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Bye to CORPO

A retrospect on 1.5 years of Wolphaertstraat

by: Jessica, Ani & Noemi

photography: Ani Kehayova & Isabel Suqi

How it all started

In November of 2022, CORPO opened its doors on Wolphaertstraat 53. We’re a community arts studio which explores the central topic of ‘the body’ through art and community projects. CORPO began when our initiator Jessica Hellmuth pitched her idea to W1555’s residents and was selected to open a public initiative in one of their social project spaces. She hoped to create a space where artists in the area and other residents of Charlois could connect and have easy access to art and community activities. The topic linking these goals was ‘the body’, so as the team came together, we formulated our mission statement as follows: ‘We all have a body – each carrying our own unique stories, identities and perspectives. At CORPO we explore how this connects us and celebrate how it makes us different.’


Jessica Hellmuth, Noemi Bardas, Ani Kehayova en Clara Brito vormen nu het team van CORPO. We zijn blij dat ook Julia Quintanilla en Christopher McAuley dit jaar deel hebben uitgemaakt van ons team. Samen hebben we achtergronden in circus, dans, facilitatie, fotografie en kunstzinnige therapie en zijn afkomstig uit de VS, Roemenië, Bulgarije, Spanje, Ierland en Brazilië.

What we do

In our 1.5 year of running the studio, we’ve had the opportunity to hear many different perspectives from many different bodies. We’ve hosted monthly artistic projects related to the body with work-in-progress events for the neighborhood, led movement classes and workshops, facilitated a photovoice project in which participants created a collective portrait of the neighbourhood through photography, started a skill sharing group where participants take turns sharing skills from the context of the body and collaborated with various socially engaged artists.

Bringing people together

Each time a new person has found us and decided to join an activity, watch a performance or even take up leadership in an event has been amazingly rewarding. Slowly we felt that passersby would look into our window to see what new thing was happening or tell their friends about events coming up. It was amazing to see how many people are working on projects which talk about the body, build community and facilitate important spaces for reflection, discussion or much needed fun. Each time we hosted someone or heard someone’s experience of an event, we enjoyed having the chance to learn from it and find ways to structure our program to better fit those who come to visit us and those we have yet to meet.

Future plans

By the end of March, CORPO will be moving to a new studio. Luckily, there is a new studio in Rotterdam South which we can likely move to without suspending our activities. There, we will continue building on the foundation we’ve had the amazing opportunity to get going in Wolphaertstraat. We hope that you’ll keep visiting us to enjoy some snacks, get curious, meet new people and make cool things. Keep an eye on our socials for more info!

In March Jessica is also taking on a new, exciting path by moving to Berlin. We’ll miss her and we are happy she will still visit us and collaborate on occasional projects. Ani, Noemi and Clara will continue the program and develop CORPO’s structure to be run collectively, so that no matter who the central team running it is, the initiative can continue bringing people together to get to know, share about and move their bodies together.

Last but not least

Thanks so much to everyone who has visited our studio so far, given us a wave from the window or told a friend about it. We’ve loved being a part of this neighborhood and are grateful for your help in getting CORPO started!

instagram: @corpo_rotterdam

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