Monday, September 18, 2006

Meeting a fellow WSA ambassador

It was the official opening of the Ans Westra’s Exhibition at the museum of Ethnology in Leiden yesterday. Ans Westra was an immigrant from the Netherlands to New Zealand and recorded in photographs of people especially the native Maoris from 1959 till 2004. It was not a surprise that the ceremony included a performance by the London-based cultural group, Ngati Ranana (see the photograph at the museum's site). The photographs are exposed inside in a big hall, but also outside, where I did discover several dishes, piping in permanent information in the museum. The photographs show the characteristic heads of Maori people. The exhibition had also yielded a DVD for schools and a broadcasting program, of which I got a preview.

I was invited by Jan Bieringa. There are two things to this name. When someone is called Jan in the Netherlands you think of a man. And Bieringa is a very Dutch name. But the name belong to a charming lady living in New Zealand, who is married to Luit Bieringa, a Dutchman who emigrated 50 years ago; in English the name Jan can belong to a woman and in this case does.

I met Jan Bieringa (see photograph) in 2003 in Dubai. She was one of the 35 jury members for the World Summit Grand Jury. In New Zealand she has been a promoter of new media. She has a background in cultural matters such as museums and galleries. Presently she is still active as an ambassador for the WSA in New Zealand and expanding to the Pacific islands like Samoa and Fiji. Ever since we stayed in touch. In 2005 I met her again at the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis. With Jan she produced the DVD for the schools and the broadcasting program for this exhibition.


Blog Number Posting 512

No comments: