Astrid Feringa

Artistic researcher and filmmaker based in Arnhem (NL)


(+31) 6 286 200 91

2017—2019: MA Non-Linear Narrative, Royal Academy of Art (The Hague)

2014—2015: Honours Programme in Artistic Research, ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design (Arnhem)

2013—2017: BA Graphic Design, ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design (Arnhem)

This is not the Amazon (2019)

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: PRESENT AND UNACCOUNTED FOR short film programme — [Cinema Underexposed Festival]() — “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

What they destroy, we will build again (2019)

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?

What they destroy, we will build again is a video installation that uses the recreated Arch of Palmyra and as a case-study to excavate these landscapes of power, and to talk about neo-colonial appropriation of heritage in an age of digital reconstruction and contemporary iconoclasm.

Mentioned in: Voices of VR Podcast by Kent Bye — Part of: IDFA 2019 Doclab “Domesticating Reality” Spotlight selection — Screened during: [“Monumental Fluxus”]() exhibition for Young Art Weekend, Expoplu Gallery Nijmegen

Platform warfare: digital architecture of occupation (2017—ongoing)

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 that needs to be discussed.

Initiating for the thesis research is “Common Ground”, a film installation about the involvement of Airbnb in the Israel-Palestine conflict. 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.

The archive series (2017)

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 school 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.

For Museum Bronbeek, in collaboration with Sadaf Nadimi and Tessa-Norah Feenstra

Lenin: the object of my affection (2016)

Does an icon needs to be physically destructed in order to be broken? Lenin: the object of my affection is an image collection of intimate portraits with statues of Vladimir Lenin and a female admirer (sourced through Instagram), illustrating the breaking of an image through representation. For Beeldjagers / MOTI Museum of the Image

Mentioned in: De Volkskrant


“This is not the Amazon” at PRESENT AND UNACCOUNTED FOR short film program — Interview for Voices of VR podcast — “This is not the Amazon” at Cinema Underexposed Festival — Talk during Artificial Futures Symposium at IDFA Doclab 2019 — “What they destroy, we will build again” at IDFA Doclab 2019 — “What they destroy, we will build again” at Monumental Fluxus, Young Art Weekend, Expoplu gallery — Feature on “This is not the Amazon” for It’s Nice That — Screening “This is not the Amazon” during Mag Het Licht Aan Festival (HIVOS) — Screening “This is not the Amazon” during NEST - Kino Open Air Cinema / The Hague Contemporary — “This is not the Amazon” at Views From Above: Colonial Visions and Indigenous Resistance in the Brazilian Amazon Violent Patterns symposiumHendrik Valk Prijs for film “Common Ground” (Platform Warfare: Digital Architecture of Occupation) — Volkskrant: “Lenin: the object of my affection” for Beeldjagers / MOTI Museum of the Image