This is how the Dutch have reshaped their wetland wilderness into one of the most densely populated places on the planet.
From maps and microscopes to fire hoses and artificial hearts. Throughout the centuries, the Low Countries have been the breeding ground for many world-changing inventions.
History of the Netherlands
The French general and emperor left behind deep traces in Dutch society that are still visible today.
The socialist anthem 'The Internationale' was composed by a Belgian who had worked in French factories as a child.
Our Colonial Legacy
Betül Sefika was inspired for her visual poem by a rice stalk, which is directly descended from rice seeds that were smuggled from Africa to Suriname by an enslaved woman.
Shimanto Reza wrote a letter inspired by a map of the Bay of Bengal from around 1695.
Migration, the Other Way Around
Elsbet De Pauw wrote a poem in response to an old painting of a doll house.
Jordi Lammers wrote a letter from the perspective of a mouth-bow.
Annemieke Dannenberg gives a voice to a brush used in eighteenth-century incantations.
Esha Guy Hadjadj gives a voice to a military painting by Cornelis Troost from 1742.
Anne Bosveld wrote a prose poem inspired by a panorama of Cape Town.
Johannes Decat gives a voice to the tally marks in an old cash book for a plantation in Brazil.
Emma Wiersma wrote a poem referencing the oldest existing collection of plants from Suriname.
In the remote Russian city of Naryan-Mar, an exhibition has opened on the seventeenth-century Dutch statesman Nicolaes Witsen, one of the symbols of the shared history of Russia and the Netherlands.
Freed from the need to be working the land due to the improvements in agriculture, people in the Low Countries began congregating in urban centres. For the first time, they were able to put their fingers onto the scales of power.
Veneboer wrote a dialogue in response to a portrait of Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution.
Abraham Ortelius’ map, inspired by Thomas More’s book, is dotted with amusing place names that suggest the whole thing was a joke.
Anne-Goaitske Breteler wrote a short story inspired by a letter written in response to the abolition of slavery on the French side of Sint Maarten.
Jens Meijen wrote a poem inspired by a contract from 1706 between a plantation owner and a painter.
Four leading Dutch historians call for insights from the past to be used to defeat today's pandemic.