Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Dutch Diplo Talk


8 Jul 2016

Two years ago decided Dmitry Zaitsev, director of HPL factory in a far district of Rzhevka in St. Petersburg to reorganize the vacant space of his factory site into a museum of graffiti. This is how the Street Art Museum ( appeared, and socially engaged from the very beginning. The first exhibition in 2014 was dedicated to Ukraine ‘Casus Pacis / Motive for Peace’, as a parallel program of Manifesta-10. The 2015 exhibition “Remember Tomorrow” reflected the uncertainty and helplessness of the society. This year it’s migration. With its exhibitions Street Art stimulates civil society dialogue. Intensive involvement of CG / PET with Street Art resulted in full-fledged cooperation with Rotterdam. The continuation of the migration exhibition will be organized in 2017 in the old Rotterdam port area and the hotel New York.
In the framework of the EU presidency the Netherlands Consulate-General in St. Petersburg together with its partner the Street Art Museum presented a project CROSSING BORDERS / CROSSING BOUNDARIES. The Street Art Museum opened its new season with an international forum and exhibition dedicated to the topic ‘migration’, which underlines its broad European interest.
At a time in which notions of purity are recurrent, in which ‘refugee’ and crisis’, ‘migrants’ and ‘aliens’ have once again become paired as if natural, CROSSING BORDERS / CROSSING BOUNDARIES explores the fertility and vibrancy of the border in contrast to the sterility and aridity of the boundary. The Forum opened by the owner of the Museum and Consul General Hans Wesseling explored the crossing of spatial and social borders, the crossing of conceptual and judicial boundaries, the equivalent instability and potentiality of the margins.
20 artists from Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, USA, South Korea and Indonesia took part in CROSSING BORDERS / CROSSING BOUNDARIES project. Regardless of what genre and style they work, each one of them has presented their own independent opinion about what’s happening in the world.
The Street Art Museum has shown the courage to approach burning social and societal issues in an innovative and unconventional manner thus stimulating dialogue. As a museum it functions as a place of inclusion and takes the responsibility to improve the quality of life in its neighborhood. These efforts have met with appreciation by the conference of museums in
St. Petersburg. This institution deserves a ‘wild card’ at a follow-up conference museum.

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  • 8 Jul 2016, 14:32
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About the author

Hans Wesseling
Written by Hans Wesseling

Hans Wesseling was born in Utrecht on 17 July 1954. He studied International Law at the State University of Leiden. He always had a big interest in Eastern Europe, which is clear from his postings at the Embassies in Moscow, Kiev and the OSCE in Tbilisi. After that he was posted in London, The Hague and Brussels, before coming back to his beloved region, as Consul General in St. Petersburg (2014). He speaks fluently Russian.

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