Water safety waving in the breeze

They’re a tribute to the way the Dutch deal with the threat of water, 7 banners flying on water’s edge at the NDSM wharf. Call it: commemorative art.

In 1916 Amsterdam Noord and Waterland were flooded, ruining the area completely. This year, that fact is commemorated with a large scale art and culture program, called Waterlandse Vloed. Not only commemorated, by the way, also celebrated: since 1916 we’ve been able to keep the waters out. We can celebrate ‘a century of dry feet’.

Storm balls
When you see Valerie van Leersum’s 7 banners, just next to the festival heart of the Over het IJ Festival, the connection with people and livestock drowning will not be immediately apparent. But please, go over and take a closer look, the banners are worth it. As part of the Waterlandse Vloed program, Van Leersum brought together objects that were used to control the waters, like measuring equipment, charts, talismans, storm balls, and more. Gently they wave in the breeze: symbols of the efforts to be safe.

tussen beheersen en bezweren-Valerie-van-Leersum-2

This summer In between control and veneration, as the project is called, will be exhibited on several sites in Noord. For more background information see Valerie van Leersum’s blog (in Dutch).