Wednesday 30 May 2012

Monument for the Unknown Truckers at Manifesta 9

During Manifesta 9 graphic designers Stijn Segers and Niek Kosten work on a Monument for the Unknown Trucker, a tribute to the lost culture of the truckers on the parking lot in front of the coal mine buildings of Waterschei.

THE HISTORY OF THE LOST TRUCKERS In the long period between the closure of the coal mine of Waterschei in 1987 and the renovation of the site in 2010 the parking lot in front of the mine building was frequently used by truck drivers as a rest stop. The truck drivers, mainly from Turkish origin, could find shops and bars across the street (André Dumontlaan) for food, a shower and social contact. Five years ago the city of Genk provided a modern truck stop station on an industrial site in Genk South with all the comfort for the modern trucker. They wrote out a prohibition to park on the old parking spot and the André Dumontlaan.

Nowadays the streets suffers from great vacancy: a lot of the shops had to close because of the deplacement of the truckers. From the Centrum for Heimwee, located in an abandoned house at André Dumontlaan, graphic designers Stijn Segers and Niek Kosten do research on the concept of heimwee (homesickness), search for connections with the neighbourhood to collect stories, pictures and other archive material from the old parking lot and make plans for the erection of a Monument for the Unknown Trucker on the parking lot.

The Centrum for Heimwee opens on Friday 1 June 2012. The monument will be opened in collaboration with Manifesta on 14 September 2012.


Stijn Segers (1977, Tongeren) studied Perceptive Psychology at the University of Leuven and started his own graphic design bureau Werkmannen in 2002. With a strong focus on typography and iconography and a love for heritage and pop culture Segers has created work for theatre groups, bands, museums and exhibitions in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. In his own work mobility and industrial heritage are recurring themes. For the moment Segers is doing an audiovisual research on the longest highway in Europe, the E40, running from Calais in France to Ridder in Kazachstan.

Niek Kosten (1986, Waterschei) graduated in Communications & Multimediadesign and Graphic Design at the Media, Arts and Design Faculty in Genk and Hasselt (MAD-faculty). In his work he focuses on printed matter, identity and typography. Besides that, he initiates projects that explore activist subcultures. In 2011 and 2012 Niek is responsible for the graphic work at Z33 – house for contemporary art in Hasselt. Since 2011 he also teaches graphic design at MAD-faculty.

Centrum for Heimwee / Monument for the Unknown Trucker
Stijn Segers & Niek Kosten
André Dumontlaan 40
3600 Genk, Belgium


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