Exhibition ‘I miss you, home’ shows dire situation student housing

Three international photography students of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague – Ben Maier, Dario di Paolantonio en Lina Selg – organise a very special joint photo and video exhibition on November 26th and 27th, during HI The Hague Student Festival. The exhibition is titled ‘I miss you, home’ and works around the theme of student housing and squatting.

Podcast on Spotify

Want to know more about ‘I miss you, home’? Ben, Dario and Lina tell all about in a podcast with third year photography student Hanna Burgers. You can listen to the podcast here.

podcast
Ben Maier, Dario di Paolantonio en Lina Selg
Lina Selg, Dario di Paolantonio, Ben Maier - photo: Floris Meijer

During HI The Hague Student Festival several educational institutions in The Hague organise activities to make international students feel more at home in The Hague. Our academy also participates.

One of the things international students have to deal with is finding a home. The Hague is facing a housing shortage, which also affects them. For some of them the only solution that remains, is squatting. Ben, Dario and Lina have captured this dire problem poignant with their camera. Their work shows living in the squatting community from up close. “The exhibition is an exploratory experience where people can come to understand parts of what it means to have an alternative way of housing”, says Ben.

Intimate photos

Ben, Dario and Lina have been following the squatting community for some time now. “We are very close to the community and have first-hand experiences,” says Dario. “Following them in their attempt to disclose the way laws and bureaucracy work in the housing situation was super interesting to do. Different kind of realities and perspectives meet there.”

“All the people we follow in this community are our friends,” contributes Ben. “That’s why we can display intimate pictures at the exhibition.” It was also the only way they could have made the pictures, according to Lina. “In general, these people have a very big distrust towards the photographic medium and social media. You have to be a part of their community to be able to even bring a camera into these spaces. But we did not go there to do a photographical project, but because we were into it personally. From there we began to make photos.”

Workshops

During the exhibition there is also a workshop programme for visitors. In one workshop Ben, Dario and Lina tell about their experiences and invite visitors to ask questions and brainstorm with them on temporary and short term chances for student housing. The Dutch anti-squatting and vacant property laws will also be discussed.