July-September 2019


In a time-span of three months, on a strip of brownfield land in Antwerp, we will build a gigantic bamboo and wood sculpture, the Tower of Babel, where cultures can meet and languages will resonate. Anyone is welcome to participate.

Legend has it that the Tower of Babel was never finished because people spoke different languages and did not understand each other, let alone work together. What if we turn the story around? Artist collective Rooftoptiger and the city poet of Antwerp Maud Vanhauwaert join forces to prove it can be done. The Tower of Babel is considered as a co-building project and will both be a meeting point for sharing multilingual poetry as well as a laboratory for super diversity.

A variety of activities will take place on and around the tower. In July the focus will be on the bamboo and wood construction of the tower, using different building techniques. Participants are free to contribute by bringing in techniques and crafts from around the world. The shaping and finishing of the tower will continue in August and September. At the same we will organize workshops or host a cosy sunday afternoon talk show with the city poet and guests. During eight weeks, the new city poem will be translated into various languages. These variations of the text will lead up to the final version of the poem. The tower will become an art work, a sound installation, embracing the new city poem. From construction to finish, the whole project is based on co-creation. Many local organisations will be involved.

People with another mother tongue than Dutch are more than welcome to join Rooftoptiger and the city poet this summer.


Because it is in our speechlessness that we understand each other best –
Maud Vanhauwaert


Tower of Babel is a project by  Rooftoptiger, Maud Vanhauwaert in collaboration with Antwerp Book City


in collaboration with Atlas, Permeke Library, Samenlevingsopbouw Antwerpen, Rode kruis opvangcentrum, Kif Kif, Elegast vzw, Steunpunt Tewerkstelling, Artists workspace Archipel, Loods des Doods, Open School Antwerpen, CVO Encora, Amorika collective, Wilde Raven and others.

with the support of Antwerp Book City, City of Antwerp, Stadsmakers, Flemish Government, Flemish Literature Fund en Het Oude Badhuis


Su 7/7 14:00-16:00

Sa 13/7, 20/7, 27/7 – 14:00-18:00
What can you do? Build with bamboo, wood and other materials, experiment with tying and weaving techniques, learn how to make an oven out of clay and loam or bring your own ideas. 

Su 4/8, 11/8, 18/8 25/8 en 1/9, 8/9, 15/9, 22/9 – 15:00-17:00
a sunday afternoon talk show with Maud Vanhauwaert and guests, a recap of a week on and around the Tower. You can visit the Tower as a sound sculpture. 

Sa 3/8, 10/8, 17/8, 24/8, 31/8, 7/9, 14/9 en 21/9 – 14:00-18:00
Choose between different ateliers: cooking, building, calligraphy, paper making, sharing poetry, translating and more… you are equally welcome to just have a chat or practise your language skills.

Su 22/9 – 15:00-19:00
Last DROESEM and public disclosure of the new CITY POEM by Maud Vanhauwaert.

25/9 – 26/9
free visit of the sound sculpture and city poem


All activities are free of charge and accessible for all ages


On a brownfield in the former slaugterhouse neighbourhood. 

Slachthuissite − entrance Damhof – opposite Lange Lobroekstraat 77, 2060 Antwerp Dam

google maps

public transport – tram 12 of metro 2, 3, 5 en 6 >> Stop SCHIJNPOORT
by car : entrance Slachthuislaan 70

Join us in July to build the tower!

(c) Siege Dehing