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Leeuwarden asks ‘What’s your story?’

Alison Laycock

When I walked into Leeuwarden’s City Hall, I noticed a structure to my left in the foyer area. However it was only when I saw the leaflet which went with it that I realised how special this display was. Pieter, who works at the City Hall was able to explain more to me. Read on to hear all that he has to say about it and maybe you’ll be able to answer for yourself ‘What’s your story?’. 


We have this piece of Artwork here at City Hall which is something I love as it is very colourful and the story behind it is really nice.  It is made up of a metal frame which isn’t so interesting to look at on its own but what makes it more interesting are the thousands of small tubes which are in there. Inside every tube, there is something special for the person who has brought the tube in. It is something personal, something that they find reflects them or their personality or it’s something that they want preserved. 

Everyone who wants a tube can get one from us or one of the other meeting places and then they can put something in there which represents them. They then hand it in here after registering their tube on the website and we collect them and put them in the glass and hang them in the frame.

When people register on the internet they can write a short story to go with their tube, so when you go to the website http://www.DNALWD2018.NL you can not only register your tube and your story but you can also read other people’s stories. It’s interesting to read what people want to share with the city or the world.

When you stand back and look at the artwork itself, it is really pretty and it’s really nice to stand close to it, look at it and see what other people want to share with us.


I haven’t done one myself although I do want to share a lot with the world, I am not sure what to put in it. For me, it has to be something creative, something that represents me. I’m not sure but I do have some time left to contribute something and I do want to add part of me to the artwork. 

It’s been lovely seeing that people take time to consider what they want to put in. A lot of grandparents have come to fill the tube with something of their grandkids or they have come together to do it as a little project. It’s a family thing then. It would be great to add something and say you’re part of this artwork. Once you’ve registered your tube number on the website then you can type your number in on the screen behind the artwork and it will tell you where your tube is in the structure. Then you can come and see it in place and tell other people where it is.

Our title of European Capital of Culture comes to an end in December and I believe the artwork will be moved to one of the museums but we aren’t sure which one yet.  At least it means that the exhibition doesn’t get destroyed at the end of the year. It’s representative of the people as lots have taken part from around the country and the world.


Thanks to Pieter for sharing all these details with us. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about it. So what would you put in the test tube if you got the chance? What’s your story? Pieter was so convincing that I found myself filling a test tube, registering online and writing my story. As I’m travelling, I found it quite difficult as the things I would probably put in if I was at home were not available to me. In the end, I cut words out of magazines and leaflets I could find along with my passport photo from a paper copy I always travel with. My test tube was dropped in this morning ahead of leaving Leeuwarden.

#Leeuwarden #memories #personalstatement #Whatsyourstory

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