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Meanwhile | on a journey of discovery in the city that 'has never been much (nooit wat het weest)'

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Meanwhile | on a journey of discovery in the city that 'has never been much (nooit wat het weest)'

LEEUWARDEN - How can it be that of all places, Leeuwarden will become the European Capital of Culture in 2018? How did the city pull that one off? That is a question, which will surely come up next week on Friday, June 19. Because on that day, Leeuwarden opens its doors to a large city expedition. The invasion consists of an expected group of 75 men and women, coming from all corners of the Netherlands.

The expeditions are an initiative by Nieuw Nederland, Cities in Transition. This platform, an idea by Pakhuis De Zwijger (Amsterdam), allows people to narrate about the changing role of cities in society. These so-called city makers come together inside the platform and share their experiences. It all happens online via the city expeditions.

Sjoerd Bootsma, artistic leader of Welcome to the Village and one of the contributors to the bid book for the European Capital of Culture 2018, is pleased that his city is slowly but surely freeing itself from cynism. “That phrase, ut het nooit wat weest en it sil nooit wat wurde, (it never was much and will never be much) was thrown out the window a while ago. And rightly so of course."

Bootsma is pleased with the upcoming expedition. After cities like Leiden, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Groningen, Leeuwarden is seventh in line. “It’s great to be able to show the extraordinary changes that our city has undergone. Because it should be obvious that Leeuwarden is a city in transition."

On Friday, there will be three different routes to choose from. One route stands in the sign of our food chain. Bootsma:”We are literally going to immerse our feet in the clay and we shall hear the story of the most famous cow in the Netherlands: Janneke."

Other places that the expedition passes are the Doarpstûn Snakkerburen, the Academy for Pop culture, Podium Asteriks, the warehouse of Welcome to the Village and Neushoorn.

One group will also visit the area of Nieuw Stroomland, on the outskirts of Leeuwarden. In this area, businesses, the government and citizens alike can experiment together with sustainable technology, new collaboration forms and new laws and policies.

Who wants to join can click here (scroll to the bottom of the page).