One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface \\ International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam (IDFA)

Originally commissioned for AND Festival 2021, Maxwell Mutanda and Hakeem Adam’s One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface has been selected for DocLab: Liminal Reality, IDFA DocLab Competition for Digital Storytelling. Play, discover and experience One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface alongside a selection of interactive artworks, VR installations and social XR experiments in the DocLab exhibition: Liminal Reality in Tolhuistuin. Meet AND in Amsterdam – our creative director Luke W Moody will be attending the Doclab Forum and conference.


One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface is a conversation between artists Hakeem AdamMaxwell Mutanda and the Atlantic Ocean. Presented as an interactive audio-visual landscape, the project is an explorative online experience that unearths the power of water as a dynamic and fluid archive.

The project offers multiple readings of the unpredictable transatlantic waters as an evolving structure that initiates change on its surrounding lands, rerouting power and reshaping the lives of all who depend on it.

The research involves investigations and experiments into the design of various systems and infrastructure, such as canals and dams, transcontinental submarine data cable maps, and much more. One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface will explore how these tools and materials have been used for dredging up and rearranging our histories, lives and power.

Featuring landscapes created from data and the artists’ knowledge from their own unique relations to water, this web-based artwork will be an open dialogue, wherein the viewer is privy to the conversation between the pair. The website serves as an experimental route for users to read various digital drawings, each offering and responding to a specific theme connected to the Atlantic Ocean, a body of water covering one-fifth of the Earth’s surface.

One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface by Hakeem Adam and Maxwell Mutanda was commissioned and produced by Abandon Normal Devices and York Mediale. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and British Council.  

One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface contains digitised maps and sound recordings from the collections of the British Library.

One-Fifth of the Earth’s Surface was selected in a closed call from ColabNowNow 2017-2019 alumni.

Event info:

  • Fri 19th — Sun 28th Nov 2021
    @ 10:00 - 20:00 (11:00 - 21:00 AMS) daily
  • Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam
  • Free (booking required)

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