Indigenous Dutch dot NL is the documentation website of Teresa van Twuijver, artist, storyteller and researcher from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Who is ‘indigenous’ to The Netherlands? Everybody who was born on these soggy soils that are also called ‘The Low Lands’. Everybody who breaths the Dutch air and drinks the Dutch water and sleeps under the Dutch sky.

I am an indigenous Dutch and I am curious about the heart and spirit of Dutch culture and Dutch ethnicity. Despite their many many differences, what typifies Dutch people? (I guess probably a strange combination of stubbornness, resourcefulness and sheer naivety. Who else would choose to live on land a few meters below sea level, behind dykes, pumping stations and sluices?)

What wisdom and knowledge have indigenous Dutch people collected by living thousands of years in a river delta? The Dutch know so much about soil, wind, water and engineering. That is why the Dutch were (and still are) a great seafaring nation and that is why the Dutch created their own lands: we can build the ships and windmills that makes these things possible. And how do these wisdom and knowledge resonate with Dutch culture, especially with regard to their use of textiles? I try to find some of these things out on these webpages.

All Dutch people are included in my research, no matter their origin and backgrounds (and species). Because Indigenous Dutch come in all shapes and sizes.

An observation. The strangest thing about the first decades of the 21st century, at least what I find, is that people want to be like machines while machines should be like people. As AI robots are reaching a level of ‘eery and uncanny’ resemblance to human beings, the latter – especially craftspeople and designers – strive to be as perfect as machines in their projects, designs and handiwork. Perfection is not human and I think we should leave that to the machines. Let their alpha be the ‘perfect’ partner to the omega of human error, failure and – hence – creativity.

The Netherlands in 2100. (c) LOLA landscape architects.


Teresa van Twuijver, here dressed in traditional Zaans clothes and golden headwear from 1790 (courtesy Inge Bosman/de Zaanse Kaper).

Teresa van Twuijver is an artist and storyteller from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She works with textiles (old and new) and a combination of techniques and technologies (crafts and digital) to research into sustainable, homemade and lasting forms of clothes and household textiles.

After a career in journalism and (new) media art, Teresa van Twuijver was hit by a burnout in 2013. During her many years of recovery, she started working with textiles again. In 2018 she combined these three fields of work in a search for a new artistic visual language, one in which she can incorporate all her expertise and knowledge, as well as her love for stories, digital technology and everyday textiles. She is a proud graduate of Fabricademy 2018-2019.

The HOPE CHEST 2090 project is a next step in her on-going learning process. Funded by the Creative Industries Fund NL Teresa van Twuijver will delve deeper into material development, fibre and fabric manipulation and digital design in the context of a flooded Netherlands in 2090. Collaboration with TextileLab Amsterdam is essential because it is one of the few places where professional knowledge, practical experience and facility support are offered in all these areas, as much as great fun and creative exploration.