Although the 300th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht was in April, the celebrations continue. Recently, an outdoor photo exhibition was installed along the pathways of the Maliebaan. Titled “Making Peace”, it is an exhibit that shows the horrors of war, but gives hope through also focusing on the people and organizations that work to end war and promote peace.
The international exhibition was first put on display along the shores of Lake Geneva in 2010, organized by the International Peace Bureau to celebrate their 100th anniversary of winning the Nobel Peace Prize. The exhibit includes photos from around the world, from some of the great photojournalists. A comment/explanation for each photo is provided in English and Dutch. Many of the photos are moving and thought-provoking. Some break your heart, while others provide a glimmer of hope.
The Maliebaan is an historic avenue in Utrecht and now one of the most expensive streets in the city. Located just outside the old city center, it was opened in 1637 and features multiple lanes, separated by tunnels of trees. Some lanes are for vehicles, others for bicycles and pedestrians. In fact, the very first bicycle path built in the Netherlands was along the Maliebaan. The street has seen its own share of war and peace over the centuries, particularly during World War II, when the occupying Nazis had offices in the street. But it seems there were also resistance groups along the street, as well.
These pathways are a perfect setting for the photo exhibition. The street is relatively peaceful and allows time for contemplation of the numerous photos. The exhibit runs until 28 July and is definitely worth a visit.