The Europeans in progress
01.02.2021 - 28.02.2021
This month writer Arnold van Bruggen and I are working on a new chapter within our multi-year project The Europeans based out of the Mondriaanfonds residency Het Pompgemaal. Although we are facing a total lockdown and defying harsh winter weather, we are grateful that so many people are making time for us. Our focus during this work period includes the pandemic impact on community life and people in crucial jobs. We will return here in September to continue working on this chapter, after which we plan to present publication and exhibition on the same place in October. More on that later. Meanwhile meet some Europeans.
Article The Europeans on Calvert Journal
A great article (thank you Diane Smyth) about The Europeans, the new multi-year adventure of writer and filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen and me.
The Europeans: Announcement next region
Because of continuing restrictions due to the Corona pandemic, we felt it sensible to look for an appropriate region not far from home to work on chapter three. We are extremely fortunate that in the months of February, September and October 2021 we will be able to use Het Pompgemaal in Den Helder, an artist-in-residence that is operated by the Mondriaan Foundation. We will not only use Het Pompgemaal to produce new work for The Europeans, but also to temporarily transform the space into The Europeans headquarters with exhibitions and activities in October 2021. Stay tuned.
Launch of The Europeans second chapter The Black Country postponed
Earlier this year Arnold van Bruggen and I worked in The Black Country on the second chapter as part of The Europeans. The work wasn’t finished. We wanted to go back one more time to create a follow-up. And then Corona made its entry in Europe. A huge number of mandatory quarantine days back and forth makes The Black Country currently practically unattainable for us to work. The launch of the publication - which was scheduled for this autumn - has been postponed until the spring of 2021. Despite this delay, we intend to complete the second chapter soon in one of many Black Countries in Europe.
Help us to make this second publication of The Europeans happen and to keep the work accessible to a broad audience by adopting this region for €120. A unique numbered hardcover edition will be sent to you as a reward.
The Europeans at Forum on European Culture
17.09.2020 - 20.09.2020
From 17 to 20 September 2020, Forum on European Culture will take place for the third time in De Balie Amsterdam. Forum on European Culture is a biennial forum on the strength, impact and value of art and culture for Europe. Work from our first chapter The Former Capital will be shown on the ground floor of De Balie. In addition, as part of this event, posters and stories of The Europeans will be displayed at various cultural institutions such as Stadsschouwburg, European Cultural Foundation and Athenaeum Boekhandel.
The Europeans at BredaPhoto
09.09.2020 - 25.10.2020
Once again, Corona forced us, writer Arnold van Bruggen, designers Kummer & Herrman and me, to come up with an alternative exhibition for The Europeans. And to be honest, we like! From the start of BredaPhoto, posters of Europeans are all over Breda behind windows and on panels crisscrossing the city. If you see one, scan the QR code for the story behind the photo. And if you live in Breda, please sign up for a poster via the link below, so that we all together can transform the streets of Breda into a grand BredaPhoto The Europeans museum!
The Europeans in GUP Magazine
Sixteen pages on our new project The Europeans in the latest issue of GUP Magazine, loaded with a great interview by Daniel Boetker-Smith plus visual reporting on The Europeans.
Online talk at Kaunas Gallery
On May 28 (Thursday), 5 p.m. conversation with the authors of the exhibition and the accompanying publication “The Former Capital” – photographer Rob Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen will be broadcasted live on Kaunas Photography Gallery Facebook account. The conversation will be held in English, later the Lithuanian translation will be added to the recording.
Exhibition The Former Capital in Kaunas Gallery (in real life)
12.05.2020 - 14.06.2020
One month ago our first region exhibition The Former Capital was postponed due to Corona. We immediately recreated the exhibition in the virtual world using the digital exhibition platform Artsteps. So far, 14K people visited our online exhibition space. Then suddenly the positive news arrived that the ‘real’ exhibition was allowed to start. And so the exhibition was reconstructed from the virtual world into the real world. The exhibition in Kaunas Gallery will last until 14 June 2020. The one at Artsteps infinite (to visit via our website www.theeuropeans.fm).
Europe Day Online Festival
09.09.2020 - 29.05.2020
Work from The Europeans is part of the online edition of Europe Day 2020, organised by our partner European Cultural Foundation. A series of windows to experience Europe. The festival lasts until 29 May, after that the website will go offline.
LIMITED: Special Edition The Former Capital
One month after the launch of our first region publication The Former Capital, only a few copies of the Special Edition are still available. Make sure you buy it before they are all gone! It’s an incredibly beautiful mainly handmade signed and numbered edition including print of your choice (!) at a very reasonable price. And yes, last but not least, you big time support the continuation of our new project The Europeans Project!
