Part 4: Changing Rhythms of Cultural Institutions and Public Spaces

As in many places, Amsterdam’s cultural and commercial places have faced significant difficulties. The museums, concert halls, theatres, cinemas and museums were closed during most of the lockdown, and even when they were open, they were imposed many rules, such as having a limited number of guests or closing very early. On the other hand, shops considered ‘non-essential’, meaning any shop that does not provide food or life-sustaining services (pharmacies and drugstores), were closed during the first phase of the lockdown. In Amsterdam Zuidoost, the COVID-19 regulations had a huge impact as well. As a city borough whose cultural landscape is rapidly developing1, the closing down of the cultural spaces had meant precarity for many organisations, artist networks, and those working in the cultural sector. Furthermore, as a city borough whose economy is mainly based on small businesses, the closing down of the main city functions brought failures to many. It created a less vibrant environment for the residents, with fewer places to visit and activities to carry out. Nevertheless, both cultural institutions and commercial spaces made many efforts to maintain their rhythms, making some as much as possible online, or scaling down the exhibitions and events. This chapter brings the focus to 5 places for exploring the change of rhythm they faced and why it is essential for the cultural and commercial rhythms to survive.

By Hanneline Mjåland, Claire van den Broek, Anke Krogh

Sefkatli, Pinar, ed. 2022. Changing Rhythms During the Pandemic in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Amsterdam: Designing Rhythms for Social Resilience, University of Amsterdam.

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