Log in
to add an event

Culture in lockdown

Survival guide


by Sarah Blake



As the drivers behind a cultural website, lovers of curiosity, and hopping around the events Rotterdam has to offer, it is easy to feel a little itchy in these times of staying home. We are left in a limbo, of not being able to make any immediate future plans, as worldwide, events are being cancelled, and the Dutch narrative has seen most venues in Rotterdam close until April 6th, at earliest. 


Although, The Netherlands has been taking a more relaxed approach to the situation, compared with some of our European neighbors, it has still been recommended that we only leave the house for necessary activities. Walk your dog, get the bread for your sandwiches, but get THE bread (make your money), from home, if at all possible. Experts are recommending, our biggest tool to limit the spread is, isolation, and social distancing, which may be the long awaited dream to some, but causing unease to others. 


Aside from the direct trauma of the pandemic, this is greatly affecting our creative community, freelancers, and event organisers. However, when creativity is in our nature, we are naturally adaptive. Begging questions of how we can reach each other, and continue routines within our current limitations. Creativity, paired with community is strong, we have a worldwide shared goal…Let’s beat this shit, and not lose our damn minds in the meantime. 


Alongside your daily feed of memes, allow me to present; a few ways to avoid losing your mind. Get your feed of culture, education, and even party at home…. 




1 – View the IDFA online collection



The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam is the world’s largest documentary film festival held annually in Amsterdam since 1988 .You can stream hundreds of IDFA-selected documentary films and new media projects in their online collection. Within the Netherlands there are about 300 titles available for free. Outside the Netherlands there are almost 200.


See the Selection here




2 – Yoga from home



Today, I spoke with Jorden from ‘Yogaground’, a Rotterdam based studio which has just opened its second location. He mentioned that it being a tough time for freelancers and entrepreneurs, but also the power in the online community, and  that the Yoyaground social media following has taken a significant rise in the last few days, due to Instagram live yoga sessions. Jordan also shared this study with me, where Harvard medical school writes about yoga in relation to corona virus, and how it can help us.


Ferdinand Berghuijs, founder of yogaground: ‘We’ve been able to build our business because of our customers’ loyalty to Yogaground. Especially now, when they can’t come to us, we feel it’s up to us to come to them. Our Instagram live classes are a fun way to keep exercising and a great way to relax. Opening up our classes to everyone feels like the right thing to do. We can all use some extra support now. We’re happy to put in our fair share, and hope all Rotterdammers will participate!’


Support your local studios at this time. Find the scheduling for the instagram live session on the yoga around website or socials. 






3 – Virtual Museum tours



A modern day concept, doing a virtual tour of a museum, that seems far more applicable in the current climate. This link offers tours of 12 Museums from around the world, so you can immerse yourself and do your best impression of being there, whilst munching snacks from the couch. 


From  Rotterdam,  Het Nieuwe Instituut made a virtual switch for one of their successful events ‘The Sunday Stroll’, whereby en expert of their community takes you on a stroll through the exhibition ‘The Hoodie’, and you get to understand it through their own vision as a musician, dancer, cook, actor or art teacher. 


They have now introduced the ‘Sunday Scroll’, a fresh twist, where they will virtually walk you through the space. Last weeks Sunday scroll is still available to view here. 




Next Sunday 22nd, the latest Sunday Scroll will go live. Het Nieuwe Instituut are doing their best to continue most of their programme in live form, you can stay updated here; https://hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/live




4 – Creative Mornings Rotterdam- goes virtual.



Creative Mornings is a free breakfast lecture series for the creative community. It was curated in New York, and now takes place in 200 cities around the world, including Rotterdam.  Last month, I visited the Creative Mornings session at Spaces Rotterdam, where the theme of the month was ‘invest’. People grabbed coffee, croissants, and took a seat to listen to a talk by Niels Mudler, and later discuss with their seated neighbors,  what ‘wise investing’ meant to them, in terms of how to best spend our time to progress. I left in a good headspace to start my day, having talked with new people, and having heard interesting questions from the crowd teased out. 


I spoke with Marcela from Creative Mornings via facebook ,and she assured me that they are working to bring Creative Mornings to a digital platform. So maybe next time, you have to make your own breakfast and tune in to the lecture, until next time we can meet in person for a hot coffee.   You can follow their social media to see news on their upcoming events, and we will als






5 – Online Streamed parties


This one came in as a suggestion through Instagram from one of our followers, and as always, we love when you get in contact. 


This is an initiative that comes from Berlin, and maybe will see some Rotterdam initiatives follow suit.  Infamous for it’s club culture, which i’m sure most Rotterdammers have experienced, the closure of all club’s in Berlin is a huge threat to their cultural sector, and the tens of  thousands of people that work within it. In response, Berlin declares it’s solidarity with quarantine, and brings the largest digital club to your home. 

Tune in, dance alone in your sitting room, but you are not partying alone.




6 – Support your local community



Check in on Instagram, with the businesses you usually frequent. Cafe’s across Rotterdam are pushing new ways to keep afloat in these times, and also to feed their loyal following. To mention a couple, Harvest Rotterdam, Baker & Moore, and Arzu Rotterdam, gave away fresh produce, cooking batter, and perishables, because waste wasn’t an option, even without profit. 


Rotterday the half-yearly city guide, are active on instagram right now, sharing good news stories about how local businesses are taking on the government restrictions, and adjusting accordingly to keep you safe, and satisfied. Is good food the answer to keeping us sane? Lots of businesses are adjusting by offering online merch, delivery services for the first time, and products for home use. 


I got in touch with Rotterday and they said ‘We are living in a highly digitalised society, which often disconnects us from the real world. However now is a time, we can and have to use this privilege to stay inside as much as we possibly can.I really want to emphasise this, and tell people to go out only if absolutely necessary. The big supermarkets and chains are experiencing very busy times with overcrowding, which we should avoid. Instead we should take the time to buy from local businesses. Get your bread at a bakery like Bas Bakt, or when you need a treat, dinner from somewhere like Belén. 



If all else fails…. Brouwerij Noordt are delivering beer, and you can text them on whatsapp



Update! David Cusick and his team at Upgraded Points compiled a list of 50 museums folks can virtually tour! Check it out:





Neh… take me to the We Own Rotterdam home-page!