’Avant-garde Citizens’ steps into the lives and identities of refugees in the world today, using the Netherlands as a departure point. The project is a series of video-portraits of people who have become enmeshed in the viciously complicated and torturously slow Dutch immigration and asylum system. The people featured, mostly living without a residence permit in Holland, where they are generally referred to as Illegals, share experiences of detention and imprisonment in deportation centres and criminal prisons, despite being innocent of any crime. Filmed in a series of typical locations around Holland – a peaceful field, a beach, a living room – each Citizen tells his or her story to the microphone they hold, as they stand with their backs to the camera. There is no movement to draw the eye away from the solitary figure. The words and voices are the focus, as harsh experiences are related with simplicity and acceptance. The artists juxtapose familiar backgrounds with the unfamiliarity of the tales told to emphasise that these events are taking place in the Netherlands. The artists cite their concern with the rapidly growing number and capacity of detention- and deportation centers in the Netherlands as a key motivation for engaging with this topic.