The Europeans featured on Another Observer
One month ago I was approached by a bloke named Dan Briston, who asked if he could write an article about the work of Arnold van Bruggen and me for his website Another Observer. Yesterday he reported that the article had been published. Well, article… Better a comprehensive essay of more than 5,000 words dealing with almost every topic related to the creation of slow journalism projects like content, organizational structure, funding, social media, photographic style, visual referencing, online exhibitions and yes, even critical comments. Thank you Dan!
Article in Dutch newspaper Het Parool
Article about our online exhibition (in Dutch): “Met een VR-bril op heb je het gevoel dat je er echt bent, maar de ervaring zonder bril is ook de moeite waard. Door de cursor te bewegen kun je door de galerie ‘lopen’ en foto’s aanklikken voor extra informatie. Op een tafeltje staan twee boeken uitgestald: een speciale en een budgeteditie van dit eerste hoofdstuk van het project, te koop in de webwinkel. Buiten is er een steegje dat naar de zee leidt. Het is een grappige verwijzing naar The Sochi Project die alleen online mogelijk is; midden in Litouwen kijk je uit over de Zwarte Zee.”
Support from European Cultural Foundation (ECF)
The Europeans is a multi-year storytelling project that cannot exist without financial support. Fortunately, there are people who support our work and help tremendously by adopting a region. They provide the foundation for our work, for which we are infinitely grateful. In order to be able to continue the project, we are also reliant on grants and sponsors. And that’s the reason why we are delighted to announce that the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) has committed to the project with an intention for five years. With the only task for us of continuing to create stories in our own way and occasionally sharing them through their distribution channels. Thank you ECF!
The Former Capital now available from Photoeye.com
Of course I don’t want to discourage you from ordering the first regional publication of The Europeans through my online store, however, in case you live in America or Canada it might be more convenient to buy from the US bookstore photoeye.com.
Interview in daily newspaper De Volkskrant (in Dutch)
Article by Merel Bem in Dutch daily newspaper De Volkskrant on the occasion of our virtual exhibition The Former Capital: Virtueel wandelen door een Litouwse galerie mét Zwarte Zee.
De Volkskrants tip van de dag (Dutch).
Our virtual exhibition is de Volkskrant tip of the day for an online doses of art and culture: The Europeans is the intended successor to the renowned The Sochi Project, which among other things developed new ways of presenting documentary photography. For The Europeans, local partners, newspapers and galleries were sought all over Europe. In Lithuania, the first regional publication The Former Capital was to be launched this week, at the same time as the opening of a similar named exhibition in the Kaunas Gallery in Kaunas, the country’s second largest city. This will not happen, but the makers have now created the exhibition online, by virtually recreating the gallery space, including the square in the heart of Kaunas, where the gallery is located.
Our exhibition is also in Virtual Reality!
If you have VR goggles or Google Cardboard at home, you can visit our exhibition The Former Capital in VR. How does it work? Very simple. Download the free app Artsteps on your phone and open the app. Click on ‘guest’ and scroll to the right. After a few exhibitions you will see The Former Capital by The Europeans. You can choose whether you just want to watch in 2D or watch in VR, so that you really feel like you’re in space. Have fun!
First regional publication
The Former Capital
now for sale
The Former Capital is the first regional publication of The Europeans, the new multi-year project by Arnold van Bruggen and Rob Hornstra. The Former Capital is a region where in the wake of newfound independence, nationalism and militarism are on the rise. The search for a strong, own identity is strengthened by a stagnating economy and the consequences of depopulation. The surge of globalism, open borders and a new morality often clashes with those clinging to the values of the conservative class.
Launch of exhibition and publication The Former Capital (not cancelled)
An endless number of art events have been cancelled worldwide due to the Coronavirus. Also the launch of our regional publication / exhibition The Former Capital - programmed on April 2 - was postponed. Transport of exhibition and books was already on its way.
After digesting the setback and with help from our partner Kummer & Herrman, we decided to work hard on recreating the exhibition online, exactly like we imagined it to be. When you put on VR glasses, you almost feel like you’re there. But without VR glasses you can also go inside.
And so the launch of the publication and exhibition The Former Capital is still a reality on the intended day. A local audience can now still visit the exhibition. However, also the rest of the world can take a look. The Coronavirus is forcing us to follow new paths. Who knows this may lead to beautiful and surprising insights.
You can visit our exhibition from behind your computer screen by following the link below or via the Artsteps app on your phone and in VR.
