The square kilometre

STAM205 5

Since 2018 Ghent City Museum STAM, Heritage Cell Ghent and historian Tina De Gendt, have been digging into Ghent's unknown past, one tile at a time.

Tile by tile, one square kilometre at a time

Hidden histories, lost collections and unexplored traces of the past. That is what ‘historian in residence’ Tina De Gendt has been mapping together with local residents and Heritage Cell Ghent for De vierkante kilometre.

Together, we examine the blind spots of the urban past. What needs to be preserved, we house in archives. What needs to be told, we present in the museum, in the city, and online.

In this way, tile by tile, The Square Kilometre travels through the city, adding depth to the enormous aerial photo in STAM. At the same time, for each neighbourhood, The Square Kilometre is the starting point or catalyst for many new local projects.

'Hidden Histories'

The story of a city is thousands of stories. Yet not all parts of the city, all groups or all themes are recorded equally in history books. With The Square Kilometre, we seek out the lesser-known pages about the city's past: in the least-known parts of the city.

Over the past five years,Tina went into the city's super-diverse transit zones together with residents in search of those ‘hidden urban histories’. In each neighbourhood, she let the residents immerse her in the past: through walks, conversations, local archives, interviews, etc. In each neighbourhood, she worked with a group of local experts (the reminiscent) to ‘negotiate’ the urban past.

09 sunday walks for residents

Neighbourhood walks for all

During her residencies, Tina goes out for walking interviews and organises free monthly neighbourhood walks for residents. After the residency, the walks translate into guided tours offered by guide association Gandante and into neighbourhood walking plans.

The neighbourhood walking plans offer both residents and visitors a colourful glimpse into the square kilometre's past. The plans are produced in collaboration with Nicolas Marichal and illustrators Lukas Verstraete, Helene Lespagnard and Jeroen Janssen. They are available for the districts Brugse Poort, Rabot and Ledeberg.

20230512 STAM Vierkante Kilometer Ledeberg c Martin Corlazzoli COR06323

At STAM Ghent City Museum

What hidden histories surface during such a residency? You will find out at STAM square: a part of the museum that is accessible free of charge. Fragments of the living city are brought in. After each residency, here you will get a selection of what local history makers and residents have discovered: what city histories, archives and stories they have unearthed. About garage boxes and hidden religious spaces, about wondrous shopping streets and war-resistance.

Currently on display at STAMplein are the finds from tile K19 - Dampoort

Ghent City Museum

Godshuizenlaan 2 - 9000 Gent
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