Ansicht in Utrecht

Last updated 2 years ago by Jon Wilkins

Anne van den Nulf was good enough to send us details of an interesting series of podcasts featuring young Utrecht writers.

In the podcasts six literary talents will take listeners along into six short fiction stories.

RAUM in Utrecht and online magazine Hard // hoofd are publishing a series of podcasts under the name Ansicht. In the six-part series, a short fictional story can be heard every two weeks, which takes the listener to the city of the future. You can expect inspiring, witty and moving perspectives, whereby the modern world is always viewed from a non-human perspective: from a snack hatch to a wandering donkey. The first episode of Ansicht will be online on March 21. A festive launch will take place on Friday evening 12 April at RAUM in Utrecht.

Six literary talents participated in the first season of Ansicht. They wrote their texts during a 48-hour solo stay, including overnight, at RAUM in Leidsche Rijn. The city of the future is literally under construction at this location in Utrecht which is also the largest new-build district in the Netherlands. After their residency at RAUM, the podcasts were recorded by the writers themselves and they contributed their thoughts to the atmospheric sounds.

Let me introduce the writers:

Kasper van Royen

Season 1 of Ansicht kicks off with the story from Kasper, set in a futuristic snack bar. Here all snacks are made from cultured meat and other modern ingredients. A snack bar wants to evoke the cafeteria feeling of the past, at a time that is entirely focused on consumption. He thinks back to Bolle Bob, a figure who embodies the feeling of an authentic frying experience.

Selin Kuşçu

Selin describes the future city from a raindrop that came ashore through a tidal wave. Because of this Leidsche Rijn suddenly lies on the North Sea, while everything west of it has flooded. The raindrop is amazed that people no longer attach themselves to their own home and always want to live in a different city. The subject touches on current climate change and its consequences.

Lisanne van Aert

Lisanne chose the perspective of a narcissus – the first person on earth – to have eternal life. The flower grows up in a large greenhouse in the city and is picked by a girl. At first it seems very honorable to never wither, but the opposite is true. Lying on the garbage dump between inanimate material, the daffodil looks back and wonders: why am I not made of plastic?

Joost Oomen

Joost tells a sweet story about a donkey who wants to teach the hard-working people of a new-build neighborhood about compassion and uselessness. There is also a robot that blows through the neighborhood like a wind and ensures that every technical problem is solved. Of all inhabitants, only the robot appears to put the wise lessons of the donkey into practice.

Yentl van Stokkum

The story of Yentl is written from the perspective of weeds. As quickly as terraced houses shoot out of the ground, weeds want to proliferate everywhere. But will there still be room for that with all the buildings? The weeds of the future speak to the people in the city: What can grow and exist here?

Maurits de Bruijn

When we think about the future, we prefer not to think about death. In urban planning too, literally too little space is made available for this. Reason for Maurits to choose a full cemetery as a starting point. This overcrowded graveyard tells how it came to that. When a surviving relative comes to clear the grave of a loved one, the human need for physical contact is still high.

Ansicht launch on April 12

RAUM and Hard // hoofd will celebrate the first season of Ansicht on Friday 12 April. From 8.30 p.m. to 11 p.m., the Windows pavilion (Berlijnplein 520 in Utrecht) is all about the launch. Ansicht writers will make a presentation and host Teddy Tops talks with Peter Pelzer, assistant professor at Utrecht University, among others, about the power of the imagination and the role of the arts in it. The writers will tell how they experienced their residency in the Leidsche Rijn and the public is given the opportunity to listen to the podcasts. Admission is free.

What is Ansicht?

The fiction podcast was conceived by concept developer Tom Loois on behalf of RAUM. The selection and supervision of the writers, editing and distribution of the podcasts are at Hard // hoofd. The sound design was made by Arno Peeters of Tape TV. The theme of the city of the future and the context of Leidsche Rijn come from RAUM. Ansicht challenged writers to sketch an everyday experience in the future that zooms in on feelings, situations and specifically urban spaces that a listener recognizes. Ansicht is inspired by Black Mirror, which is a Netflix series showing the social consequences of future technology.

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About the Author

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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