Anniversary celebration
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Photo exhibition Sacha de Boer

In honour of its 400th birthday, the University of Groningen and the Groningen City Club are organizing a photo exhibition called Groningen DNA. The open-air exhibition will be about the strong links between the University and the city and the region. Photographer and ex-newsreader Sacha de Boer has been commissioned to take ten artistic photos and fifteen documentary photos for the exhibition. The first photo has already been taken – the campaign image for the music theatre show Voor Eeuwig [For Infinity]. This will be a ten-day open-air show on the Zernike Campus in Groningen, in a co-production with the Noord Nederlands Toneel (NNT Theatre Company).

Sacha de Boer studied Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. She is familiar with university life and travelled the world as a journalist. Her photography concentrates on portraits and documentary photos. This ‘wide angle’ in her photography is why the University of Groningen commissioned her for this project.

Groningen DNA

The University of Groningen is the second-oldest university in the Netherlands, and the only one in the north of the country. The city and its environs have made the University what it is today, but the reverse is also true. For 400 years the University has contributed to the development, employment, culture and atmosphere in the city and region. The city of Groningen thus has its own special DNA. This interdependence is also expressed in all of the RUG400 events – in the themes, the involvement of the public and cooperation with various partners, including the Groningen City Club. The businesses in the city centre and outside are an important driver of economic development. This is why the University considers them an important partner in the embedding of the 400th anniversary in society.

Artistic and documentary photos

Healthy ageing, energy and a sustainable society are the spearheads of the University of Groningen. These northern and social themes are at the heart of the documentary photos that Sacha de Boer will be taking. The fifteen documentary photos will appear on banners in the centre of the city. The artistic photos will depict ten of the RUG400 events planned in cooperation with many northern partners. The artistic photos will be used (in variations) as the campaign images and appear at the various event locations in the city. The locations will be chosen in discussion with the municipality of Groningen. The campaign image for the open-air show Voor Eeuwig [For Infinity] is the first in the series. In the run-up to the festivities, the University of Groningen will announce the other nine images.

Exhibition marks the main arteries

From 15 May to 15 June 2014, Groningen will be plunged for a full month into a festive programme on the RUG400 theme For Infinity (4∞). There will be parties, sports events and knowledge and cultural exchanges. Sacha de Boer will be holding an exhibition during this festive month. The exhibition will mark the main arteries connecting the University buildings and the significant places related to the RUG400 events in the city centre.

For situation pictures of the banners, sign busters and campaign images see here.

Foto: Frank van der Veen,