When walls speak

Exhibition about the Leiden wall poems

What do the wall poems mean to Leiden? Het Taalmuseum commissioned Leiden’s photographer laureate Patricia Nauta, theatre producer Erik Siebel and filmmakers Leendert Beekman and Michiel Keller to go on a search this spring. Their best stories can be seen and heard again this fall in the Leiden City Hall.

Exhibition When walls speak

Het Taalmuseum asked photographer laureate of 2017-2018 Patricia Nauta, theatre producer Erik Siebel and filmmaker Leendert Beekman to roam the city for stories on the wall poems. They talked to the initiators, to occupants of houses with poems on them, to neighbouring citizens and to fans. Their stories were on display this summer at Old School (Pieterskerkhof). By popular request, the exhibition will be reopened this winter in the Leiden City Hall. Through images and description, the exhibition introduces visitors to the story of the wall poems, the city and its languages. Visitors can test their knowledge on the wall poems and share their own stories. 

The wall poems of Leiden

In 1992, Leiden’s inhabitants were surprised by the appearance of the first wall poem. By now, the entire city harbours over 100 wall poems in more than 30 languages. In order to preserve this collection and make it accessible to a wider audience, Het Taalmuseum and the TEGEN-BEELD Foundation developed a new website that was launched this summer: www.muurgedichten.nl. On this website, visitors will find poem recordings, information on the poems and their poets, and cycling and walking itineraries.