🔜 short documentary, currently in production with Omroep Gelderland and GoShort International Documentary Festival
Collaborative research project and exhibition, between the MA Non Linear Narrative (Royal Academy of Art, The Hague) and Greenpeace Nederland, investigating the impact of deforestation on climate change. Shown at KABK (The Hague) and during “Mag het Licht Aan” Festival, organised by HIVOS (Amsterdam).
What they destroy, we will build again is a video installation and research that uses the recreated Arch of Palmyra as a case-study to excavate landscapes of power, and to talk about neo-colonial appropriation of heritage in an age of digital reconstruction and contemporary iconoclasm.
In May 2015, IS militants occupied the ancient Syrian excavation site of Palmyra and demolished most of its structures, including the triumphal arch. As “an act of defiance” against this cultural censorship, the British Institute for Digital Archaeology replicated the demolished arch; on 19th April 2016, the life-size scale reconstruction was erected at Trafalgar Square, London, and has since travelled to several cities across the globe.
In his speech during the unveiling ceremony, (then-) London mayor Boris Johnson said: “What they destroy, we will build again”, with these words posing a powerful and binary narrative that presents construction as the opposite of deconstruction; inexhaustible, idealistic construction as the solution to inexhaustible, idealistic deconstruction.
But does recreating, placing and unveiling a monument not create a landscape of power, just as much as iconoclastic destruction is creating a [non] landscape of power; both in physicality as in narrative?
Part of: KABK Lectorate “Design and the Deep Future” — part of: MIT Docubase Open Documentary Lab — Mentioned in: Voices of VR Podcast by Kent Bye — Part of: IDFA 2019 Doclab “Domesticating Reality” Spotlight selection — Screened during: ‘A Slippery Slope’ exhibition in Garage Rotterdam — “Monumental Fluxus” exhibition for Young Art Weekend, Expoplu Gallery Nijmegen.
Making the analogy with the terrestrial world, where architecture is known to be employed as tool for establishing power, Platform Warfare: Digital Architecture of Occupation is a thesis that poses the digital platform as the architecture of cyberspace: a new virtual landscape, that too is subject to and based on different power structures and concepts of territory.
Using the issue of Airbnb operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank as case-study, the thesis makes a parallel between disruptive tactics that structurally underlay the functioning of digital platforms, modern day traveling and settler colonialism, by this pointing out the relation between colonialism and digital technology as a wider, emerging issue.
Is representation of nature through media and entertainment more real to us than nature itself? “This is not the Amazon” is a video essay that investigates how the concept of wilderness is constructed through different perspectives and economies, simulated over and over again into a simulacrum — an image that may never have existed in the first place. In collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Castel.
Shown during: FIBER Festival Short Film Programme — CIVA Festival ‘When I look through my browser window I can feel the fresh air’ film programme — PRESENT AND UNACCOUNTED FOR short film programme — Cinema Underexposed Festival — IDFA DocLab 2019, Artificial Futures artist talk — “Mag Het Licht Aan” festival (HIVOS) — NEST - KINO Open Air Cinema / The Hague Contemporary — “Views From Above - Networks, Colonial Vision and Indigenous Resistance in the Brazilian Amazon” exhibition. Mentioned in: feature for It’s Nice That
A symposium on public security under algorithmic control, collaboration between Non-Linear Narrative students and tutors, and Politie Nederland.
For Museum Bronbeek, in collaboration with Sadaf Nadimi and Tessa-Norah Feenstra
The Archive Series presents a series of five live-streams from the archive of Museum Bronbeek, a museum that is dedicated to Dutch colonial history in Indonesia. The five screens all show a specific framing of the same object: a looted skull from the 1800’s, that is now viewed upon as too controversial to be displayed, but has been a prominent part of Bronbeek’s exhibition for over a century.
Every screen reveals less of the skull itself and more of the set-up that is capturing the real-time still, making clear that the object is in fact a networked and mediated object that has existed within different timeframes and mindsets (from trophy to problematic), thus every time creating a different version of the object.
The installation advocates for accessibility to a collective past, and transparency in handling objects that are a problematic remainder of Dutch colonial history.
“Belong Anywhere” is a film installation about the involvement of Airbnb in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Palestine. The film exposes the ways in which Airbnb is propagating structures — or infrastructures — of occupation towards Palestinian users and, by this, indirectly maintains the occupation. The viewer is taken on a journey to the occupied West Bank, visiting Airbnb accommodations in both Palestinian villages and illegal Israeli settlements. By comparing these two, it becomes clear that in fact, both are not given the same options thus treated equal — this in big contrast to how Airbnb presents itself.
The film shows that the notion of traveling itself is a political construct in an area where for a certain demographic group, freedom of movement is not at all self-evident. The journey, that starts as an adventurous road trip becomes more and more uncomfortable when these constructs come to light and show how Airbnb, by allowing listings in illegal Israeli settlements, actually facilitates a platform for financial and ideological support towards the occupation of the West Bank.