300 Drones Fly Over Rotterdam River Maas In Tribute To Health And Freedom

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300 Drones Fly Over Rotterdam River Maas In Tribute To Health And Freedom

At 10pm on the 5th of May, 300 drones carrying powerful lights swarmed over the River Maas in Rotterdam, The Netherlands – the spectacular aerial display using the sky as a canvas was carried out as a tribute to all those who are fighting for health & freedom throughout the world.


May the 5th is normally an important day in The Netherlands as it commemorates the day that the Nazi occupation during the Second World War was defeated. But it held a special significance this year with so many health workers on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus, which has affected The Netherlands to a significant degree. Indeed, the resolve of the Dutch people, and those elsewhere, has likely not been tested to such a degree since the darkest days of the war.


The fly-over and aerial display known as ‘Franchise Freedom’ was organised by artist duo DRIFT. The artists came up with the idea of using drones, all working as part of a pre-programmed algorithm, as they believe that the swarm like activity, mimicking bees, ants and other animals in nature, highlights the nature of human freedom and our reliance upon one another as part of the group. In other words saying – ‘we can only be free, safe and prosperous when we use the assistance of others’. Again, a very apt point to be making in these times.


One of the two artists Ralph Nauta said:
“COVID-19 makes it abundantly clear that we as people depend on each other. The future only has value if we can rebuild this, together and sustainably, based on a greater, collective interest.”


The artists and those involved in the project, also believe that the installation showed that even though we are all separated and socially isolated at the moment, this doesn’t mean we are necessarily drifting apart. As we could all look into the night sky to see the drones or watch on our computers or smartphones we were involved in a shared event that brought our conscious minds together, even if only for a short time.


The other half of the duo Lonneke Gordijn added:
“At this time, I think a lot about how it is for other people or animals, who always live in completely uncertain situations. They can only react to changes in their environment in an ad hoc way, not knowing whether they are going in the right direction. Nature has found ways to cope with that uncertainty. In these uncertain times, nature offers support and gives the only direction we can trust”


The display can be watched in the attached video. We strongly recommend to have a little look, it really is heart-warming, if a little eerie. Hopefully, this will inspire more safe art installations or other pieces of performance art that can bring us all together again after the traumatic times we are living through.


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Thinking Humanity: 300 Drones Fly Over Rotterdam River Maas In Tribute To Health And Freedom
300 Drones Fly Over Rotterdam River Maas In Tribute To Health And Freedom
At 10pm on the 5th of May, 300 drones carrying powerful lights swarmed over the River Maas in Rotterdam, The Netherlands – the spectacular aerial display using the sky as a canvas was carried out as a tribute to all those who are fighting for health & freedom throughout the world.
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