The ambition of the initiators of the land reclamation project in the port of Rotterdam, Maasvlakte 2 (MV2) is not un-similar to those of the builders of the Great Railway.
The creation of MV2 aims to offer the port of Rotterdam the opportunity to retain and expand its leading position in Europe during the coming decades, thus enabling Rotterdam to continue to intensify its indispensable hinterland connections. The importance of economic growth, and a wide range of labour opportunities supported by a large infrastructure of services and transportation links to the rest of Europe will secure Rotterdam as a major port. To achieve this, MV2 is being formed after many years of discussion and preparation. Reclaimed land will slowly emerge in time through the construction of beach, sand dunes, rubble and concrete blocks as a sea defence. Inside these defences, sand taken from carefully selected locations at sea will make land, and soon, the sea defence will be closed and land will shake hand with land.
Circling over and around the site, approaching the location like a prey, following the line of the sea defense, the maps of Maasvlakte 2 are being recreated and re-enacted, as a drawing in the sky, using the helicopter as pencil and the filmcamera as the paper where its traces are left. Recording the aspects that informed the final design and the making of a landscape through all its different stages and presences, the experience of time becomes tangible, resulting, finally, in the making of a drawing, the 23 minutes long film Facts on the ground. Facts on the Ground is made on the invitation of Portscapes curated by Latitudes.