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WE ARE THE CITY & Afternoon Ensemble

WE ARE THE CITY & Afternoon Ensemble

Edith Scher, Met-X, Matemurga, Athens Comics Library/Comicdon press, PS Theatre

Our Family Afternoon is the moment where our ICAF Festival Programme and City Programme come together as one. All of the events created and compiled for this afternoon of programming are open to festival participants, Rotterdam locals, and are child-friendly, family-oriented participatory activities.

Our Family Afternoon kicks-off with “WE ARE THE CITY” from PS Theatre at 13.30. WE ARE THE CITY is a life-size board game in which you are the pawn. With the passport of a newly born baby in one hand and a dice full of opportunities in the other, you walk the life of this new city dweller. Step into the shoes of Fleur, Edino, Isaya, Hayd or one of the other characters, directly in the city of Rotterdam, and discover whether there is such a thing as “equal opportunities”. Because the character stories are based in Leiden, they give context to the Dutch system of (in)equality of opportunity. Though the character stories are based in Leiden, they can be considered somewhat universal, in that the aim is to engage in different bubbles of lived experience and hear stories that may be very different to your own.

In a playful yet confrontational way, WE ARE THE CITY exposes the systems of inequality that underpin society. While playing WE ARE THE CITY, a wider discussion will take place on the opportunities these people receive and the bumps they encounter. In this way the numbers and statistics – which play a significant role in the game – receive a human face, making WE ARE THE CITY an informative, interactive and palpable game that will spark conversation, contemplation and perhaps a change in perspective for all those who chose to play. WE ARE THE CITY is suitable for all audiences who wish to delve deeper into the systems of equality and inequality in contemporary society. The playing of the game will be followed by an after talk with Pepijn Smit, founder and director of PS|theater, where he will share the process and methodology of creating WE ARE THE CITY, and the wider vision and mission of the city ensemble that the game sits within.

PS|theater is the city ensemble of Leiden and makes theatre, music, games and audio. In their projects and productions, they offer a new perspective towards living together in the city now. They have developed a distinctive social-artistic working method over the past twelve years. As theatre makers they place themselves in the middle of the city and ask fellow citizens about living together in the here and now. As a result, they not only involve people from our own ‘bubble’, but hear differing ideas, opinions, doubts, and desires.

Following the participatory workshop from PS Theater, participants can enjoy our Afternoon Ensemble of family friendly activities, these include a workshop from Humor y Vida, Scene Creation from Matemurga, Takeaway Art Kit presentation from Athens Comics Library & Comicdom, and Funfakids from festival resident MetX.

Humor y Vida Workshop

Corporación Humor y Vida is composed of women artists from Ecuador and Colombia. They work on the contested borderlands between their two countries, an area frequently used for illegal crossings and also by guerrilla fighters. For fourteen consecutive years, it has carried out cultural projects with a strong social emphasis, seeking to undertake artistic activities in places in Ecuador that have difficult access to artistic and cultural proposals.

As part of their stage work, they conduct research around theater genres, including: experimental, children’s, visual, gestural and clown theatre, making use of “collective creation”. For the Family Afternoon, Humor y Vida will be facilitating a children’s workshop focussed on creative, participatory activities.

Scene Creation

Matemurga, the community theatre group of Villa Crespo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, founded by Edith Scher, will connect with a local Rotterdam-based choir to create a public performance. Ahead of the performance, Edith Scher will work with the selected choir over a three-hour period, where together they will collectively reflect and respond to the history of the neighbourhood. Participants will then be split into four groups to focus on different themes and focuses, before coming back together to perform. Audiences are welcomed to witness this beautiful choral performance that connects with the local histories and stories of the area. Matemurga was founded in mid-2002. The works of Matemurga centre community singing and music, with the use of orchestras and puppets, making them perfect for the ICAF Family Day programme. Edith Scher is an esteemed Argentinian writer, musician, academic and actress.

Takeaway Art Kit Presentation

As part of the ICAF Slow Start series, over Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning, Athens Comics Library, a comics library and community space based in Athens, Greece together with ICAF participants will produce personalised, and context-specific Take Away Art Packs. The Take Away Art Packs are DIY creativity packs that children can enjoy at home together with their caregivers that stimulates creative storytelling through a do-it-yourself, empowering approach. For ICAF, this collection of Take Away Art Packs will be made specifically for the children of the IJsselmonde neighbourhood to receive. During Saturday afternoon, as part of the ICAF Family Day, dr. Lida Tsene and Dina Ntziora, the initiators behind Take Away Art Packs, together with some of the participants of the Slow Start Workshops will gift the Take Away Art Packs to the local children, and be present to help with the opening of the packs. Athens Comics Library, provides a safe and creative space for local, refugee and migrant children and their caregivers through their broad, participatory cultural programme that includes activities around art, storytelling and sports


We are excited to welcome MetX’ Fanfakids together with the SKVR Brassband school in Rotterdam for our Saturday Family Day. Fanfakids are a group of youngsters, ranging from 6-16 in age, from Brussels who transform their youthful energy in an explosive concoction of rhythms. Their groove is a metropolitan mix of dance and music, which they can unleash anytime and anywhere! Created during MetX’s 1st Zinneke Parade in 2000 as a collaboration between MetX and Centrum-West – D’Broej, Fanfakids, ever since, have built up a unique reputation as a cross-over between an urban training program and an artistic production. Despite their young age, they have an impressive record of achievements in Belgium and abroad. They feel at home at various festivals and have created a close bond with various drum, dance and theater groups from Africa and Europe. With contagious energy, and inspiring rhythms, expect to move and groove all afternoon long with our Fanfakids and Brassband school family performance. 

Enjoy an afternoon activities in the heart of Rotterdam, where international participants and local communities can come together.