Eternalize your mark in Leeuwarden with DNA

What is the best way to eternalize someone’s presence somewhere? A statue, perhaps. Or maybe a painting. Good options, but nothing can beat our DNA. The one thing that we all have in common but that makes each one of us different and unique. To celebrate that, Leeuwarden is collecting its citizens’ DNA. However, it is not what you would think.

A city goes beyond a simple clutter of buildings and a web of streets, it is all about the people who live there and make it blossom with life. Have you ever thought of all the souls who have been here? The happy and friendly locals, the “Dutchies” from all over the Netherlands who to come to visit Friesland’s lakes and Leeuwarden’s beautiful Oldehove, not to mention the thousands of students from all over the world who have spent a bit of their lives in this small, cosy town. Leeuwarden is our bones and flesh, and we are its DNA.

By: Alexandre van der Struijk

Seeing that, Leeuwarden decided to give everyone the opportunity to leave a little bit of themselves behind, their DNA, for generations to see after we have come and gone. Not really your DNA though, but rather something that represents you or relates to the city. DNALWD2018 is collecting stories in DNA tubes, literally. Everything counts, as long as it fits in a little tube. A picture of you, a small object, or maybe an artwork that you do as a hobby. All these stories together will form a piece of art that represents Leeuwarden for all its inhabitants, even with all of their differences, united by this city.

When? Where? How?
These tubes will be collected throughout 2018 and anyone can admire the thousands of colourful tubes in the city hall of Leeuwarden. Each little tube contains a story, which can be found online. If you want to share your DNA as well, all you have to do is pick up a tube in any of the DNA information points and register your tube with your story online, on

After 2018
After 2018, our stories will be preserved for all eternity, allowing your kids and grandkids to visit this place that you once lived in and admire the little piece of you, and thousands of others, left behind. The tubes will be stored by the Historisch Centrum Leeuwarden, and they will be available digitally as well, thus, ensuring that anyone can find it at anytime from anywhere.