'Nature Calling'. With journalist Milo van Bokkum about nature & borders, artist Esther Kokmeijer about Antarctica and activist Raki Ap about West Papua. Introduction by graphic designer Floor Koomen, quiz by Suzanne Hendriks. Moderation: Jorie Horsthuis
Nature Calling, that was the theme of the 7th edition of De Facto Live, at a sold out Roode Bioscoop. In the week when war broke out again in Nagorno-Karabakh, it felt more relevant than ever to keep connecting to the frictional states and bouncing borders of our world, as journalist Jorie Horsthuis made clear in her heartfelt introductory speech.
To explore the fascinating interplay between nature and borders, graphic designer Floor Koomen kicked off the evening with some amusing footage of elephants knocking down borders. Just because human animals draw borders, doesn’t mean other animals have to abide by them. Unfortunately, human borders very often obstruct animals, as the recently built fence between Poland and Belarus shows. But at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, wildlife and ecosystems thrive, because the humans from both sides are not allowed to enter.
Journalist Milo van Bokkum wrote a book about borders and shared his favorite natural frontiers, from elevated border markers in swamps to a newly formed island on the border of Sweden and Finland, due to postglacial rebound.
Artist Esther Kokmeijer is intrigued by everything that has to do with trying to possess the global commons, like air, ice and space. For this evening, she told the audience about Antarctica, frozen cemeteries and her quest to keep Antarctica pristine by Tipp-Exing maps, to make Antarctica Terra Nullius again (No-Mans Land). Her journal Antarktikos #1, Mapping Nature, sold out during the evening, but is still available on her website. Her exhibition can be seen at Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede until January 7, 2024.
Raki Ap from the former Dutch colony of West Papua made a passionate appeal about why the indigenous perspective is so important to understand the current climate crisis and why everyone should care about doing justice to West-Papua.
The evening was topped off by a quiz by Suzanne Hendriks featuring pink flags and the geopolitical side of Barbie. The victorious team - who knew that also a ‘straight flag’ exists - won a selection of border markers in fine, Belgian chocolate.