The Sand Artist & ‘Sand Wars’

Prepare for an enchanting sand performance and a disturbing eco-thriller!

Organised by Studium Generale

Tue 21 May 2019 20:00 to 21:30

Venue Forum, building number 102
Room 222

Performance by the Sand Artist (Gert van der Vijver)

Tonight, we welcome the Sand Artist (‘De Zandtovenaar’) to officially open the sand week. He is master in a fascinating art form: drawing with sand on a light box. Experience how moving and impressive sand can be in a magical spectacle of light and dark. Prepare for an enchanting sand performance!

Eco-thriller ‘Sand Wars’ (Denis Delestrac, documentary, 52 min.)

Sand is everywhere around us, also if we never visit a beach or desert. Houses, skyscrapers, bridges, airports, sidewalks, computer chips, even many cosmetics are basically made of sand. And it’s getting scarce.
Based on encounters with sand smugglers, barefoot millionaires, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this movie takes us around the globe to unveil a new gold rush and a disturbing fact: the ‘sand wars’ have begun.

About Gert van der Vijver

The Sand Artist & ‘Sand Wars’

In 2006 Gert van der Vijver discovered the moving art of sand, while he was caught in the moment by Robert Schinkel, a reporter of the NOS. Gert throws, shifts and shows sand on an illuminated glass plate, creating magical drawings which can be enjoyed live through direct projection. He came up with the idea to make a television series and ‘De Zandtovenaar’ was born. It became a popular television series in the Netherlands and in other countries, and more Sand Art series where ‘brought to light’.
Gert performed with orchestras such as The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. He worked with many artists, and did several international performances for different brands. Gert regularly performs in the Netherlands and abroad.

About Denis Delestrac

Denis Delestrac is the director and scriptwriter of the documentary ‘Sand Wars’. He is a French journalist, writer and award-winning director. Among his social-political and cultural documentaries are: “Human Rights”, shot in Israel, Colombia and Afghanistan, a powerful documentary that analyses how armed conflicts increasingly affect civilian communities and foster displacement; “The Mission to Educate” which examines the sustainability of the nomadic Nigerian tribes’ lifestyle; and “The Nomad Spirit”, which looks at how market economy has transformed Mongolian society. More recently, Delestrac contributed to the direction and writing of the award-winning large format blockbuster “Mystery of the Nile”. His first feature documentary, “PAX AMERICANA and the Weaponization of Space”, was selected in major international film festivals and acclaimed by the critics worldwide. Delestrac currently resides in Barcelona, Spain, where he runs Intrepido Films, a production company specializing in high-quality documentaries.

About The World of Sand (21-28 May)

Sand. Ordinary and incredibly diverse. Beautiful. Omnipresent and becoming scarce at the same time. In this theme week, Studium Generale explores the many aspects of this versatile material. What it looks like, how it sounds, how we source it, what you can do with it and, especially, its growing scarcity and the consequences this has.

Did you know that sand is the most consumed raw material on earth after fresh water? And that your smartphone wouldn’t exist without it? It is used for buildings, infrastructure, glass, computers, cosmetics and detergents – omnipresent things in our daily lives. With visions of deserts in your mind it might be hard to imagine, but did you ever realize that sand is a finite source, and actually becoming scarcer? And that the increasing pressure on this resource may have serious implications, ranging from sand conflicts and ecological destruction, to compromised food production and flood protection?

Delve into the everyday and at the same time unknown world of sand, and explore its special nature and role from various angles. Admire its beauty and diversity, and find out why sand has so many different uses. Discover where we get it from and how we extract it. Learn about the social and ecological effects of sand extraction, and discuss what role science and policy could play in promoting sustainable sand use.