Last weekend to get your name mentioned in Special Hardcover Edition of The Former Capital
As many of you know by now, Arnold van Bruggen and I have embarked on a new multi-year venture entitled The Europeans. In the coming years we plan to document about twenty heartland regions and in the past few months we have made an incredible amount of new work. Now our first official presentation moment is approaching: The launch of the first regional publication including exhibition on 2 April, of course in the region where the work was created: The Former Capital!
And you can help us. This weekend is the last moment to adopt the first chapter AND get your name mentioned in the special hardcover edition of the upcoming first chapter publication ‘The Former Capital’.
By adopting a region you make it possible for us to pursue this multi-year project, but also you help us to fulfill our ambition to keep the sales price of the trade edition accessible to a broad audience.
Out of office
14.01.2020 - 26.01.2020
The Europeans in British Journal of Photography
A nice story about our new project The Europeans. Thanks to The British Journal of Photography!
Where the staggering ambition of The Europeans is striking, this extends further than the breadth of its subject matter alone. As with The Sochi Project, commitment lies here in Hornstra and Van Bruggen’s intention that their work should transcend the confines of the photography world and have an impact on society at large – beyond the echo chambers of those who already see and think like them – connecting and working closely with countless Europeans along the way.
Every Saturday The Europeans in local newspaper Kauno Diena
One of many ambitions Arnold and I have in our new project The Europeans is that we want to use our work to engage people in the heartland regions where we work. We do this for example by first launching our region publication during an exhibiting in a local gallery. In addition, we are trying to team up with a local newspaper, in order to reach a wider audience than just cultural enthusiasts. In the first region where we worked, this has led to a great partnership with the local newspaper Kauno Diena. Every week until the opening of the exhibition at the beginning of April 2020, they publish a full-page portrait from our project in the Saturday issue. The Former Capital is starting to warm up!
Buy this Christmas card leporello and support The Europeans
Looking for CHRISTMAS CARDS and also tired of romantic white snowflakes, fairytale Christmas trees or Rudolph the red nosed reindeer? The Sochi Project produced a leporello with six large size Christmas cards depicting Christmas decorations all over the Caucasus. In an attempt to make people think a little more about those places where people celebrate Christmas in less fortunate conditions. By buying anything from The Sochi Project, you support our new adventure The Europeans.
Introduction newspaper The Europeans
If you’ve been to Unseen Amsterdam, you’ve most likely seen our free introductory newspaper or maybe even brought it home with you. In the near future we will try to distribute the newspaper as much as possible through selected organisations such as FOTODOK Utrecht, Photoq Bookstore Amsterdam, Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol or events such as Paris Photo and the FOTODOK Book Club. Also, a free newspaper will be included with every order in my online store.
Temporary website The Europeans online
Since the launch of The Europeans during Unseen Amsterdam, our website TheEuropeans.fm is also online. This temporary website is intended to provide information during the start-up phase of the project. And, because also this project depends on supporters, ways to support us in accomplishing this ambitious project. We hope to be able to transform TheEuropeans.fm into a narrative website after the completion of the first chapters in 2020.
Introduction The Europeans at Unseen Amsterdam
On Saturday 21 September 2019 Arnold van Bruggen and I will give a short introduction on our new project The Europeans during Unseen Amsterdam. Join us for fun and freebies.
The Europeans in Het Parool
Announcement of our new project The Europeans and launch at Unseen Book Market in daily newspaper Het Parool.
Interview Kauno Diena
Our first interview in connection with The Europeans was recently published on the website of local newspaper cum collaborative partner Kauna Diena.
The start-up of a new project:
The Europeans by Arnold van Bruggen and Rob Hornstra
Excerpt from grant application: “Europe is at a crossroads. The dissatisfied are more powerful than ever, pushing the united Europe into the forefront of drastic measures. This is precisely why this is the moment for an extensive time document in the tradition of Robert Frank’s The Americans or Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Les Européens. In Les Européens, Cartier-Bresson looked beyond nationalism or local customs to find evidence for a greater identity, a European resemblance shared by the people and the landscape. Arnold and I feel inspired by this ambition and want to create a time document of a continent that seems to be prelude to rigorous change.”
I am happy to announce that in the coming months I will have the opportunity to fully focus on setting up a new long-term project: The Europeans. To make that happen, I will be leaving my current job as co-head of the Photography Department at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK), for a while. In collaboration with The Sochi Project team Arnold van Bruggen and Kummer & Herrman, we will be using this period to determine the viability and ultimate form of the project. Within this start-up period we will produce, publish and exhibit the first two chapters of the multi-chapter project in collaboration with the Kaunas Photography Gallery (Europe) and Multistory in the Black Country (Europe). The start-up phase of The Europeans is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund.