Get Familiar: Homebase
Interview by Passion Dzenga | Photography by Merijn Koomen
Collaboration is key to mutual growth. Just the act of passing knowledge between each other can help people reach their full potential as we can provide each other with perspectives and insights unforeseen. Homebase has this mantras at their core. Facilitating a connection between the youth of Zaanstad and Het HEM through education, broadcasting, events and much more. We wanted to catch up with the team behind Homebase on the eve of their event with Live at the BBQ and get familiar with what they are all about.
Can you introduce who is involved in the project and what Homebase is all about?
Homebase is an initiative of Het HEM and CNCPT that came from different needs. Where Het HEM is looking for a connection with young people and the creative community of Zaanstad, the young creatives of Zaanstad are looking for places to create, network and display their works.
How did Homebase come together?
In 2019, Ella John (CNCPT) and Kim Tuin (Het HEM) started brainstorming about a concept that would combine Het HEM with the creative community of Zaanstad. Ella reached out to several young creatives from Zaanstad like Merno (photographer), Fabs (rapper) and Enrique (film) and invited them to Het HEM . They talked about their needs as local artists and possibilities in Het HEM so that a program could be created around this. Ella has been supported in creating programmes by Giovanni Tuinfort and Boga Barbosa.
How was it forming a collective during the peak of the pandemic, what were some challenges that you faced right out the gate?
It was actually quite nice to bring this concept to live in a period when little was possible. Many people were looking for inspiration and a reason to come together. Being able to walk through the building when no one else is there is also a great experience and gives you the space to think in a different way about all the things you could do in Het HEM.
Something that is still a challenge, but not related to the pandemic, is accessibility. Het HEM and Het Hembrugterrein are still hard to reach by public transport, which is already a barrier for the young target group to visit Het HEM. Over time, this area should also be seen more as a cultural hotspot, but it is not yet popular among young people because of this reason.
You have a relatively young squad with everyone being born after 1990, what is it about that youthful energy that makes Homebase what it is?
At the moment there are many young artists who give a new meaning to art by not putting themselves in boxes. Homebase mainly consists of multidisciplinary young creatives who are hungry to grow and who are each at a different point in their creative career. In this way, they inspire each other, but they also learn from each other.
In the Homebase podcast, you sit down with a lot of very influential people, what conversation has been the most enlightening to you so far?
All conversations were equally inspiring due to the different backgrounds of the guest speakers and their unique energy. The bond between Ela vd Jeugd and Nevs was very nice to capture. The fact that they have been able to experience each other's growth in the creative industry as friends and are now sharing their knowledge with a new generation of young artists is exactly what Homebase is all about. Learning and growing together.
You have a sincere message of “Each One Teach One”. How will you carry on teaching people in your environment in the coming months?
By coming together as a collective and creating, we learn from each other. In addition, we will continue to set up programs such as the Homebase Music Talent Development programme. This is a talent development programme for upcoming female artists of which Fabs and Reanny, who are on the program of Homebase Connects x Live At The BBQ, are part of. We also did a pilot of an event production programme of three masterclasses with Bureau Punt this year.
What creative fields are your peers in Zaanstad invested in?
At the moment many people are working on visuals, so photography and film, but fashion is also becoming a trend in Zaanstad. In addition, music has always been big in Zaanstad.
How did the connection with Live at the BBQ come together?
Orpheu, music programmer at Het HEM, has suggested a collaboration with Live At The BBQ. Which we all thought would be a dope connection. Homebase is also about showcasing the culture of Zaanstad to creatives of other cities by inviting them over. This is also what we’re doing in collaborating with Live At The BBQ.
What can we expect from Homebase Connects x Live at the BBQ?
A blend of the vibes that represent Het HEM, Homebase and Live At The BBQ. The outdoor program includes live acts of Backroad Gee, Mad Professor and Ella John. Inside is the skate pop up of the collective CLCP with a fashion market of emerging local brands such as I'M Enigma, Younithy, Black Listed Label and CLCP.