You’d expect the Juttersmuseum on the little Dutch island of Texel to have an air of melancholy or something like that. Its raison d’être is loss. But the Juttersmuseum is the site of what-once-was-lost-now-is-found, no regrets, no apologies. It is a place of redemption, reclamation, more like a church than an orphanage. There’s a type of beachcombing that is the hobby of the virtuous, who try to comb all evidence of humans from the beach. They are enemies of pollution, stewards of nature. The beachcleaner wants the beach to be clean, for the greater good of people and nature alike, and cleaning the beach is an act of generosity on the part of the cleaner. Still, there is a hint of contempt in the beachcleaner. The beachcleaner finds manmade debris exasperating, infuriating, knows secretly that because beachcleaning is a Sissyphisian task, it is the work of martyrs, and beaches are the cause of perpetual heartache. The beachcleaner wishes, ultimately, to cleanse the beach free of us for us.
more from Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set here.