what I think (that I see)



“I’ve then also told it to my friends and in class. Everybody recognised it, but I didn’t. I’ve told it myself, but I don’t recognise it… It is like telling a story… Actually I tell what has happened, or what I think has happened, but I don’t know if it really happened… Only other people know.”

Niek had his first absence episode on his tenth birthday. In the car, just before entering a roundabout. The second came when he was 12 years old. His parents were not aware at first, like most parents. But when his fits became more frequent, they took him to a doctor and he received medication.

Niek is now 15 years old. He is an avid sports player. He tried to reduce his medication, but that didn’t work. His nightmares and fears returned. Now he has more medication. Niek is able to beautifully recount his experience after he’s been ‘gone’ briefly. So everybody knows what that looks like, but he doesn’t. It is like he is a character in a story.

While working with Nirav and Henny, it became clear that Niek was actually frightened all day long, but had never told anyone. This is the story of I see what I think that I see.

“The episodes usually happen on a Friday. A white man is standing on the stairs. You can hear him go down the stairs. When I see him, I’m shocked for about 30 seconds. I see him and then he’s gone: Poof…”

In collaboration with the artists, Niek has built a copy of his bedroom and through re-enactment, he lets the white man enter as he would. Niek has written a monologue about his experience, which was recorded in a recording studio. It was made into a radio play and installation. A white cupola with white sheets hanging down and a pair of white sneakers underneath. Above it are the loudspeakers that play his radio play. In a white arena.

Click the button below to see Niek’s VR space!