The Noordvestgracht with its windmills would not exist without Schie. The ‘See de Schie’ manifestation contributes to awareness of the importance of the river. Photo: Aviacamera/Wim ter Hart, Heritage House South Holland
SCHIEDAM – The name has been around for a while: ‘See the Schie’. Tomorrow, the Kulturforum Schiedam comes out with a special program where you can see and discover Schiedam and its buildings in a completely different way.
This is a three-day event in early October. All activities relate to the river from which Schiedam originates and owes its name. And it won’t be a one-off event around Schie, because Kulturforum is talking about a first edition. The foundation believes that the Schie deserves permanent attention because the river has a rich history and is still very important.
The first edition takes place on Thursday 6th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th October. The audience can choose between boat trips, discovery trips and fascinating presentations about architecture in relation to Schie. And buildings are opened in various places in Schiedelta. These are buildings that are not normally accessible to the public, such as the Sodafabriek, the Glasfabrikken and a few mansions on Lange Haven (Lange Haven and Buitenhaven are, after all, an extension of the river and Schiewater flows through it).
Piet Sander’s lecture
Kulturforum had toyed with the plan for some time, but had to abandon it due to the Corona measures. The foundation was established in 1961 on the initiative of lawyer and art collector Piet Sanders (1912-2012) with the aim of stimulating the cultural climate in Schiedam in the broadest sense of the word. ‘Opera aan de Schie’ was an initiative of Kulturforum, like the periodic Piet Sanders lecture.
It was after such a lecture, in Piet Sander’s former home on BK-laan, that Kulturforum was approached with the question of whether guided tours focusing on Schiedam’s urban planning and architecture could be arranged. There is so much to tell.
The board members took up the idea and brainstormed. At that time, ‘Atlas van de Schie’ had just been published, an impressive book about the river’s past, present and possible future against the backdrop of economy, environment, urban environment and infrastructure. For example, Schie ‘floating’ as an interesting theme at Kulturforum. An exploratory meeting was arranged with residents and experts, in which one of the authors of the Atlas was also involved.
Board member Annemarie Sour: “Subjects such as history, climate change, landscape, architecture were discussed, but also the realization that the Schie is a transport river and does little with ecology and recreation, and Schiedam would never have existed without the Schie. We organized the first Schie Café in the library before the Corona crisis. This attracted many visitors, young and old, experts and residents. It was a signal to us that we were on the right track.”
The Schie Café could not continue in 2020 and 2021, but it gave time and energy to build much more around it.
‘See de Schie’ wants to convey new experiences to those interested. The surrounding countryside is in full swing. There are all kinds of plans for Schieoevers.
To kick off the manifestation, a special edition of the Schie Café in Schiedam Library will be organized on Thursday 6 October with a presentation on the history and future of the river delta. There will be speakers with expertise in the fields of landscape architecture, cultural history and ecology. Architect-researcher Paul Meurs will talk about the cultural-historical value of Schie, while landscape architect Steven Delva will share his knowledge about the landscape’s role in current urban development challenges.
Nature lovers are also thought of: In the Schie Café, aquatic ecologist Ernst Raaphorst presents Schie’s lively underwater world. Music, inspired by the theme of water, is played live by the Schiedam band Sjarm!
With the theme ‘Speaking Schie’, residents, artists and historians are leading on tours of discovery on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October. Heritage comes to life against the backdrop of personal stories and future perspectives. During a ‘Look at the neighbours’ tour, the walkers have the opportunity to look inside residents of special buildings in the historic city centre.
Those more interested in industrial heritage can join a tour that includes recycling of the Soda Water Factory and the Glass Factory. Art historian and Schiedam ambassador Cilia Batenburg takes visitors to a unique brown fleet where historic sailing ships are visited and the skippers tell their own stories. Architectural historian Marcel Teunissen will be on the boat to talk about the special architecture and the eras that can be seen in Schiedam. Kulturforum Schiedam promises a unique experience that you don’t want to miss.
Kulturforum Schiedam is working on ‘See de Schie’ together with Perplekcity, a collective that focuses on site-specific programming. Pieter Kuster, with a background in architecture, art and cultural studies, has organized numerous public urban activities. He was the project manager of the large-scale urban event Rotterdam 2007 City of Architecture and in 2012, 2014 and 2016 curator of the architecture event ZigZagCity.
Emine Yilmazgil, a trained architect in Istanbul, investigates and analyzes the urban environment, where the importance of art and culture is central. She uses text and images. She has contributed several articles to Arkitera, Istanbul’s architecture center, and has directed short films. In 2014 and 2016 she co-curated the architecture event ZigZagCity.
The ‘See de Schie’ will be an annual event, which will be a prelude to the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the city of Schiedam in 2025.
The full program for ‘See de Schie’ is displayed at: www.cultureelforumschiedam.nl
IThe first version of this article said that the Piet Sanders lecture was held in the Dudok building on Gerrit Verboonstraat.