If anything, freedom is what you feel when first confronted with the Dutch Flevo polders. Freedom and perhaps a sense of being lost in space. The low horizons, immense skies, and endless perspectives are that of a desert landscape – albeit with a human element. But how to interpret such a unique landscape? How to settle and live there?
Freedomland is a visual journey into an highly regulated- man made land; captured between forces of order and space, concept and execution, authority and freedom – and expressed as a new conceptual territory. The project aims to be a mirroring of this powerful geo-political process of landscape and social engineering; a photographic trilogy back in time trough the three main spatial and historical context of Flevoland: Almere, Lelystad and the Noordoostpolder.
I have observed and documented this process for years now. I show in my photos how the new land is being structured and prepared for use, how diverse dreams become reality, and how different ideas of freedom are being expressed. Ranging from the vacant land’s inherent promise, to the diversity of realized projects, the photos show different forms and phases of this fundamentally malleable landscape.
Next to my sociological and historical interest, a main theme in this series is my concern for man’s interaction with nature and the engagement with sustainable society. Beyond presenting a personal view on liberties and limitations in the Dutch polder and urban landscape, this series is an attempt to start a debate on how city and landscape, man and nature can coexist.