Katja Verheul


I am a filmmaker and artistic archeologist based in Rotterdam (NL). I graduated with a BFA in Audio-Visual Arts from Gerrit Rietveld Academie (NL) in 2012 and hold a MFA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University (UK) in 2016.

I believe in the revealing value of long-term research. The deep dive into complex matter is an important part of my work process. With my film and video projects I want to make complex (invisible) social, political and economical issues visible. My work often arises from the question; what remains after a war and what is the impact of these remains on people and nature?
I am working as an artistic archeologist digging through our most recent history. Before it is nostalgic, before it is a story that lies generations before us. Not only to demystify, but to make the mediated and almost historicized and perhaps forgotten reality personal again.

TRUST - 2022/ 4K/ 16:9/ stereo sound/ 22.34 min. / Dutch with English subtitles (EN) A group of young girls dive into the complex hidden world of tax evasion by big foreign companies in the Netherlands. What happens behind the closed doors of these big anonymous office buildings in the suburbs of Amsterdam?
What is left behind? (2022 in production) - After WW2 the allied forces found themselves with an incredible amount of leftover munition. With not enough storage on land and fearing others might use the weapons to do harm, it was decided to dump them in the sea. With secret dump sites and thinking the weapons would sink into the sediment this was considered a safe option. More than 300 000 tons of weapons were dumped into the Baltic Sea alone, 40 000 tons of these were chemical weapons. Now, after more than 75 years, most of our seas are covered in munition. Due to corrosion and the ever growing activities on our sea floors the risks of the munition exploding are higher, but even more important is the leaking of mustard gas and TNT. These color- and odorless chemicals can be found in the water and in fish threatening the ecosystem. A ticking time-bomb. Researchers from all over Europe are exploring the ecological effects of munition in the Baltic sea. They are on the forefront and sounding the alarm for both humans and nature. In What is left behind we follow them and those tasked with cleaning up the sea floors. We bring the viewer into their world of spending weeks on the sea, using divers, drones and AI to map out sea floors. Catching and dissecting fish with visible tumors. And training to handle sea mines and other munitions in full protective suits. Asking ourselves: what remains after war, what impact do these remnants have and what do these dumping say about humans? We want to shine a light on what seemed like an easy solution, but has now become a danger to us all. The dumped munitions, buried in the sea, are the silent witness to our past and a threat to our future. In collaboration with: Annagriet Beerstra Financially supported by: de korte verbeelding (Dutch Film Fund and Mondriaan Fonds)
Improvised Objects (2021) - 2021/ 4K/ 16:9/ stereo sound/ 5.1/ DCP/ 9.36 min. In a world where billions are spent on state-of-the-art weaponry, the deadliest weapon is still a so-called Improvised Explosive Device, which most people can make from materials found at their homes. An IED maker, a soldier and a philosopher describe their relationship with these objects, which can have almost any shape, form and content. Distribution: Lima Amsterdam Financially supported by: Dommering Fonds
Toni and Bleri (2018) - 2018/ 4K /16:9/ stereo sound/ 20 min./ DCP During one of the last days of the winter two young Kosovar actors find some left over construction material. While dreaming about leaving the country without the visa hassle they decide to take the shattered parts with them. At an abandoned building they start constructing the different parts building their own one-man rocket - while stories from the past are brought up. Both boys decide that the rocket needs to be launched from the top of the highest mountains in Kosovo, the mythical Accursed mountains. After a dreadful hike to the top of the Accursed mountains, one of the boys will be launched into a new future. Financially supported by: Stroom Den Haag, Mondriaan Fonds, Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport of Kosovo
Dynamo (2020) - 2020/ 4K/ 16:9/ stereo sound/ 4.29 min. DYNAMO weaves a mysterious tale of a creature wandering around the empty CUBE. Nothing can stay hidden in a completely transparent building. But what are we watching? Or rather, who is watching who? Commissioned for: Kaan Architecten
Maiden (2019) - 2019/ 4K/ 16:9/ stereo sound/ 7.24 min. A group of young girls re-enact, deconstruct and rebuild an old myth to question its meaning today. Commissioned for: Yarat Contemporary Art Centre (AZ)