What items do people take with them when they flee their homes to retain a feeling of belonging? And how is pride in one’s roots reflected through dress?
Things That Matter is a new exhibition about important things and the importance of things: objects of great personal significance that, at the same time, are closely related to the major social issues of today, such as migration and origin.
What happens to your culture when your country disappears?
The objects in Things That Matter come from all over the world and incorporate stories that are equally meaningful in the Dutch context. An example is a woven basket from the Marshall Islands. In the accompanying video Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner relates in the form of a poem why this object is of such importance to her culture and how this culture is on the verge of disappearing: rising sea levels will result in her island being the first to sink below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The basket on display threatens to become the last tangible remnant of her culture, prompting visitors to the exhibition to reflect on climate change, sustainability and the significance of cultural heritage.
Behind the scenes
This video shows the French-Tunisian 'calligraffiti' artist eL Seed at work in the museum. He created the murals in the pavilion about the beauty of Arabic writing, which is part of the exhibition Things That Matter.
The Things That Matter exhibition is slated to run for five to seven years and has been realised with the aid of the BankGiro Loterij and in collaboration with Museum Catharijneconvent. Photo: David Vroom.