After studying Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, Sjoerd ter Borg worked as a Project and Policy Manager for the Municipality of Amsterdam. He then went to the Sandberg Instituut and gained an MA as part of a temporary programme called Vacant NL. Liberated from project management and the pragmatic aspects of politics, Ter Borg discovered what was lacking in his previous role for the municipality: the ability to address societal issues through fiction and poetry. Ter Borg believes policy making often lacks imagination. The Land Within the Walls results from his ambition to evoke new narratives for forgotten and vacant sites within cities.
The Land Within the Walls reimagines the redevelopment of the Marineterrein in Amsterdam. Closed to civilians for 350 years, this military site has a compelling history. It contained a shipyard where hundreds of warships were built, it was used as a secret hideout for imperilled politicians, and it was a base for the army division dealing with war traumas. What will remain of the Marineterrein’s history and how will this part of the city be redeveloped?
Ter Borg invited five writers to work in this cordoned-off military site writing fictional stories. Published just before the area’s transformation into a public space that augments Amsterdam’s city centre, the stories were used to create interactive maps of the Marineterrein.
The stories reflect on what is there, what happened there, and on what could be there. Instead of business plans, architectural models, and policy proposals, The Land Within the Walls uses fiction, design, and photography to reflect on the present, past, and future of this unique part of Amsterdam. Along with a publication about the project, Ter Borg presented portraits, by the Dutch photographer Koos Breukel, of the writers together with the area’s last remaining soldiers.
Writers: Carolina Trujillo, Daan Heerma van Voss, Gustaaf Peek, Allard Schröder, and Niña Weijers. Website Designer: Menno Hoope. Book Designer: Aleks Pietrzykowska. Web Developer: Jorrit Schaap. Editors: Daniël van der Meer and Luc Mastenbroek (Das Magazin). Photography: Koos Breukel and Sander Troelstra.
Made possible by Marineterrein Amsterdam, de Koninklijke Marine, Bureau Monumenten en Archeologie (Municiplaity of Amsterdam), Letterenfonds, Lira fonds, Stedelijk Museum, and Das Magazin.
Year of Birth
1987 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
University of Amsterdam, Sandberg Institute, Uniondocs New York
Sjoerd ter Borg
Designer, Publisher, Producer
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ester van de Wiel, Jurgen Bey, Barbara Visser, Ronald Rietveld, Erik Rietveld
Stedelijk Museum, Knol Ontwerp, Ruiter Janssen, Uniondocs, Sandberg Instituut, Koos Breukel, Das Magazin