A bonfire tradition started after World War II when the youth of The Hague, The Netherlands found strange joy in echoing the traumas they shared from the days of Nazi conscription by conscripting discarded Christmas trees and later lighting them on fire. This grew into street skirmishes between neighborhoods, mass confrontations with the police and ever-escalating fires. In the 90’s the bonfires had become so large and organized that wooden pallets became the dominant material, and the beach of Scheveningen became the sanctioned area of operation. There, a rivalry between two neighborhoods grew. Romke documented Scheveningen’s bonfire community for its final three bonfires, between 2016 to 2019.
V.S. (2019 documentary short) coming soon