rene van hulst


This article was written on 15 Sep 2017, and is filled under Actual, General.


Switch of career?!

One might think so, with me being in a 6 week Artists in Residence program in Japan. Especially if one would see the exhibition with the images of Margaret Lansink and some of my words that we have put up today and yesterday as part of the Kanna Art Festival in Onishi, where we stay this period.

It is not even the first AIR, we have done… It all stems from a project we initiated last November entitled ‘The art of empathy – looking through the eyes of the other’. We strongly believe that we humans don’t look at people as they are but only as we are. With our own perspective, our own beliefs and prejudices we judge the other from a safe distance. It’s the way our mind works. Its the way our society works. With each new encounter, we use these patterns, handed down by our culture, our family and enhanced by the media. These days again this mechanism results in a human divide. In a them versus us.

It is early 1940. Nazi Germany is gaining momentum and thousands upon thousands of Jewish people are caught in Kaunas, Lithuania between the advancing German troops and the Russian army taking over the Baltic States. On the 24th of July, two men in Kaunas do what they thought needed to be done. Irrespective of whether they knew these Jewish refugees, they started issuing visa for them. The Dutch consul for entrance to the dutch territory of Curaçao, the Japanse for the transit via Kobe Japan. In only two weeks, they issued 2.345 visa, rescuing the lives of well over 6.000 Jews. Both showed empathy in times when there was none. Both expressed that unique human talent of looking at the world through the eyes of the other. What they saw gave them the strength to do what needed to be done. If only today we also had the courage to look at the world through the eyes of the other…

As said his project is not a switch of career for me. It is simple following that urge deep down to do something which you feel is good for the world we live in and go way out of your comfort zone in doing so! It brings hugebenefits; having the opportunity to stay for 6 weeks in this incredible country!! Simply next to what I love to do as well; help organisations to build their unique own brand to drive their business. There are some great developments on that part as well, but that is for later.

One Comment

  1. […] look at it from another perspective, it might also be that the topic and content of our workshop; the art of empathy, is what tempted people to sign […]

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