From now on, street art festival POW! WOW! Rotterdam will be known as ALL CAPS. With their new name and a new design, the street art organization will now stand in its own. The new name matches the ambitions of the organization. The tagline will be ‘Capital Art’. From the 4th till the 11th of September 2022, festival ALL CAPS will transform Feijenoord in the south side of Rotterdam into (street) art heaven once again.
At the end of last year, the organization behind POW! WOW! Rotterdam announced that it was separating from the international POW! WOW! family. Therefore, they will not go along with their name change into ‘Worldwide Walls’. The new name ALL CAPS has many meanings. It is a nod to the spray caps on the spray cans from the graffiti world, but also to typography. It stands for “capitals only,” meaning only capital letters are used. Many graffiti writers choose to work that way. In addition, the name ALL CAPS is an ode to the late hip hop icon MF DOOM. The London born rapper also preferred people to stylize his name in capitals at all times, and even named a song after that preference.
ALL CAPS is the most important street art festival in The Netherlands. Once again, they will bring national and international artists to the Feijenoord district of Rotterdam South from the 4th till the 11th of September. The foundation is formed by murals, but last year they succesfully added another art discipline. The gas domes at Mallegatpark transformed into an art gallery housing a sculpture exhibition. The organization has big plans to bring even more art forms together at the festival during the upcoming edition.
One of the most important goals of ALL CAPS is to make high-quality art easily accessible. ALL CAPS is an open-air museum without an entrance fee or closing time. The focus is on the neighborhood and having a positive impact on the living environment. In addition, the festival is both a meeting place for creatives and platform for inspiration and innovation in the large field of street art. Young talent receives extra attention.
In style, the launch of the new name ALL CAPS does not go unnoticed. As of today, the city of Rotterdam is filled with posters that will arouse the curiosity of many. Graffiti writers are known for often having their own stickers in their pockets. If there is space, they will put them there. The new posters have lots of empty space! The special poster pole on Blaak (in front of art academy, Willem de Kooning) also has enough space to be stickered. Thus, ALL CAPS offers space to beautify the city together with artists right from the name change; exactly what they have been doing for years.
The line-up for the fifth anniversary edition of the Rotterdam street art festival will be announced later this year.
From now on, ALL CAPS can now be found online under their new name:
Four years after the Rotterdam edition of the international street art festival joined the worldwide POW! WOW! Family, the time has come for us to part ways. POW! WOW! Rotterdam will not be joining the current process of renaming the festivals under the Worldwide Walls umbrella. Instead, we have chosen to go independent and create a new name and branding for ourselves, to commemorate this new chapter in our history.
The decision has been made after our mother-organization committed to organize a future edition of the festival in Qatar. In this country, freedom of speech is rigorously curtailed, migrant workers are exploited under life-threatening conditions, and human rights abuses take place on a large and structural scale. We trust in the good intentions of our friends within the Worldwide Walls organization, but do not agree with their decision to set up an edition of the festival within this nation.
We have been welcomed warmly within the awesome family formerly known as POW! WOW! Worldwide. The name was a reference to the colorful sound effects in comic books, as well as the traditional gatherings between certain Native American tribes in which they’d celebrate and exchange their cultures. At the time, we did not realize our taking up of this name caused hurt within some of these communities, for which we offer our apologies. It is one of many things we have come to learn about in the past four years.
We are nothing but thankful for everything our partnership with the organization now known as Worldwide Walls has taught us. Four years ago, we started as the young, brash little cousin. Now we have grown into a young adult, whose time has come to explore the world on one’s own. The love hasn’t cooled, but the time has come to stand on our own two legs. Our sincere thanks to Worldwide Walls and the trust and opportunities granted to us in prior years. We wish all our colleague festivals nothing but the best in the future!
Soon we will return for ourselves. With a new name, an a new logo, and the established strengths of our organization: making Rotterdam look nicer with each step, and offering a stage to be shared by both renowned and upcoming artists. Mark it on your calendar: your favorite street art festival will be returning to its hometown of Rotterdam in September next year! We’re ready for our next step. Are you?
In September, the fourth edition of POW! WOW! Rotterdam took place in the Southside of the city. In the daytime, an international group of artists created inspired murals and artworks in its streets. In the evenings, they shared their stories in the atmospheric Hefpark. This is the second of three recordings of those talks. Host Jaap van der Doelen speaks to Jagoda Cierniak and Diogo Ruas, better known as the duo MOTS.