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Special art route pays tribute to the Humanities

How do you depict the importance of the Humanities? In honour of the faculty's 444th anniversary, 25 Humanities students, alumni and employees sent in a variety of works of art inspired by the theme 'Humanities matter'. You can come to look at the works from 25 May to 28 August via an art route through Leiden.

Tribute to the Humanities

‘Pay tribute to the Humanities', was the call to creative students, alumni and employees of the Faculty of Humanities in March. And there turned out to be quite a few of them. In two months time, 25 prints, paintings, installations, performances and poems with the theme 'Humanities matter' were submitted.

Romy Ruigrok (24), a master student in Museums and Collections from Leiden, together with two other students and two staff members of the faculty, looked at the works and organised an art route via Leiden University buildings where they will be exhibited from 25 May to 28 August.

High quality

‘I was impressed by the quality and diversity of the entries,' says Ruigrok. ‘The entry that especially caught my eye is an algorithm that writes poems in the style of Dutch poet Lucebert. During the opening the creators will hand out these poems. They want to pose the question: is this poetry? Is this art? I find this work to be interesting because it shows what role the Humanities can play. Technology opens up a lot of possibilities, but how do we relate to those as human beings?

Humanities matter

For the Faculty of Humanities, the celebration of the 444th anniversary of Leiden University is marked by the importance of the Humanities in a rapidly changing world. Various events will be organised under the theme 'Humanities matter', including this art route. Themes such as globalisation and the preservation of humanity are represented in the entries.

Ruigrok: 'On the news people sometimes ask a question like: are the Humanities actually important in our society? Will students be doing something useful after their studies? I think it's great that this exhibition shows why the Humanities are important. The Humanities don’t just take things for granted, it questions why things are the way they are.’

Who will win 444 Euros?

On 25 MAy, a three-man jury, consisting of faculty board student member Olivier Fajgenblat, institute manager of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts Rosalien van der Poel and artist Barthel Brussee, will choose three winners from all the entries. 

First prize: Hester Be – bachelor student Art History and Philosophy

This is a work that is cleverly executed in pen and ink. The contour lines of the drawing are sometimes thick and heavy, then fine and delicate, but never without meaning. The lines remain interesting throughout the work, and the perspective effect that this creates is cleverly exploited. The alternation of very "filled in" and very open spaces results in a pleasant composition, which is complex, but still remains easy to understand.

Second prize: Pablo Kattenberg – master student Literature in Society

The second prize goes to a work that the jury unanimously considered to be original and innovative. In an interesting way, the interactive work showcases the connection between art and technology. Assumptions about one of the merits of the humanities - the ability to write well - are put to the test. The work raises questions such as: Are the authors of poetry and literature important? Or are they the geniuses from which the art originated?

Third prize: Sitwat Ashar Hashmi – master student Political Science

The third prize concerns a personal theme and is a strong image that raises questions about identity (an important aspect of the humanities). The work takes a political stand and at the same time shows an almost mythological image.

The University celebrates 444 years: let’s celebrate together!

In 2019, Leiden University celebrates its 444th anniversary. Various events are organised in Leiden and The Hague to celebrate this special anniversary. In, with and for the city. Take a look at the programme!

Humanities celebrates 444
The winning artwork: '

Written by Julia Nolet
Pictures by Simone Both
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