The Europeans: Exhibition not cancelled
The Europeans is a multiyear documentary project by photographer Rob Hornstra and writer/filmmaker Arnold van Bruggen, supported by ECF and private donators.
© Rob Hornstra / The Europeans
Over the next 10 years, The Europeans wants to become a time piece of Europe in the 2020’s. A Europe on the eve of drastic change. Hornstra and Van Bruggen see the rise of nationalism and authoritarian leaders, the return of borders and ethnocentrism. With The Europeans they want to touch as many people as possible in order to look at Europe in a different way. Just as they did with their former project The Sochi Project.
The Former Capital is the first regional publication of The Europeans about 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. The publication and the eponymous exhibition were due to be presented and opened on April 2nd. But then … the coronavirus-crisis happened.
Hornstra: “We had to recover for some days, but then decided, together with our designers Kummer & Herrman, to work extremely hard on recreating the exhibition on Artsteps, exactly like it should have been. Including gallery walls and even streets where the exhibition should have taken place. All online of course, like everything in these days of isolation. When you put on your VR glasses, you almost feel like you’re there. But without VR glasses you can also go inside.”
And so the first Europeans exhibition launched online, as well as the book (sold via their website). Van Bruggen: “We always intend to present regional publications and exhibitions first at the place where the work is created. Fortunately, the local audience can now still visit the exhibition. However, the rest of the world can also take a look. The Coronavirus is forcing us to take new paths. Who knows this may lead to beautiful and surprising insights.”