Rederij Lampedusa

Refugee boat in recreational boating

11 Sep 2015

Amsterdam has a new shipping company; Rederij Lampedusa, located in the harbor of Mediamatic. The shipping company consists of a fleet of two North African boats, which were used by refugees to cross Lampedusa sea in Europe. These boats were granted by the Italian authorities and shipped to Amsterdam as a rare exception.


Rederij Lampedusa represents - Amsterdam is een nieuwe rederij rijker, Rederij Lampedusa. De rederij begint met een vloot van twee Noord-Afrikaanse boten waarmee vluchtelingen de overtocht naar Lampedusa, Europa hebben gemaakt. De boten zijn bij hoge uitzondering geschonken door de Italiaanse autoriteiten en naar Amsterdam verscheept. Vanuit Amsterdam varen ze verder met en voor opvarenden op zoek naar geluk. Teun Castelein

Meneer Vrijdag

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.

Fortune seekers

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.


Rederij Lampedusa in the haven of Mediamatic - Rederij Lampedusa is an art project of Teun Castelein.

Those who are interested can register here.
The Rederij Lampedusa will occasionally dock at Mediamatic.