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At 10 p.m. on the evening of 5 May, Liberation Day in the Netherlands, the performance art installation Franchise Freedom flew above the River Maas in Rotterdam to celebrate our freedom. At the initiative of artist duo DRIFT and art organisation Mothership, an impressive swarm of 300 drones will use the sky as their canvas in a flying ode to freedom and as a tribute to everyone working day and night to ensure the freedom and health of others. Franchise Freedom flies to highlight the importance of two important principles of humankind, health and freedom, and help bring us together.

“COVID-19 makes it abundantly clear that we as people depend on each other. The future only has value if we can rebuild this, together and sustainably, based on a greater, collective interest.”

Humankind is currently facing the biggest global crisis of our generation. Our individual and collective freedom have never been tested so seriously since the Second World War.

Freedom

In the poetry of their performance, the 300 drones in Franchise Freedom let us see and feel what the individual movement of freedom in a group looks like. The art installation invites us to look at nature’s patterns and survival mechanisms and learn from this. Individual freedom can only be protected when the whole group works together. Franchise Freedom flies to encourage us to get through the current crisis together.

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Erasmus MC

Erasmus MC is the national coordination point for all ICs in the Netherlands. All the staff here and in all the other hospitals and care institutions worldwide are working day and night for all patients. Pianist Joep Beving accompanies Franchise Freedom from Erasmus MC.

About Franchise Freedom

Franchise Freedom is a performance art installation by artist duo DRIFT which explores the relationship between man, nature and technology. Using a specially developed algorithm, a flying swarm of drones mimics natural autonomous swarm behaviour, like that of starlings, and questions the human concept of freedom and social construct. The artwork invites us to connect with nature and with each other through poetry and technical innovation. Franchise Freedom won a Dezeen award in 2019 and has been nominated for the Global Fine Art Award.

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A live experience at home

Just because we can’t come together physically now doesn’t mean that we will grow further apart. In fact, the opposite can be achieved. Franchise Freedom could be seen live on TV or online via various channels. We can watch together, think about it, talk about it and reflect on it. The project wants to justice to the importance of celebrating freedom, even we are unable to do so like before.