Photo Exposition Helmets Full of Stories

  • Date: 13 May
  • Location: Atrium of the City Hall of The Hague

From Monday April 17 to Saturday May 15, the impressive photo exhibition of Helmets Full of Stories can be seen in the Atrium of the City Hall. Helmets Full of Stories is an art project which links 22 artists too veterans. 

The personal accounts from veterans about their deployments on peacekeeping missions are the focus of the art project Helmets Full of Stories. The soldiers’ personal experiences were the inspiration for artworks made by twenty-two artists. In this collaboration, artists and veterans show the relevance of Dutch peace missions and their impact on the soldiers who were a part of them.

Over the past forty years, Dutch soldiers have been a part of several UN peacekeeping missions. What did the soldiers experience during these missions? What did their deployment mean for the home front? And what was their return home like? To give an insight into these unique stories, veterans were paired with artists, who depicted the stories of the Blue Helmets in works of art. There are soldiers from each province in the Netherlands, representing all of the departments of the Ministry of Defence. Thus, the army, navy, air force, and marechaussee, not to mention the home front, are all featured in the exhibition.

The driving force behind this art project is cultural project leader Amy van Son. A veteran herself, she noticed upon her return to civilian life how important it is to tell your story. Sharing what you have been through allows you to better process your (sometimes traumatic) experiences. Not only that, it is also important for civilian society to learn about what impact a mission has on a soldier. Only then can understanding and recognition arise. By bringing veterans’ stories into the spotlight with the help of artists, their history becomes visible to everyone. Through the universal language of art, a bridge is formed between the world of civilians and that of soldiers.

The exhibition features visual art from a variety of disciplines: from photography, graphic art, drawings, and paintings, to installations, ceramics, and sculptures. Moreover, the stories of the veterans and their meeting with the artist have also been chronicled by journalists and captured by photographers. These stories, podcasts, documentaries en more information can be found through the QR codes at the exhibition, or can be read directly at

Please be advised that this exposition is in Dutch. 

Foto Expositie Helmen vol Verhalen in het Provinciehuis Zuid-Holland. Foto: Milon Abrahamse.

Atrium of the City Hall of The Hague

Spui 70
2511 BT Den Haag

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