Who Is an Expat? New Exhibition Opens Today

October 26th 2015

For years, The Hague has been the home of expatriates from many different countries. These international residents bring their own cultures and perspectives to The Hague, while at the same time learning to live as integral parts of their new home. To honour this unique part of the history and culture of The Hague, our new exhibition, ‘Expat Impressions of The Hague’ opened today in The Hague City Hall. The exhibition, which has been over a year in the making, explores the expatriate experience in The Hague, drawing on letters, journals, photographs, and other primary source materials documenting their observations about their adopted city during the past several decades.

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But who is an expatriate? ‘Expatriate’ has sometimes been used as a narrow term that encompasses only a certain class of people who are transferred to another country by large multinational companies and live stereotypically privileged lives in the infamous ‘expat bubble’, reserving terms like ‘internationals’, ‘migrants’, or ‘knowledge migrants’ for other groups. However, in a post-colonial world where globalisation happens in all directions, old distinctions like these are both outdated and objectionable. For the Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC), one of the organisers of the new exhibition, the term ‘expatriate’ includes ‘anyone who lives temporarily in a country other than their “home” country’.

The Expatriates Represented in the Exhibition

As ‘the international city of peace and justice’, The Hague is host to expatriates with many different stories. The exhibition contains representations from the diplomatic community, expatriates in the fields of non-governmental initiatives and multi-lateral governance, and students, as well as those who have come to work, along with their partners. Whether these expatriates have lived in The Hague for one year or ten or more, they have recorded their impressions and left their mark on the city that has welcomed them in. Visitors to the exhibition will gain a better understanding of what it is like to live in The Hague as an expatriate, and see the city through fresh eyes.

The EAC, which preserves primary source materials documenting the expatriate experience, has two other partners that have assisted in preparing the exhibition: The Hague Municipal Archives and ACCESS, a non-profit that provides practical information, support, and services to expatriates in the Netherlands. Sponsors include Shell, The Hague Bridge, CB&I, Rabobank, the American Women’s Club of The Hague, and Petroleum Women’s Club The Hague.

When and Where

The exhibition is presented in both English and Dutch. It is free, and will run from 26 October to 14 November 2015 in the Atrium of the City Hall in The Hague. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 to 19:00, Thursday from 7:00 to 21:30, and Saturday from 9:30 to 17:00. The mayor will officially inaugurate the exhibition at an invitation-only reception to be held on 4 November. For more information, contact The Expatriate Archive Centre at (0)70 427 2014 or pr@xpatarchive.com.


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Come See The Hague through Expat Eyes!

October 15th 2015

Flyer ENG

A new exhibition in The Hague City Hall entitled ‘Expat Impressions of The Hague’ will reveal the history of The Hague as seen through expatriate eyes. From the 1950s through the present, the exhibition will showcase visual content as well as stories, letters, articles, and journals written by expatriates, providing a rich picture of what it has been like to live in The Hague as an expatriate during the past several decades.

Three organisations have partnered to create the exhibition: The Expatriate Archive Centre, The Hague Municipal Archive, and ACCESS. Sponsors include Shell, The Hague Bridge, CB&I, Rabobank, the American Women’s Club of The Hague, and Petroleum Women’s Club The Hague.

When and Where

The exhibition is free of charge, and will run from 26 October to 14 November 2015 in the Atrium of the City Hall in The Hague. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 to 19:00, Thursday from 7:00 to 21:30, and Saturday from 9:30 to 17:00. The mayor will officially inaugurate the exhibition at an invitation-only reception to be held on 4 November. For more information, contact The Expatriate Archive Centre at (0)70 427 2014 or pr@xpatarchive.com.


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10th November: Information Morning at the Expatriate Archive Centre

October 10th 2015

The next Expatriate Archive Centre information morning will be held on Tuesday 10th November 2015 at our premises in The Hague.

Whether you’re an expat with a story to tell, looking for volunteering opportunities, researching expatriation, or if you’re simply curious about what we do, you are welcome to attend and find out more about our unique archive.

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The Expatriate Archive Centre collects the life stories of expatriates, their families, and repatriates worldwide in their original languages. Our collection includes memoirs and diaries, scrapbooks and photographs, video and audio recordings, letters and emails, blogs, paperwork and more. We preserve this material for the future and to support academic research into expatriation.

In the introduction morning you will see a short presentation about the history of the archive from its foundation by Shell spouses to the independent institution it is today. You will be able to look around the centre and see the specially-constructed storage room. Refreshments will be provided, and there will be plenty of opportunity to speak to the archive staff and ask them your questions.

The event is free, but spaces are limited – so please contact us soon to let us know if you’d like to attend. Email us on welcome@xpatarchive.com or telephone +31 (0)70 427 2014.

  • What: Expatriate Archive Centre Information Morning
  • When: 10th November 2015 (Tuesday) 10.30am – 12pm
  • Where: Paramaribostraat 20, 2585 GN The Hague

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Expatriate Artist Natalie McIlroy Curates New Exhibition at The Hague City Hall

October 1st 2015

As an artist who is inspired by archives, community, and a sense of ‘place,’ recent Scottish transplant Natalie McIlroy was the perfect choice to curate a new exhibition in The Hague City Hall entitled ‘Expat Impressions of The Hague’. The exhibition illustrates the expatriate experience in The Hague, combining letters, journals, photographs, and other primary sources in a visually striking display that immerses visitors in the past several decades of life in The Hague, inviting them to see the city through the eyes of the expatriates who have made it home.

Natalie with Post Box 2

McIlroy’s credentials are as international as the exhibition’s focus. She has worked as an ‘artist-in-residence’ in Boston (USA), Spain, Scotland, England, and now the Netherlands, with additional exhibitions in London, Aberdeen, Vancouver, and Cuneo (Italy). She has a fascination with cultural history and gathers much of her inspiration from visiting archives, museums, libraries, and local history centres.

Bringing the Past of The Hague Alive

For this exhibition, McIlroy has used source material from a variety of local archives, dating from the 1950’s to the present. Rather than presenting it in simple chronological order, she has chosen to arrange the material by theme, honouring the multi-faceted beauty of everyday life in The Hague by creating displays showcasing topics such as Food & Drink, Flowers & Nature, and Housing & City Geography.

One of the defining characteristics of McIlroy’s work is the way she engages with local communities, involving them in her projects in unique and collaborative ways. During the upcoming exhibition, visitors will be encouraged not only to view the displays, but also to contribute their own impressions of The Hague by writing them on decorative postcards that will be incorporated into the exhibition on an ongoing basis.

Three organisations have partnered to create the exhibition: The Expatriate Archive Centre, which preserves primary source materials documenting the expatriate experience; The Hague Municipal Archive; and ACCESS, a non-profit that provides practical information, advice, support, and services to expatriates in the Netherlands. Sponsors include Shell, The Hague Bridge, CB&I, Rabobank, the American Women’s Club of The Hague, and Petroleum Women’s Club The Hague.

When and Where

The exhibition will be presented in both English and Dutch. It is free, and will run from 26 October to 14 November 2015 in the Atrium of the City Hall in The Hague. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 to 19:00, Thursday from 7:00 to 21:30, and Saturday from 9:30 to 17:00. The mayor will officially inaugurate the exhibition at an invitation-only reception to be held on 4 November. For more information, contact The Expatriate Archive Centre at (0)70 427 2014 or pr@xpatarchive.com.

 


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