Regionaal Archief Zuid-Utrecht

Archival documents and museum artifacts offer glimpses into the past, but they can also serve as mirrors reflecting contemporary issues. What can history teach us about the future?

This summer, under the guidance of FAAM, three researchers delved into the history and archives of three captivating locations. Art historian Mikkie Rood, for instance, immersed herself in the archives of the Regional Archive South-Utrecht (RAZU), where she became captivated by what are known as “verboden kringen” or “forbidden zones.” For example, at Fort bij Vechten, it was prohibited to construct buildings within a radius of 300, 600, and 1000 meters around the fort to ensure its defensibility. Nevertheless, people settled in this area. Mikkie discovered increasing traces of these “forbidden zones” in the archives. When did people find themselves in a forbidden zone? How did they end up there, and what risks did they face? People ended up in forbidden zones because they built their homes too close to Fort Vechten, because they had unconventional lifestyles, or because they couldn’t afford shelter.

GINGE (RenĂ©e Rijpstra), Ron Smits, and Jasmijn van der Weide produced new artwork inspired by Mikkie’s research.