Courtesy of THE KOKRA FAMILY Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

The city of Rotterdam created a milieu-zone for our physical well-being: an area where regulations, signage and fines are being imposed to manage our behaviour, for greater sanity. THE KOKRA FAMILY is concerned with our mental well-being as this may even have a greater effect on our physical well-being. How do we feel in our city? Do we pollute each other? How clean are we on the inside, in our language, and in our social groups?

With over 170 different nationalities, Rotterdam contains a multitude of gender identities, and huge differences in class and age. Everybody has their own thoughts, values and opinions. Modes of engagement with each other differ and should not be put into rules and regulations. If we want an inclusive society, we have to think of better ways of dealing with each other. We have to conceptualize we in a queer manner that acknowledges our diversity. We is everyone.

To achieve well-being for everyone, we propose a Gossip Free Zone. The zone matches the milieu-zone in Rotterdam, but is first and foremost a zone in our head.

We have to reflect on the way we interact and start practising our personal cleanliness by the awareness of gossip. Gossip is a very powerful tool for including and excluding. Through gossip, groups are formed that harm outsiders. We propose: please refrain from gossip, please keep us all free from destructive opinions and please take care of each other. A zone that proclaims a healthy environment should start with care for ourselves, all together in an inclusive society.

Refuse to gossip. Create positive social bonds. Take care of each other.