I proceed my route from the trainstation to the Overpoortstraat, via the Citadelpark. It’s busy in the park for a Thursday evening, I take a moment to sit and observe… The atmosphere feels friendly and relaxed. There is a silence cry-out on a bench that states: “Pfizer, miljoenen zullen sterven”. Meaning millions will die. A mouth mask lays lost in the middle of the street, almost symbolic for this pandemic situation we’re in. A picnic in the park, the entire city seems represented. Another typical side effect...a nice one!
Arriving in the Overpoortstraat, I see two guys crossing the street, carrying a crate of beer. On the side stands a small legion of home delivery scooters waiting for action. A policecar aproaches the scene. Except for these few, the street is as good as empty... Ghent is a University city and this is the main area for students to party! Normally on Thursday evening it’s pretty busy here… Today the street looks like a forgotten fossil in an abandoned city. The silence is remarkable...
Two months later
When I arrive at the Citadelpark, I’m a bit disappointed, the happy picnic is as good as gone! In the distance I can hear a fanfare playing. I walk towards the sound and see a packed terrace with a live band. There’s everyone! Belgium has reopened it’s terraces and even though there are still some strict rules, you can feel a certain excitement in the air. Once in the Overpoortstraat I decide to stop for a nice and cold beer myself. That’s been awhile! Here I decide to record my soundscape for the Overpoort.