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Camping Kafka: lost at home

Brabant, 2017 - 2019 - What's happening at campsites and holiday parks? What's the difference between the way media show this issue and the perspective of campsite residents? A collaboration with campsite residents.

CAMPING KAFKA: lost at home
Camping Fort Oranje in Zundert became the perfect example of the Dutch camping issue. Photo: Maarten Delobel, summer 2017.
CAMPING KAFKA: lost at home
Postcard from Camping Fort Oranje, mid-'70s.

Leisure

Nowhere in the world are as many holiday parks as in The Netherlands. In the past, they were used as leisure grounds for families. Nowadays air travel is affordable for everyone. More and more holiday bungalows and mobile homes are inhabited by citizens in search for affordable housing. But living on holiday parcs is forbidden in The Netherlands. Estimates vary, but around 200.000 people live like this - on the edge of organized society.

 

Installation

Camping Kafka: Weg in eigen land (i.e. Lost at home) took shape as an installation and public program during Graphic Matters 2017 in Breda. The installation shows the camping issue in a new figuration: no pictures with police uniforms in front of derelict mobile homes, no emphasis on crime or 'antisocial' trailer parks. Central piece of the installation is a maze showing different vicious circles campsite residents live in. This maze is surrounded by emoji's demonstrating characters, feelings and events people living in holiday parcs have to deal with. A slide refers to camping aesthetics.

 

Testcase

Inside the installation, a public program of testcases approached the camping issue from different prespectives: freelance work and tiny housing, older people and campsite owners, people in debt or in the middle of a divorce and social work and at last migrant workers and employment agencies. Each testcase started with a campsite resident telling her or his story.

 

Movement

During research phase and testcases lots of people got involved in Camping Kafka: policy makers, welfare and social professionals, campsite owners and residents and others. Together we started a movement, sharing responsibilities towards this issue: all look for alternatives. With the movement the team behind Camping Kafka works on a tour to locations where the campsite issue visible.

'Gedoogambtenaar', a police officer tolerating illegal activities, part of the visual language of Camping Kafka. Design: Ruben Pater.
Public program inside the installation. Photo: Mike Harris.
The maze showing different vicious circles campsite residents live in. Photo: Mike Harris

Team

Camping Kafka is a team effort, initiated by Academie voor Beeldvorming.

 

Project website: www.campingkafka.nl, www.facebook.com/campingkafka (Dutch)


Artistic direction and research: Klaas Burger
Design and research: Ruben Pater (installation and website) and Yacinth Pos (game and campingmap)
Installation architecture: Ivo van den Thillart
Online development: Jaap-Joris Vens
Production: Monique van de Wijdeven
Intern: Tessa van der Heijden

Film: Aram Voermans / Studio Apvis

 

Thanks to: the city of Breda, The Art of Impact, VSBFonds, Graphic Matters, GGD West-Brabant, the Province of Noord-Brabant, Welzijn Divers, Diaconaal Centrum Annahuis, STRAATRAAD, Pakhuis B, campsite residents and owners and many others.

 

Tour

Camping Kafka was on show at Graphic Matters (Breda, 2017), different conferences on public health, social care and recreation (Breda, Eindhoven, 's-Gravenhage, Radio Kootwijk, 2018 and Utrecht and Schijndel, 2019) and Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven, 2018).

 

Press (selection)

Klaas Burger, Wonen op campings: ja, waar anders, opinion article in BN De Stem en Brabants Dagblad, 2017 (Dutch).

Esther van Rosmalen, Camping Kafka, weg in eigen land, Witte Rook, 2017 (Dutch).

Niels van Nimwegen, Camping Kafka wil gemeenten confronteren met ‘vergeten groep’ thuislozen, De Monitor, 2018 (Dutch).

, 'Fort Oranje is maar topje van de ijsberg', published in BN De Stem and AD, 2018 (Dutch).

In collaboration with Yacinth Pos an online browser based game is in development.