Welkom in Nederland - A Visual Study of Western Society Through The Dutch Neoliberal Utopia

I left my beloved Swiss hills and mountains nearly 4 years ago, to come live in the flat country that is the Netherlands. After having roamed the country at lengths hoping to better understand this place and looking for belonging, I find myself split between wonder, amusement, and disbelief, more confused than ever, not knowing what is constructed, natural, real or simulated. 

Welkom in Nederland is a semi-fictional satirical documentary about the Dutch neoliberal utopia that can, more generally, be extended to the West. Shedding light on various challenges from our past, present and future, the project reveals and questions the absurdities of Dutch society through its relationship to its environment. Exploring some of its shortcomings in search of understanding while underlining how constructed nature and mass media entangle with each other to create reality.

The use of documentary photography visual codes mixing facts and fiction produce images where the lines between facts and fiction are blurred, creating a satire that challenges traditional forms of documentary while exploring how the Dutch have re-shaped their reality through a highly constructed landscape as they turned their land into a product of the Anthropocene. The uncanniness of the images underlines and exaggerates the alienation and absurdity that transpire for me from this place while giving a point of entry for the audience to engage with complicated and heavy topics through the use of humour. The use of self-portraits serves as an attempt to find my place in this place while re-appropriating parts of it. 

These photographs, objects and archives create an alternate record of The Netherlands, closer to my subjective perception of it, pushing the viewer to question and challenge not only the document value of images and how one can be easily manipulated but also his own views of what normalcy should and could be.