“I wanted to be in politics, but the system here shuts me down”
“I thought everything is possible in Europe, but from the beginning it was the opposite”
“I saw Europe from romantic and action movies. I love this land, I love the weather, especially Amsterdam, the houses are like paintings.”
Never has the perception of reality in our Western society been more influenced by images than today. And never has there been a higher risk for viewers to be manipulated. Depending on how, when and by whom a photo is taken, and where and when it is presented in a certain way, it can manipulate its viewer. Today, in our Western society, we look at our reality through the images we consume which presents a risk since each situation, through the usage of images, can be turned into a spectacle that appears to be reality.
The former prison, Bijlmerbajes, functions now as the temporary home for asylum seekers.
This situation raises a variety of questions since the architecture of this building allows for constant surveillance. such as a system of cameras which are spread in the building and still functions as a surveillance tool.
The newcomers which reside in Bijlmerbajes represent to many of us the “unknown other” which we meet only through the images we see in the media.
The use of surveillance cameras to look at “the other” through screens only deepens the separation between the new comers to the old residents of Amsterdam and prevents further engagement.
In this installation I aimed to research how a manipulated image in a control room can become a tool for communication rather than a tool for observation.
Together with Ondertussen Amsterdam we asked six newcomers, what was their image on Europe prior to their arrival, and how they experience their reality today?
Their images about Europe have emerged through the media and movies they consumed. for most of them their reality in Europe is completely different from their fantastic image. However, for one of them the reality is identical to the fantasy.
The conversations we had became the inspiration to these videos. The videos from the media and movies represent their image of Europe before their arrival and the stop-motion animation represents their everyday life in the Netherlands.