During the refugee crisis, it became clear to me how difficult it is to imagine what it is like to live in constant uncertainty. We are not used to danger at all. How children sat in their classrooms wearing precautionary gas masks during the Cold War, for example, seemed like an absurdistic situation to me.
As a thought experiment, I tried to visualise what the Netherlands would look like under a constant threat. I asked myself what danger the Netherlands could be facing in the foreseeable future, and the dikes breaching seemed like one of the more plausible scenarios.
I imagined everyone walking around wearing personal protective equiment, such as buoyancy aids, at all times.
I found inspiration in footage from the Cold War. One example is the informative video Duck and Cover.
Since the creation of this work in 2016, the Netherlands has dealt with two different threats. The first was Covid-19. The coronavirus pandemic posed a constant threat, albeit a far less tangible one than in a flood or bushfire crisis. Nevertheless, we opposed the risk of becoming ill and infecting others with all the protective equiment we could get our hands on: face masks, sneeze guards and disinfectants were in high demand.
The second threat came in the summer of 2021, when parts of Limburg (NL), Belgium and Germany were severely damaged by floods. The Deadline project continually proves its topicality.