About Places of Hope

Places of Hope is an exhibition and series of activities that explores how we can shape the future of the Netherlands together. With the work of artists, science fiction films, studios and workshops, visitors are invited to dream of a better world and discover the good life of tomorrow. 

At this moment in time, many of us are still living in the past. We live in post-war terraced houses or concrete apartment blocks. We work at remote industrial areas or monotonous office parks. We sit in traffic daily, stuck on the highway in our cars. Even the way we heat our homes, generate our energy and deal with our waste dates back to the previous century; to a time of seemingly endless possibilities and resources.

How can we take on the challenges of the 21st century, from climate change to social cohesion, if we’re still stuck in the past? Driving on the ring road, the revolution seems far away. Luckily, all over the Netherlands, pioneers are working hard on finding new ways to tackle these issues – from a dike digger to townsmen. Innovation often comes from unexpected places. Under the starry skies, living in the midst of a nature reserve or with the neighbours who’ve purchased a windmill to provide the entire town with electricity.

“Places of Hope offers a space for imagination. After visitors leave the exhibition, they will look to the future with confidence.”
- Maarten Hajer, curator

The exhibition Places of Hope, organized by curators Maarten Hajer and Michiel van Iersel, will take you to unique places and introduce you to dozens of inspiring land-makers: people whose projects aspire to shape our environment and offer hope and inspiration for a sustainable future. This future begins in Leeuwarden and Northern Netherlands, where mankind and nature, city and countryside are inextricably linked.

Places of Hope is located in the monumental Kanselarij, at de Turfmarkt, Leeuwarden. For centuries, counsellors and governors would gather here to discuss how to organize and design the surrounding country. That time has passed. De Kanselarij is now a creative place for anyone interested in the future. Places of Hope presents a selection of today’s land-makers and invites visitors to contribute to the Netherlands of tomorrow themselves.

The exhibition will be open, with accompanying events, during the eight months of Leeuwarden-Friesland European Capital of Culture 2018. Join us and look forward to the future!

Photo: Binne Louw Katsma
Het toegankelijkheidslabel van Placesofhope. Volg de link voor de toegankelijke versie van dit label.