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Verbeelding en veiligheid

De film Project X en de rellen in Haren (2012)

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden Film, public imagination, public safety, Riots, Youth
Auteurs Heidi de Mare
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    On September 21th 2012, a sweet sixteen party in Haren (a Dutch village), announced on Facebook as PROJECT X Haren, turned into a riot in which youngsters clashed with the police. The blame was put on the film Project X (2012) that would have inspired adolescents to become aggressive and violent. However, like other adolescent comedies, this movie offers an insight in the adolescent state of mind, the role of humor and their lack of risk assessments. Much violence is (harmless) slapstick-like, boundaries are exceeded (sex, alcohol, drugs) and transgression is often directed against parents, teachers and the police. What is tested in the adolescent imagination is the public order. Film functions as a symbolic rite of passage, with carnivalesque inversions. Reacting in Haren on this adolescent state of mind with an administrative prohibition (‘there is no party’) confirmed the juvenile joke. Acting as if it is not a party but a huge disaster (by enlarging police forces) contributed to make the riot a reality that the youngsters themselves never imagined. The commission of inquiry recommends taking serious film and other forms of public imagination, because they contribute to our understanding of reality, especially concerning the perceptions of societal actors.


Heidi de Mare
Heidi de Mare is directeur van Stichting IVMV, instituut voor maatschappelijke verbeelding, www.ivmv.nl.
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