In the 4 episode web-documentary “The Future of Work” Abel Heijkamp (NL) and Julij Borštnik (SI) research the consequences of the ongoing precarisation of work and living in the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany and Europe. In Episode 1 “Alles Flex?” (All Flex?) they are in the Netherlands to investigate: What kind of society do we get if both work and housing are flexibilised?
Lodewijk van den Berg is the first space traveller from Dutch soil. The ‘forgotten astronaut’ already lives for more than fifty years in the United States now, but he never forgot the little village were he was born; Sluiskil (in the province of Zeeland, the Netherlands). The inhabitants of Sluiskil also made their own journeys.
Once it was a ditch, across the grasslands of the Beukeveld Family, which formed the borderline between the Netherlands and Germany. One day this ditch was filled up and Gerard Beukeveld
was disowned. Neither the Netherlands nor Germany ever payed money for the ground on which the ditch once lay. Therefore Beukeveld and his eager followers announced a new sovereign state upon it named: Eurostaete. Just as the borders of Eurostaete those of the Netherlands too once arose or have either been won or simply determined. Briefly ‘This is how a new country became’
retells the history of this borderline alongside the coming into being of Eurostaete. The film narrates (and sings!) the absurd tale of national borders.
Klompen Jan, the 81 year old ‘godfather’ of Dutch trailer travelers, is among the last to still travel around in his camper, despite obstructions by the authorities. As his generation of travelers decreases, the Paridaans family came to feel attracted to the old trailers. They decided to build one and to travel around in a recreational way. Moreover, they joined an association that wants to keep the ‘joyful life of gypsies’ alive by showing it to the public. These two stories reveal the contrast between the cherished folklore and hard reality of trailer travelers.
In the era of globalisation and an united European Union it seems like if peoples’ involvement in society and their influence at society gets smaller. People feel that they don’t have power over their lives or their environment anymore, because of the distance between them and the authorities. But also because of the centralization, the bureaucracy or because of the globalisation that makes the world more uniform.