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“CarSmash”: what is this Dutch project which serves as an outlet in the face of the frustration of Covid-19?


One armed with a club, the other with a crowbar, the twins Steven and Brian Krijger are all smiles as they take turns attacking a Peugeot 106 on which the inscription has been engraved. “P **** n of COVID”. Strict containment has been restored in the country since December 19, 2021.

They are participating in the Dutch project “CarSmash” which aims to provide confined residents with the means to let off steam by releasing the anger and frustration accumulated since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is now entering his third year.

Faced with a new outbreak of cases of contamination by the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19, the Netherlands has again been subject to strict containment since December 19, with a closure of non-essential businesses, restaurants, hairdressing salons , sports halls, museums and theaters.

Gatherings limited to two people

Outdoor gatherings are also limited to two people. All of these measures, in force until at least January 14, will be reassessed to determine whether or not they are still necessary on that date.

“There is nothing to do at the moment,” laments Brian. “We can’t work because we own a bar that’s closed. So we thought we could take some of that frustration out by going to smash a car.”

Merlijn Boshuizen, who runs “CarSmash” at a junkyard in Vijfhuizen, near Amsterdam, explains that customers start by spray painting “what’s going on in their life” on the vehicle of their choice.

“The minute they start to smash the car, we ask them to close their eyes, to feel their feet rooted in the ground, to feel the energy, every vein in their body, to feel what they are doing. to do and that way to try to get it all out of their life. “

Another concept: “Howl on the beach”

A few kilometers south of The Hague, Julie Scott, a vocal teacher, has set up a project with the same objective.
While looking for “a physical activity allowing to release some of the tensions” accumulated due to the inability to work indoors, she imagined the concept “Howl on the beach”.

Facing the wind, whipped by the spray, Rozemarijn Kardijk, a client of Julie, leaps in place screaming until she loses her breath while suppressing a burst of laughter.

“We can just – wow! – let go,” explains Rozemarijn, an executive secretary eager to gain confidence in public speaking in her professional life.

“We don’t need to think of anything, we are in the immensity of the beach and the sea (…). Your voice carries over the sea and does not come back. It’s a feeling of freedom . “

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