Art in Leeuwarden, made of DNA

Margret Havinga (left) and Silvana Fancel during their visit to YourPost.

LEEUWARDEN – A project of test tubes and DNA. And yet there will not involve any blood or needle. We are talking about the ‘DNA of Leeuwarden’, a project under LF2018. Anyone who has a band with Leeuwarden can participate. ,,You give a piece of your DNA by filling the tube with something that is important to you,” tell project manager Margret Havinga and communications consultant Silvana Fancel. They recently were guests at the weekly YourPost meeting in ‘de Kanselarij’.

By: Aukje Mulder

Everyone has a story. The eighty-plus senior citizen but also the elementary school pupil. A story about work, hobbies, love for your partner or passion for a sport. About fond memories of your old street, the friendship with your neighbors or your own garden. The possibilities are endless. And therefore the objects which can be placed in a tube: hair of your cat, drawing of your child, a flower or leaf, photographs of a medal won, your pony or parental home. The explanatory text – though only a few lines – you can post on a special website.

,, ‘DNA of Leeuwarden’ is a platform for anyone who has a connection with Leeuwarden”, Margret explains. ,,We are talking not only about the people of Leeuwarden and the villages that make up the municipality. Even people who study in Leeuwarden, have a bond with the city for a certain period. Like former Leeuwarders who keep good memories of their roots.”

Personal code
How it works in practice? ,,Through your school, neighborhood or work you receive a tube. This tube has a unique code. With this code you can create a personal page on If you have not yet received a tube, you can pick up one at the Historical Center Leeuwarden (HCL). You also can return them here. During the year there will be more pickup and drop points. You fill the tube with your own ‘story’ in the shape of an object. Also you deliver a written story, as accompanying text.”

,,Not everyone is handy on the computer. Our volunteers are therefore working with visiting senior citizen complexes, among others to assist in recording stories. In schools we work in the classroom. With our ‘DNA stall’ we are on the market in all areas of the city to give assistance.”

Transparent artwork
A transparent artwork will be made of all the thousands of tubes. This artwork kan be seen at the end of this year in the Municipal Office. Margret: ,,All related personal stories – big and small – will be stored on the site for the generations after us. In this way the ‘DNA of Leeuwarden’ tells the story of all Leeuwarders. It is a project of all.”
YourPost is an initiative of LF2018 and therefore supports ‘DNA of Leeuwarden’. The coming months DNA-stories will be shared regularly with YourPost. Here is a preview: