HyperNormalisation – Adam Curtis

After submitting my essay last Monday I decided to turn on a documentary that was named very often in the past weeks: HyperNormalisation from Adam Curtis. I did not really know what to expect other than an interesting vision on our world. The documentary is 2:45 hours long and I couldn’t watch the whole documentary in one go. Not because of the time, but the content had such a heavy weight that I had to stop in between. Adam Curtis portraits a world since the seventies where American presidents closed deals with leaders in the Middle East. The biggest question is: what do people think or know about the deals and other message that are send into the world? The media, a researcher or president tells a story, the one that fits best, not the most sincere story. It can be true, but is often not the whole truth. Curtis connects the development of terrorism against the west to the development of the internet. First a medium and now a new world. What started as a corporate world became the world where people share lives and organise attacks. The story of the development of the suicide bomb really gave me the shivers. First used to get the Americans out of the Middle East it has grown to killing innocent people. The Islam does not approve it in their religion, until an Egyptian leader said it was ok. The idea that there is a logic development behind the horrifying act of blowing yourself for the sake of …. I don’t even know what.


This documentary is one I will think about for a little while. There were so many elements in here that I might need to watch it a second time. It made me wonder who we have to address in the world to find out what the truth is. Or maybe I don’t want to know the truth all the time? The way presidents think they can use situations and people to gain more power made me sick to my stomach. Back in the days you would go over with a sword and tell the other leader you didn’t approve, now we fight sneaky on innocent peoples grounds for our own good. (yes I mean the war in Syria where so many leaders try to show their power)

I am afraid sometimes. The hatred you see growing because people feel unheard, the astonishment when Trump wins (haven’t we just closed our ears for too long?) and the unwelcoming behaviour we address towards people who are ‘different’. This defensive behaviour makes me standing strong in my believe that I have to try in as many ways as possible to generate a more respectful approach towards each other. And I ask the leaders in our countries to listen closely and portray a STRONG person who can lead the country. Because especially as our world becomes more and more connected we seek the feeling that our country needs a vision. In Holland we vote coming March after four years of calm politics, but the people want a stronger person as our president, please don’t let hate and lies win.


Strange & Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island

A documentary that shows the story of a sleepy island just outside Canada that was getting an intervention from local born Zita Cobb who decided it needed an upgrade. Together with architect Todd Saunders she gave the island a makeover. What is so special about it? All the elements that were kept that are special for the islanders and their cultural expression. Product designers were consulted to fill a gorgeous inn that opened as part of the project. This is holistic design in all areas. 

The way all disciplines connected and kept the heritage of Fogo alive is a blessing if you ask me. I hope more places in the world can grow like this place, with pride and love for their culture. 

My So-Called Enemy

A documentary about understanding your enemy. We see a story through the eyes of 6 young women from Israeli and Palestinian sides of Israel. They go together on a summer camp, not always supported by their parents, to get to know ‘the other behind the wall’. An impactful two weeks where the girls explore questions of ethics and who is really to blame for all of this. When they come back home you see how it has impacted the decisions they make in life. When you know your enemy it gets harder to approve the horrors happening. An Israeli girl serves the army and wants to make change from the inside while a Palestinian girl who first approved the attacks against Jews now became orthodox Muslim and prefers to have no one harmed. Well as long as they are Muslim. 

This documentary got me thinking about the importance of understanding the person you might not like. You do not have to approve the other persons’ ideas but you have to be open to them in order to make decisions based on a respectful ground.