Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Let farmers be bygones

June 17, 2006

Let bygones be farmers? On the other side of my neighbourhood park there is a monument in honour of the ‘lost farmer’, farmers lost to change. The text on the back of the pedestal says, The Bygone Farmer by artist Henk Gomes commemorates the farmers that for thousands of years lived and worked in the fens to the west of Amsterdam’s city limits. Until the 1950’s this was the border between city and the country. In the 2nd half of the 20th century this border was pushed back to the peripheral waterway beyond the Haarlemmermeer.

The placement of this statue has been made possible by funding from private donations and with donations from the Amsterdam borrough of Bos en Lommer, the Amsterdam Foundation for Visual Arts, the Amsterdam Rabobank and also the Foundation for the Bygone Farmer.

The task of translating the Dutch verb verdwenen has been preventing me from writing this entry since I took these pictures back in April. Verdwenen can mean a lot of things, and none of which sound particularly as poetic in English as Verdwenen Boer does in Dutch.


They used to be here.

Nice that the artist included the boerin in the actual sculpture, although he left her out of the title. In Dutch, the female farmer has her own word. Maybe Gomes was using the term boer as a general term.

Speaking of Dutch public art commissions, check out the iron line drawing on top of the tax building.

debra at 6:48 | | post to

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