January 29-31, 2020

Fontys University of Applied Sciences, dept. of International Business, Venlo

Tutors: Marlies Vermeulen (Institute of Cartopology), Remy Kroese (Dear Hunter), Vincent Pijnenburg (Lector Cross-border Business Development, Fontys University).

With a diverse group of students from artistic-, architectural- and business studies, we set out to explore the border between Germany and The Netherlands next to Venlo. Being an area where border traffic seems very common for shopping, groceries, study and also employment, we wondered what to expect regarding border manifestations. Would there be any?

On rented bikes (all German students in Venlo seem to commute by car) we explored the area on some instructions by Vincent Pijnenburg. Covering an area from Venlo-centre to Kaldenkirchen, there were cliches (the Dutch commercial spirit in Venlo and at the border and petrol stations in Germany, busy visited by the Dutch) but also less obvious aspects: infrastructural changes, different scales to be perceived in landscape and farming, former custom posts in desolate state, wind turbines and industrial oil storage tanks along the border. The border here seemed to impact the area in various ways, creating both hotspots and non-places on just a few kilometres.