After two years of Covid, De Facto could finally go live again. It was a great evening, with talks, art and music.
In a sold out Roode Bioscoop (Amsterdam), we interviewed Philip Dröge, who wrote a book about Moresnet. What was so peculiar about this triangular entity bordering the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and why did it disappear? Philip took us back to this ‘wild west’ region in the nineteenth century, where smuggling was everyday business and alcohol flowed in abundance.
Concert pianist Sara Crombach played some wonderful classical music from the Caucasus and elaborated upon the influence of historians on current day politics. As a Soviet expert, she investigated the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and told us about the fierce reactions that came from the region after she published her dissertation.
What is this # on a stamp of the Nation of Celestial Space? Floor Koomen went into the details and convinced us that James Mangan was quite a brilliant inventor – well ahead of his times.
Ecuadorian artist Oscar Santillan started with a confession to the audience: he stole the highest peak of the Netherlands, one centimeter of earth from a hill in the south. Additionally, he took us on his quest for the vanished place in the Gulf of Mexico: Bermeja Island. Could he bring it back into existence?
Last but not least, Suzanne Hendriks invited us to her quiz about an amplitude of border developments in the last two years. Obviously, there were questions about Ukraine, but the toughest part was about passports: are they mostly red or blue?