young entrepreneurs. You can see that this neighbourhood is different from the rest of the city, there’s also new things happening ‘on the streets’, like the Swan Market, the Noord Bruist Festival and the monthly market of Rotterdamse Oogst. However, I do get the impression that the people visiting these events don’t match the neighbourhood’s demographics.
— Richard (46 years old)