Identity Land: space for a million identities
location: Z33 – House for contemporary art by Droog Lab with Erik Kessels in partnership with Z33, Hasselt, BE
Identity Land is an imaginary society with space for a million identities. Inspired by Belgium, a country of converging cultures, Identity Land is not bound by national borders and national symbols. Here, the coin is a mirror, the flag is transparent, and all the players in the football teams wear unique shirts. With the globalization of ideas, people and goods, and the rising impact of transnational alliances and networks, a nation state as an isolated entity is becoming obsolete. Clinging to a dominant identity can cause alienation, stagnation and conflict. An understated identity fosters much-needed openness. Freedom from nationalism is liberating to visitors and inhabitants alike. Rather than define a narrow identity, Erik Kessels and the team turned having multiple identities into an advantage. With Identity Land, we have launched www.identityland.net, a platform where people from all over the world can donate square metres of private space to form a global post-national nation, download tools for local activism and join the conversation online.
Z33 – House for contemporary art Zuivelmarkt 33, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium November 17th – December 2nd, 2012
On Sunday, November 18th as part of the Z33 Celebrates! – 10 years Z33 festival, we held a debate moderated by Erik Donckier (chief editor politics HBVL) with Erik Kessels, Chokri Mahassine (Flemish Parliament, Organizer Pukkelpop Rimpelrock-Polsslag) and Jan Boelen (artistic director Z33). Erik Kessels gave a tour of Identity Land and Renny Ramakers held a short masterclass on the Droog Lab. Read the Identity Land newspaper on Issuu.
Direction: Renny Ramakers (Droog)
Lead designer: Erik Kessels (KesselsKramer)
Partner: Jan Boelen (Z33)
Designers: Usman Abdul, Anthony Burrill, Edith Dekyndt, Droog Lab, The Doublethink Project, Jessica Gysel, Cecilia Azcarate Isturiz, Thomas Lommée, Hans van der Meer, Karel de Mulder, Bart Eysink Smeets (KesselsKramer), Helmut Smits, Jurian Strik (KesselsKramer), Yuri Veerman
Website: Droog Lab, built by Sensi Media
Consultants: Walter Bettens (DAMn magazine), Koert Debeuf, Noël Slangen, Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès (The Khatt Foundation)
Content & project management: Agata Jaworska (Droog Lab)
Interns: Callum Copley, Luís Giestas, Wendy Smith (Droog Lab)
Identity Land is part of the Droog Lab series, ‘Here, there, everywhere’. Initiated by Renny Ramakers (co-founder and director of Droog), and in collaboration with designers, consulting experts and local partners, Here, there, everywhere speculates how situations worldwide can inspire new directions for design. Current and past project locations include Dubai, New York, the Canadian North, Moscow, Mumbai and China, where themes such as ambition, survival and copying have resulted in outcomes ranging from imaginary brands to future city concepts and new business models. Here, there, everywhere will be published in a book in 2013. The initiative is funded by Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, City of Amsterdam and local partners.