Janpier Brands

Janpier is creative director of WORM, live venue, art space and creative hub at the Witte de With. WORM has a regular program that varies from exhibitions to concerts to club nights. Janpier is originally from Leeuwarden, Friesland, where he founded cultural venue De Neushoorn in 2015. Having been a longtime  fan of WORM and of the city itself, when he got the opportunity to become  the new creative director he moved to Rotterdam. At the moment Janpier and his family live in Charlois (Southside). We looked him up and asked him about his favourite hideouts.

General favourite: Carnisse, Charlois
I live in Old Charlois. The transition from the small village where I used to live and this are has been surprisingly easy. On one hand the difference between the two couldn’t seem bigger, but at the same time it felt familiar and friendly, with the same kind of small town mentality. There are these weird kind of non-spaces, with a kind of weird atmosphere. Its these kind of area’s where you think, huh what?! that I like about this area.

Coffee: Koffie en Ambacht
My favourite around here is Koffie en Ambacht (Coffee and Craft). Its run by this artist couple and they organise concerts here in their cafe as well on the other side of the street. King Kong has the best coffee on the Witte de Withstraat. And I like Heilige Boontjes, good coffee but especially a great concept.

Restaurant: Polka, Warung Mini
At the Southside I would recommend Polka. At the other side of the river I would say, Warung Mini at the Witte de With is my favourite. When I came to Rotterdam, the Surinam kitchen was a real revelation, it was completely new to me.

You can mostly find me at WORM and sometimes at MONO. My go-to cafe is Koffie and Ambacht, besides coffee they also serve really great Hungarian wines and organise live performances. And there are a couple of nice new art galleries in the area, like Rib at the Katendrechtselaan.

Which areas would you like to know more about?
I got tipped to go to Rebelz aan de Rotte, so I would like to visit that. I actually like to discover more of  that entire area (North/Rotte) as there are loads of nice waters and lakes I’ve never seen or been to.

Best feature of Rotterdam:
One trait which can be seen as good and bad at the same time here in Rotterdam, is the tension between rich and poor, black and white, North and South, Port and city… During election times I experience these contrast as really quite negative. You can see the tension focussing on exclusion instead of solidarity. At other times you can see this tension accumulating into something very productive and energetic. MOMO is a good example of this: Harry (Hamelink, artistic director MOMO) spinning the story from a cold to a warm and inviting city and celebrating its contrasts.

Do you find inspiration in the city?
Besides physical areas, I get most of my inspiration from conversations with people, like Lukas who we just bumped into. He is at the heart of this (Polish) hiphop network in this area and has a space available for people who want to create beautiful things. It’s these kind of people that do all sorts of interesting things that give me new insights

Ultimate tip:
Take the metro to Zuidplein and walk west from there. From there to the Waalhaven is a real exploration.

Where can we find you during MOMO?
I am really looking froward to Colin Self. And the nightprogram, because its in participation with clubs we work with on a regular basis, like HUNNA. And I’m always looking forward to see shows in unexpected places during MOMO, like years ago, when they had shows on top of the roof of the old Hofplein train station.

Door Rotterdamse Ogen