This story is part of Antenna Embedded answering questions such as:

  • Why do artists and others want to embed themselves in environments which are other to them?
  • How does it work?
  • What do they aim for?
  • Where does the process of embedding ends?
  • Does it ever (need to) end?

This Antenna brings to you inside stories of artists, curators, designers, authors, urban planners, artist-in-residence programmes, bienials, and even whole city areas about their way of becoming or being embedded.

  • Jan Willem Petersen went on his own "specialist operation" through the Uruzgan region in Afghanistan.
  • Bradley MacCallum was embedded for a year of research with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
  • Danielle van Zuijlen plunges into the intricate workings of real estate and politics of a Ghent neighbourhood where she lives herself.
  • The Deltaworkers residency deeply embeds itself in reality ánd mythology of New Orleans.

And we offer you a variety of voices on embedding, from Manifesta biennial director Hedwig Fijen, "The Beach" initiator Diana Krabbendam, cultural program director Liesbeth Jansen, artist Jantine Wijnja, curator Sjoerd ter Borg, and author Daan Heerma van Voss.



Undercover in Afghanistan

Undercover in Afghanistan

In 2015 the Dutch architect/ urban planner Jan Willem Petersen went for several months to Afghanistan on a mission of his own initiative.

Since 2001, Afghanistan has been the stage of the largest reconstruction mission in human history. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has taken tens of thousands of projects to rebuild the country ravaged by decades of civil war. Now that the international community is preparing its withdrawal from the country and the end of the reconstruction mission is in sight, the opportunity arises to visit Afghanistan and assess the legacy of the efforts made. Also the Netherlands has made a major contribution to Afghanistan with different missions. It has been five years since the Task Force Uruzgan transferred responsibility for security and reconstruction of Uruzgan province to ISAF partners Australia and the United States. Given the substantial contribution from the Netherlands through hundreds of projects, the time has come to demonstrate for the first time the spatial dimension of the reconstruction mission. How do the schools, roads, mosques, hospitals, government buildings, water networks, factories, bridges, prisons, police stations and even an airport nowadays function? How do the western interventions hold up the challenging Afghan realities? This project attempts to provide insight into this largely hidden aspect of the mission, and aims to take lessons for future missions to come.

Listen to the interview HERE

photocredits: Jan Willem Petersen