Delfshaven, wat is je droom? 2023. Public art work at Beukelsbrug, Rotterdam. Exhibition date: May 2023 - May 2024

It was Florian’s dream to realise a work of art for the neighbourhood in this public place. With the work Delfshaven, what is your dream? he wants to invite local residents and passers-by to dream and (continue to) believe in their dreams. Dreams for yourself, for others or for the world around you.

Photo Delfshaven sunset, 2014, combined with a handwritten text, printed on canvas. Size: 590 x 720 cm. Thanks to the Municipality of Rotterdam & Hugo Bongers for supporting this project.

Photo installation from Delfshaven’s Finest, 2013 - present, as part of the exhibition Foto Expo Botu, February - March 2022

Delfshaven’s Finest, 2013 - present at the exhibition Jackets, Brothers, Tools & Others at Salón, Madrid, 2022
Full HD video, 22 min, loop

Picture installation from Delfshaven’s Finest, 2013 - present, as part of the exhibition (T)huis, Rotterdam Architecture Month, Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2022

Exhibition text: Since 2013, photographer Florian Braakman has lived in Delfshaven, a multicultural working-class neighbourhood in Rotterdam-West. “Through photography, I explore my relationship with the neighbourhood. I started doing this because I wanted to integrate into this new living environment, and after nine years I am still capturing the culture and community. I do this by making portraits, still lifes and urban landscapes. By combining all these different images, I emphasise the layered quality of the complex world. I’m interested in topical issues such as integration, migration and the sense of ‘home’. I approach these themes from both my own personal experience, and that of the people I work with. After all, we have a lot to learn from each other. I see my life in the neighbourhood as an ongoing source of inspiration, and it is also the starting point for my recent works ‘Broer’ (brother) and ‘In Between Homes’. Over the next few years, I will be expanding these projects.

The portrait photos in this window exhibition were taken in the neighbourhood of Delfshaven during 2014-2022. Exhibiting them in the public space of Delfshaven was a great success. People recognised each other and their community, and felt proud and seen.

In collaboration with Foto Expo Botu, 2022

Exhibition Verbeelding, Nederlands Fotomuseum, 2022
Broer, 2017 - present. Fine Art Prints, 23,3 x 35 cm (per print) in white frames.

Exhibition Jackets, Brothers, Tools & Others, Salón, 2022
Broer, 2017 - present. Digital C-Prints, 13 x 18 cm (per print) glued directly to the wall.

Photo: Kiki Petratou

Photo: Kiki Petratou

Exhibition Verwantschap, Museum IJsselstein, 2022
Left: Broer, 2017 - present. Digital C-Prints, different sizes and frames. Right: Nijmegenstraat, Curaçao 2017 as part of In Between Homes, 2017 - present

Exhibition Prospects & Concepts, 2019
Broer, 2017 - present. Digital C-Prints, different sizes and frames.

Exhibition Family, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2018-2019.
Digital C-Prints, different sizes and frames.

Rotterdam, hoe gaat het? 2020, at Foundation Mesh. Installation of various works in window displays at Marconiplein, Rotterdam. Digital poster prints, various sizes

In Between Homes, Rino Alvarez, Curaçao - “Ik ben een Rotterdammer, 2017” and Silas Khalipha, South Africa - “Everybody here think’s I’m a millionaire, 2018”

Full HD picture movie with soundscape and interviews. Screened at the exhibition Verwantschap Museum IJsselstein

‘In Between Homes’, Rino Alvarez, Curaçao - “Ik ben een Rotterdammer”. Full HD photo-film of still images, with a soundscape and a voice-over interview. Screened at Kunstinstituut Melly, 2019. Accompanied by drinks and snacks from Curaçao.

Picture installation for the exhibition Stipendium Schiedams Water, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2023

Photographer Florian Braakman has lived in Rotterdam-Delfshaven since 2013. In September, he temporarily moved to Charlois for 6 weeks to create new work for art festival Charlois Speciaal. This new living and working environment caused Florian to adopt new routines. His fresh and open mind led to unplanned encounters with residents and situations. Using a film camera, he moved intuitively through the various districts of Charlois, until recently a relatively unknown and underexposed district for him. His silent film Dit is Zuid, 2020 takes the viewer on a journey through people, urban nature, habits and the changes that Charlois is going through. Dit is Zuid, 2020 reflects on current themes such as migration and identity, but is also an ‘observation exercise’ and an ode to the neighbourhood. The film will be screened in various locations in Charlois’ public space.

Prospects & Concepts, Mondriaan Fund shows talent, 2019

“Florian Braakman (1988) is a photographer who wants to connect people through his photos. He captures everyday human relationships in urban life. Braakman is mainly concerned with his own neighbourhood: the multicultural Delfshaven in Rotterdam. Out of his concern about the polarisation of society and his sincere curiosity about the background of his fellow residents, he started the long-term project ‘Delfshaven’s Finest’ (2013-present). “What is it like to be a ‘30-year-old, white, male photographer’ in a neighbourhood where at least 70% of the population is defined as ‘immigrant’?” Braakman wondered. During his work process, he makes contact with local residents via camera, portrays them, sometimes works for local entrepreneurs and shares the results with them via door-to-door newspapers. “I think this dialogue is important because it allows me to make my work not only about my subject, but also for it”. With the easily accessible distribution of his photos, Braakman brings current social themes such as cultural diversity, origin and integration to the doorstep. He previously distributed such a newspaper in the autumn of 2018 as part of his Artist in Residence at Framer Framed, among the residents of the Amsterdam neighbourhood Molenwijk.

Broer (2017-present) is a series of portraits of men who amicably call him ‘brother’ on the street. It is a series about street culture, but also about acceptance and the concept of family. This series was part of the group exhibition ‘Family’ in Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. For the photo-film installation ‘In Between Homes’, Curaçao – Ik ben een Rotterdammer (2017 – 2018), Braakman travelled with his neighbour to his homeland, Curaçao. With the title Braakman refers to the sense of identity and life between two different worlds.”

Text by: Esther Darley

Florian Braakman in conversation with art enthousiast and collector Reyn van der Lugt during Prospects & Concepts, 2019

Publieke Werken, 2020
Car I, Rotterdam Zuid, 2017

Publieke Werken, 2021
Delfshaven Collage I, 2021
Two posters available per e-mail request.

Scanning Delfshaven at Foundation Mesh, 2018

In November 2018, Florian Braakman was the first artist-in-residence at Werkplaats Molenwijk in Amsterdam, a new community space set up by Framer Framed. In dialogue with its residents, he created a new photographic work on Molenwijk, resulting in a newspaper (distributed house-to-house) and a local collective exhibition.

Various works from Delfshaven’s Finest, screened on the media wall of Theater Rotterdam in the exhibition The Invisible City, 2018