With the art project “Nimmanslân / No Man’s Land,” the artist duo SMET opens an art space for the neighborhood this autumn in the Heechterp district of Leeuwarden, at Beukenstraat 36a. In a vacant apartment, soon to make way for new construction, they present a program about the history of the neighborhood and its residents and how they can shape their present and future by reclaiming space. This dwelling, as a temporary “no man’s land,” not only illustrates the gap between the old and the uncertain prospects for the neighborhood’s residents but also showcases the power and possibilities of an in-between space; that which intervenes and refuses to conform. In October, SMET is organizing workshops to collect stories and images related to these themes from the neighborhood, and in November, the dwelling will be open to the public as a project and exhibition space.
Gjin Goaden, Gjin Hearen
This project originated during SMET’s previous stay in Leeuwarden in 2022 when, under the title “Gjin Goaden, Gjin Hearen / No Gods, No Masters,” they explored the history of Leeuwarden. This earlier work focused on histories within the context of various ‘Frisian identities,’ alternative utopias, and appropriated spaces. They uncovered hidden stories about local political movements, squatting culture, and the impact of communities on urban development. During this stay, they also engaged with residents of the Heechterp district and those involved in the upcoming neighborhood renewal, which will replace 576 outdated homes with new construction in the coming years.
The future of Heechterp
The future of Heechterp is a subject of discussion. The demolition and renewal of homes, as well as the redesign of public spaces, are bringing significant changes to the neighborhood. Not all residents view these changes positively, especially because not everyone will have access to the new homes. This threatens to tear apart the social fabric of the neighborhood. However, Leeuwarden has experienced moments of profound urban renewal with collective actions that prioritized the concerns and dreams of local residents. Looking at the past and the present, Beukenstraat 36a serves as a satellite that captures and disseminates stories and opinions of neighborhood residents, thus forming a fault line that reveals diverse ideas and beliefs about the past and future of the neighborhood.
In this temporary home base, SMET explores how a place contributes to a collective self-image and why it is essential to have space to come together and voice your opinions through workshops and art installations.
In collaboration with artists, they are creating shirts with Cengiz Mengüç and a series of light panels with Rogier Smal, among other activities. With Johan in ‘t Hout, SMET is organizing two workshops for students from MBO Aeres and neighborhood residents, focusing on their identity and place in the neighborhood. As part of the Citizenship course, students are immersed in the neighborhood’s political dynamics.
In November, Beukenstraat 36a will also function as an exhibition space. During weekends, the space is open to a wide audience, and through images, installations, publications, and a public program, you can participate in SMET’s project and contribute to the story of Heechterp. Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on the program.
We would like to invite you to the festive opening of the temporary art space ‘NIMMENSLÂN / NO MAN’S LAND’ by the artist duo SMET on Friday the 3rd of November, 16:00!
At the Beukenstraat 36a in the neighborhood of Heechterp, an empty appartement has been transfromed into an art space presenting the concerns and dreams of the inhabitants, whose neighborhood will soon be demolished, making place for new housing. To open this space together, we’d like to welcome you on Friday the 3rd of November from 16:00 at the Bewonersbedrijf Heechterp Schieringen. From 16:30 on tours will go from the Bewonersbedrijf to the exhibition space. At 18:00 We’d like to invite you to ennjoy a war meal with us.
We hope to see you at the opening of ‘NIMMENSLÂN / NO MAN’S LAND’!
16:00: Start opening
16:15: Word of welcome
16:30: Start tours
When: Friday the 3rd of November
Where: Stichting Bewonersbedrijf Heechterp Schieringen
Wilgenstraat 6, 8924 EN Leeuwarden
Tijdelijke kunstruimte ‘NIMMENSLÂN / NO MAN’S LAND’
Beukenstraat 36a, 8924 GK Leeuwarden
You are warmly welcome to visit “NIMMENSL N / NO MAN’S LAND” in November on Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00 to 17:00 at Beukenstraat 36a.
Design: Michiel Teeuw Supported by: Mondriaan Fonds, Gemeente Leeuwarden, Provincie Fryslan, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Fonds 21, Aeres MBO Leeuwarden