This year, the Netherlands marks its 65 years of diplomatic ties and 150 years of consular relations with the Philippines through a celebration entitled “Inspire Innovation: Leading Sustainable Innovations toward a Progressive World.”
The celebration will focus on promoting innovative solutions to sustain international development, capitalizing on the common interests of Dutch and Filipinos. It will feature a series of lectures, a film festival, and a fashion design exchange program.
“The Philippines has always been the Netherlands’ partner in pushing for sustainable international development. Our relationship has evolved into a more collaborative form where we both work together to achieve mutually beneficial economic goals. This year’s celebration is a testament to that”, said Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Marion Derckx.
The celebration had its official kick off in February and will continue with a lecture by visionary artist Lucas de Man this month. De Man is the founder and artistic leader of Amsterdam-based Company New Heroes, director at Het Zuidelijk Toneel, and presenter of the art television show Kunstuur.
His lecture entitled “In Search of Europe” highlights his travels to 17 cities in eight countries within 30 days where he interviewed young artists and creative professionals who are trying to effect positive change. De Man’s lecture will happen on March 15 in UP Diliman; March 17 in UP Iloilo; and March 18 in UP Cebu.
Succeeding lectures will focus on topics including green design, food security, disaster risk reduction, peace and community building, and sustainable cities and will be held in various locations in the Philippines.
A film festival featuring Dutch and Filipino films will also be held in partnership with Dakila, an organization of artists and advocates building a movement of heroism towards social transformation. The films will highlight the two nations’ commitment in promoting human rights as well as sustainable innovations that will help resolve global challenges.
Recognizing that creativity can inspire innovation, an exchange programme for Dutch and Filipino fashion students will also take place in partnership with Slim’s Fashion and Art School. The students will undergo a collaborative training to come up with a collection of combined Dutch and Filipino artistry by weaving unique fabrics and techniques from Netherlands and the Philippines. The students’ creation will then be featured in a grand culminating fashion show in October.
The celebration will set the stage for deeper and more meaningful collaboration between the Philippines and the Netherlands through creative and innovative means. “We are very excited to travel the Philippines and share this meaningful celebration with every Filipino. We believe that by inspiring innovations, we are able to do our part in promoting a progressive world,” shared Derckx.