The Industry

The Industry

VR / Interactive Doc / Podcast Series / TV Episode

The Netherlands is the number one drugs country in Europe. Weed is in our genes, coke enters the country through the harbours, and XTC is as Dutch as chocolate sprinkles. How is it possible that in a regulated country like the Netherlands drug can be produced and traded on such a large scale? The Industry offers an insight into this industry.

The Industry is a documentary project that exist out of a VR Experience,  interactive documentary, radio doc, podcast series and TV programme in which weed growers, coke kingpins and drugs traffickers are being interviewed. Not as crooks, but as entrepreneurs in a thriving industry where we never see or hear anything about. What made them choose to work in this industry? What makes them tick? How did their career develop? And how does a workday of a drug trafficker, coke lord or weet cutter look like?

Won a Peabody Award in 2018. Special Mention at Prix Italia 2018. Nominated at IDFA 2018, Prix Europa 2018, and Prix Bohemia 2019

Read mere about the project here:
The broadcasts are also available as a podcast series via

Produced by Submarine Channel & the VPRO


In 2017 Mirka published an article on the development in collaboration with Hartmut Koenitz: Beyond The Timeline a Data-Driven Interface For Interactive Documentary 

In this paper, we present work on the data-driven interface for The Industry, an interactive documentary in development about the Dutch illicit drug industry. The motivation for the work was to provide a more complete overview of a highly complex matter using a form of interactive digital narratives (IDN). As it is with many complex issues, news reports on illegal drugs in the Netherlands are mostly fragmented and reactive, which makes it difficult for audiences to gain a good understanding of the topic. The approach starts by obtaining big-data sets from police and media. On this foundation, a narrative interface will be designed. This paper reports on the iterative design approach, and interface metaphors, on the lessons learned and the current state of affairs. Our intent with this paper is to fuel a discussion on narrative representations of complexity.