Goodenow and Grady (1993), defined sense of belonging as ‘the extent to which individuals feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported within their social environment’.

American psychologist Abraham Maslow outlined belonging in his hierarchy of needs, while feeling a sense of belonging could be considered a source of human motivation. When unable to meet the necessary amount of connection, it is possible for loneliness or other personal distress to occur.

“Where are you from?” has always been an internal struggle of mine, I rarely felt like I truly belonged to the country/culture I grew up in due to an upbringing intertwined with my fathers motherland. The inability to blend into my Dutch or Canadian surroundings fully resulted in struggles with sense of self and notions of home.

This video installation was recorded at locations correlating with personal geographical ties in The Netherlands and references the literal translation of the van Duin surname. Repetitive processes used to generate the work allude to traits associated with Witte Wieven Dutch folklore, while entering the chosen landscapes represent the physical and metaphorical investigation into my Dutch identity and origins which led to a greater sense of belonging.


Title: Vrouwe van de duinen (lady of the dunes)

Multi channel video installation

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Instagram: @theodoravanduin