Een jan is een jan is een jan

EEN JAN IS EEN JAN IS EEN JAN is a public sculpture commissioned by the municipality of Beverwijk. It is a monument to anonymous migration stories. The new rules of the hopscotch are now accessible in situ via a QR code giving access to a short immersive film. The spectator is invited to play the game himself, and give one more ephemeral migration stories to himself and the passers-by on the square. (April 2021 / December 2021_Netherlands).

Portrait of Jan Kuenen_1943

EEN JAN IS EEN JAN IS EEN JAN has the story of Englandvaarder Jan Kuenen as the starting point. Jan Kuenen was a local resistance fighter. He fled in 1941 from the Netherlands to reach England by traveling through France, Spain, Portugal, Curacao, America and Canada. He died without fighting in 1944 when was he was finally sent back to the Netherlands for his first mission. The Jan Kuenen square is named after him. He has become a local hero from Beverwijk.

His story has brought me to put the emphasis of my project on the topic of migration in a broader sense and not so much linked to war, so that I could make more justice to the people who now live near the square. During the elaboration of my project, I decided to work on location and held discussions with residents of all ages and nationalities who live around the Jan Kuenenplein. The Kuenenplein is first and foremost a meeting place and a playground. It is a public square where children play and a place of passage where residents meet. And it is the encounter that mattered most to me. An encounter with the inhabitants of the district and the meeting of the inhabitants with Jan Kuenen. Interviews were carried out through listening sessions in which I would explore the historical, practical and philosophical aspects of the migratory trajectories of the inhabitants.

I later turned those conversations into short stories that has become the script of a short immersive film. By scanning the QR code on location, the spectator activates an immersive film in which a young woman shows you how to play the new rules of the hopscotch. The spectator is then invited to play the game him/herself. The hopscotch is intended for everyone who wants to give her/his migration stories. Just for himself or for someone.

Made possible by:

QR code accessible on the Kuenenplein.
Preparatory drawing.
Preparatory drawing
Field research in the Jan Kuenen Buurt.
Jan Kuenen’s escape to England, 1941-44.
Field research on the Jan Kuenen buurt.
Field research on the Jan Kuenen buurt.
Making of the hopscotch EEN JAN IS EEN JAN IS EEN JAN
Installation of the hopscotch.
Installation of the hopscotch.
Shooting day for the immersive film with Ronja.
EEN JAN IS EEN JAN IS EEN JAN was opened by Brigitte van den Berg, mayor of Beverwijk, at the Jan Kuenenplein. December 2021.