Out now! The Europeans: The Black Country
This is a story about the Black Country… Its history is grand and proud. It is where the foundations of the industrial present were laid. Socialism, social democracy and climate change were all born here. But today, the Black Country has been relegated to the margins of world history. Between the shops of migrants from all over the world, empty buildings and theatres stand like black holes in decaying gums. As locals moved away, migrants saw opportunities for new beginnings. The Black Country has become a haven for people fleeing big cities and war-torn countries.
Softcover 170 x 213 mm
Language: English / Punjabi
Print run: 1,000 copies
Retail price: € 14.50
Exhibition The Europeans: The Black Country
This is the fourth and last consecutive exhibition by The Europeans in the former H&M fashion store in the Kroonpassage in Den Helder, now Kunsthal45. The texts in the exhibition have been translated into Dutch. The bilingual English-Basque publication is also being sold along within the exhibition.
‘Our Ancestral Home’ is the story of a stunningly beautiful region of Europe where the locals cherish their traditions, speak a mysterious language and pass down the picturesque houses and farms from generation to generation. That’s how it has always been. But tourists and wealthy urbanites have now discovered the region, and the original inhabitants are succumbing to the lure of the exorbitant amounts that outsiders are willing to pay for a rural retreat. “We have sold our country,” activists lament. But who can resist the laws of capitalism?
The exhibition is on display until Dec. 17.
New publication coming up: The Black Country
Since 2020, I have been working with writer Arnold van Bruggen and designers Kummer & Herrman on The Europeans 2020 - 2030. Our latest story, entitled The Black Country, will be sent to the printer this week. Pre-order your copy now for only €14.50 or buy one of the hardcover editions including print and thus contribute to the continuation of our project.
This chapter is a story about the Black Country. Its history is grand and proud. This is where the foundations were laid for the industrial present. Socialism, social democracy and climate change were all born here. But today, the Black Country has been pushed to the margins of world history. Between the shops owned by migrants from around the world, empty buildings and theatres gape like black holes in rotting teeth. When everyone else moves away, migrants see opportunities for a new beginning. The Black Country has become a haven for those fleeing big cities and countries at war.
New: Special Edition The Black Country
If you order the numbered hardcover edition (1-120) including fine art print of our latest @theeuropeans.fm publication The Black Country before Sunday AUGUST 27, your name will be mentioned in the back as a big thank you.
Since the first publication within The Europeans 2020 - 2030, we offer the possibility to adopt a region for 120 euros. If you do so before the printing deadline (27 AUG 2023), we will include your name in the colophon of the Special Edition. Afterwards, this unique hardcover edition in a print-run of 120 copies plus print in the same size will remain available as long as stocks last.
The Europeans is a ten-year quest to find the contemporary European at a time when Europe is struggling. Growing nationalism and populism are reviving old ghosts. For the first time in many years, a territorial war between nations is costing lives and threatening European security. Authoritarian regimes are on the rise and the political dream of a united and peaceful Europe is proving increasingly fragile.
Finishing The Black Country
Recently, I have been working with writer Arnold Van Bruggen to complete The Black Country, a new chapter within our multi-year project The Europeans. The original idea was that The Black Country - after The Former Capital - would be the second chapter within The Europeans and would be published in 2020. That turned out differently.
Due to corona, we had limited opportunities to travel for a while and decided to make the chapter The Naval Base in our own country first. Then, in 2022, we got a great opportunity to work in the French Basque Country, leading to Our Ancestral Home. After three completed chapters, it is now finally the turn to The Black Country. The work is done, the concept is set, photos have been selected and texts written. At the end of September, The Europeans’ new publication will finally be released.
Since The Europeans’ first chapter The Former Capital, interested people are welcomed to adopt a region for 120 euros. As a thank you, these contributors receive a numbered hardcover edition with print. More importantly, this group helps us to make it possible for the regular paperback edition to be offered locally at the lowest possible price. So far, we have managed to offer the publication at local presentations for €9.50. And it works! People who don’t buy expensive photo books do buy our publications. And that’s what we are aiming for.
We recently received the latest quote from the printer for production of the paperback and numbered hardcover editions of The Black Country. The cost price for the regular paperback edition has increased by 35% in three years, for the hardcover even slightly more. Our economic model around these publications has thus become unsustainable. We need to raise the price (against our ideology), downsize the publications (rather not) or come up with another solution. Who knows may speak up.
In case you have not yet adopted The Black Country, you might want to consider doing so. This will allow us to accommodate some of the extra costs involved in the upcoming publication. Also, it is the last chance to order a numbered hardcover edition with print from us at this price. Click on the link for more information on our adopt-a-region donation system.
Launch of The Europeans second chapter The Black Country postponed
Earlier this year Arnold van Bruggen and I worked in The Black Country on the second chapter as part of The Europeans. The work wasn’t finished. We wanted to go back one more time to create a follow-up. And then Corona made its entry in Europe. A huge number of mandatory quarantine days back and forth makes The Black Country currently practically unattainable for us to work. The launch of the publication - which was scheduled for this autumn - has been postponed until the spring of 2021. Despite this delay, we intend to complete the second chapter soon in one of many Black Countries in Europe.
Help us to make this second publication of The Europeans happen and to keep the work accessible to a broad audience by adopting this region for €120. A unique numbered hardcover edition will be sent to you as a reward.