The road to school

Shown at Bredaphoto 2020

Shown at Noorderlicht 2021 

‘The Road to School’ concerns itself with one major question; how do we place ourselves in the world around us?

The Netherlands is currently undergoing a shift in how the country is perceived by its citizens. The ‘Zwarte Piet’ discussion popularized an active anti-racist discourse that questioned the foundational aspects of the Dutch society, its history and its traditions. Around the same time, new far-right parties such as the PVV (party for freedom) and FVD (forum for democracy) started a strong right-wing populist trend that took aim at the supposed ‘ills’ of society (such as Marxism, Islam and feminism) and further polarized the Dutch society. These discourses resulted in lived experiences where everything is fragmented, the future is unwritten and we can count on nothing.

My aim is to pull these fragmented experiences back together and find out what commonalities we still have. In 5 short computer animated videos we follow 5 people from different backgrounds and political beliefs, on a 3D render of the road to school they used to take during their high school years. Each story is a coming-of-age tale about growing up in the Netherlands, with themes such as racism, sexism and privilege. However, every story also deals with mutual feelings of isolation, alienation and the search for a community. The goal of the project is to give a sense of how we are part of a nation; how our origins are vastly different but we still somehow share a mutual experience.