In ‘THE NEW COAST’ photographer Michael Rhebergen takes you along the imaginary new coastline of The Netherlands. 

Considering the reputation the Netherlands has in terms of water management, the title of this project has an almost logical, practical and even seductive ring to it. The Dutch are, of course, famous for manufacturing their own landscape. For centuries, our dikes, barriers, mills and other systems have allowed us to live wherever and however we want - it does not even seem to matter what the land we inhabit has to offer. 
Then there is the romantic notion of the coast: boundless sea, endless sand and a horizon that inspires thoughts of freedom. It is not for nothing that we are prepared to travel far just to spend a few days or weeks enjoying the coast, conquering heavy traffic if need be. 

Yet in Michael Rhebergen’s research, the idea of a new coast becomes ominous. We are confronted with a new coastline - unavoidably, it would seem, considering the way the climate is changing, undermining our power to control. In many countries, this is a process that has been threatening people’s very existence for decennia. In the Netherlands, however, many still treat this image as a faraway and surmountable perspective. It was the question of what awaits us in the Netherlands which triggered Michael Rhebergen, as he wondered what this shift might mean to the people living here.