One of the two boats, named Meneer Vrijdag (Mister Friday), is ready for voyages and already has been commuting between Mediamatic and the Magnet Festival in Amsterdam Oost in the past.
The name Meneer Vrijdag comes from the Arabic words Alhadj Djumaa, the official name of this Egyptian boat. Alhadj stands for ‘old wise man who has been on a pilgrimage’, Djumaa means Friday. The boat departed on July 25, 2013 from Egypt towards Lampedusa. A day later the boat was picked up by the Italian Coast Guard, with 282 refugees aboard, 217 Eritreans and 65 Ethiopians.
The boat is manned by an international team from the Netherlands, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Syria. These ‘fortune seekers’ welcome everybody to work together to find their luck on the water. The team undertakes both swimming and sailing lessons in preparation.
The creators of Rederij Lampedusa
Rederij Lampedusa is an initiative by artist Teun Castelein. Previously Castelein launched Halbe Beer, "the beer that will save the arts sector, together with Henriette Waal. Rederij Lampedusa has been created in collaboration with Lauren Dyer, Abebe Kaysay Beyene, Fix & Foxy Theatre, Zep Theater, The Inventor Guild and Mediamatic. It has been funded by The Art of Impact, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Danish Art Foundation and the Italian Republic.