PhD thesis (Dutch title: Bewogen Lanschap) at the Amsterdam School of Heritage and Memory Studies (ASHMS) in the research group ’Dynmics and Memory ...'. The project is in a ‘Match’ with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Hilversum). The main corpus of this study is the collection of historic dissemination films issued by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture in the post WW Two period (1945-1985).
Promotor is Prof. Dr. Frank P.I.M. van Vree (Media Studies, UvA). Co-promotors are Prof. Dr. R. (Rob) van der Laarse (Heritage and Memory Studies, UvA) and Prof. Dr. A. (Bert) Hogenkamp (Sound and Vision, Hilversum & Faculty of Arts, VU University Amsterdam).
In 1945-1985 an integrated transition took place in the Dutch countryside. Minister Mansholt conducted the innovation process in the rural domain. The Dutch agriculture policy was successful and transformed the backward ‘traditional’ countryside into ‘modern’ (Andela, 2000). A part of the program was an intensive strategy to implement modernisation in the hearts and minds of the rural people (Karel, 2005). An impressive collection of information films (Hogenkamp, 2003) was embedded in public-private ‘social engineering’ strategies (Schuyt & Taverne, 2000). Due to spatial, economic, social and cultural impact this transition in the Dutch countryside is unique in democratic Europe (Bieleman, 2008).
The agriculture films are a genre in the canon of cultural heritage. This study analyses the representations of modern and traditional farming, rural life and landscapes, and the role the films played in the process of modernising the Dutch countryside in the post war period. My hypothesis will be that these films represent the intentions of the ministry and rural organisations to implement, by ‘social engineering’ in the countryside, the transition from ‘traditional’ into ‘modern’ in the physical, social and cultural domains, and that this modernist paradigm is still present in contemporary European discourses on landscape, heritage and identity.
‘Framing the Dutch Landscape’ analyses the representation of the Dutch rural ‘modernisation project’ in the post World War II period in the agriculture films. The rural modernisation project innovated the working methods and thereby daily life on the farms and in the villages dramatically. The agriculture films were part of an intensive dissemination program conducted by the Rural Extension Services (Landbouwvoorlichtingsdiensten). The films intended to implement the abstract policies into the heart and minds of the rural people by well-chosen cinematographic techniques (Hogenkamp, 2003).
The Dutch rural policies were an example for other countries in the world. In 1958 Mansholt was appointed as the first European Commissioner on Agriculture. He implemented his Dutch policies on a European scale. This EC line of policy shaped Dutch and West European agriculture and rural life.
The results of this study will give insight into how the repertoires of representations of the 'modern' and the 'tradition' found within the historic agriculture films, are still present in the contemporary European heritage discourses on landscape. Parallel on the research is a dissemination program conducted The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands in Amersfoort.
In my life and work I combine the conceptual and analytical capacity of the scientific researcher and the inspiring, creative strength of the filmmaker. I know the questions of metropolitan living out of own experience and on theoretical level. My roots are in the rural Dutch ‘De Betuwe’ region and I am well connected to rural life and the quests about the developments at the countryside and in agriculture. I am a flexible team player who connects people from different backgrounds.
As a cineast I am a director of documentaries, informative and interactive film projects. Most of my projects focus on quests on the cross roads of spatial development, culture and society. In my oeuvre I try to touch the audience in heart and mind with unexpected perspectives, intriguing stories and attractive pictures.
My scientific work started with the academic study Landscape Architecture at Wageningen University. My generic scientific experience is at Alterra Wageningen UR, a leading Dutch research centre. The core of my research is the connection of the physical green outdoors and landscape to mental and social processes. Cultural heritage, communication and participation have my special attention. I cover the broad spectrum from scientific reflection, creative development to implementation and publication. I educate students and coach experts. I am reliable, full of tact and open-minded.