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'Roots Guide: The Dutch Stories' project poster

Authors:

Abstract

Roots Guide is a novel tool developed to help us not only see the world differently but also be in the world differently. Taking the form of an interactive, reflective travel guidebook, Roots Guide invites us to undertake both outer and inner journeys by revisiting what we think we know about life in the Netherlands, starting on our very own doorsteps. Through visual and personal stories, it welcomes us into the lives of our Roots Guide hosts, more than 60 people from diverse backgrounds. Learn about what brought our hosts to the places in which they live and their experiences of these places. And, along the way, get fantastic travel tips and recommendations that shed new light on the wonder, weirdness, struggles, and joy that portray contemporary life in the country we call home. Roots Guide is for everyone who lives in the Netherlands and is curious to explore themselves and their place in this country in a new way. Experience and connect with people and places just next door or all the way across the country, ones you thought you already knew like the back of your hand, ones you’ve never heard of, and perhaps even ones you may have feared. Through in-depth stories, trip suggestions and guided multisensory reflective activities specially designed for its readers, Roots Guide opens us up to different ways of seeing and being in our Netherlands, not the Netherlands as some mythical fixed place and culture to which we either do or don’t belong.
Roots Guide: The Dutch Stories is a novel tool developed to help us do
this. Taking the form of an interactive, reflective travel guidebook,
Roots Guide invites us to undertake both outer and inner journeys by
revisiting what we think we know about life in the Netherlands, starting
on our very own doorsteps. Through visual and personal stories, it
welcomes us into the lives of our Roots Guide hosts, more than 60
people from diverse backgrounds.
Learn about what brought our hosts to the places in which they live
and their experiences of these places. And, along the way, get fantastic
travel tips and recommendations that shed new light on the wonder,
weirdness, struggles, and joy that portray contemporary life in the
country we call home.
Roots Guide is for everyone who lives in the Netherlands and is curious
to explore themselves and their place in this country in a new way.
Experience and connect with people and places just next door or all the
way across the country, ones you thought you already knew like the
back of your hand, ones you’ve never heard of, and perhaps even ones
you may have feared.
Through in-depth stories, trip suggestions and guided multisensory
reflective activities specially designed for its readers, Roots Guide opens
us up to different ways of seeing and being in our Netherlands, not the
Netherlands as some mythical fixed place and culture to which we
either do or don’t belong. Are you ready to begin your journey?
W H O W E A R E
Over 60 amazing co-creators throughout the Netherlands with diverse internal and international migration backgrounds are supported by our production team: social entrepreneurs Ingi Mehus
and Daniel Wurpel (Pocket Stories); documentary photographer Rehab Eldalil; cultural geographer Meghann Ormond (Wageningen University & Research); and designer Hamzah Kashash.
Website
Guidebook
Instruct
-ional
guide
P R O J E C T F O R M A T
Adapts the
guidebook for
use in
secondary,
higher and
adult education
G U I D E B O O K S T R U C T U R E
Typical Dutch?
Trace the migratory roots of the greatest Dutch icons
See how our hosts relate to ‘typical Dutch’ elements and
attitudes in their everyday lives
Reflect on the extent to which your own beliefs, practices and
experiences fit notions of ‘typical Dutch’-ness
Getting here
Trace the inner and outer journeys our hosts undertook to live
in different parts of the Netherlands
Discover what journeys your family and friends have made
Consider the role of place and mobility in your own sense of self
and belonging over time
Getting around
Find out how our hosts navigate everyday life in different
parts of the Netherlands
Compare what both they and you have encountered in
navigating life here with experiences in other countries
Getting away
. Discover how and where our hosts seek out meaning, joy, fun,
escape and relaxation in different parts of the Netherlands and
beyond
. Map out the places, foods, activities, connections and events
that make you feel good and examine what underlies them
P R O J E C T B A C K G R O U N D
While tourism is widely used to reinforce dominant collective
identity narratives, it also has significant potential to
challenge, complicate and shift them. Indeed, education
experts have increasingly embraced travel-related
experiential learning for its potent capacity to foster deeper
holistic understanding, multi-perspectivity and empathic
connection.
Because nearly everyone is a tourist these days (over 80% of
people in the Netherlands travel for leisure at least once per
year), our team has crafted a novel educational tool for social
inclusion that takes the form of a travel guidebook to help
make ‘the strange familiar and the familiar strange’. It aims to
enable users to acknowledge (1) the transnational lineages of
what may on the surface appear ‘purely’ Dutch and (2)
distinctions between dominant national heritage/identity
discourses and more personal, lived and local experiences
and meanings of places, relations and events.
Roots Guide uses counter-mapping techniques to advance
the simple yet powerful notion that people with migration
backgrounds can speak with authority about the places in
which they live. Our local hosts are intra- and inter-
nationally-mobile people whose voices and experiences have
been traditionally un(der)represented and/or exoticised in
conventional guidebook representations. It is through their
stories that we are invited to actively reflect on and re-
evaluate dominant, essentialised and worn-out narratives
about what and who is ‘Dutch' and to de-centre and enrich
them with more contemporary and realistic framings of life in
the Netherlands today.
Connects users through personal stories to our diverse hosts
and the places meaningful to them; activates users to reflect
on their own beliefs, practices and experiences
Offers additional
interactive content;
guidebook users
can upload own
content and
interact w/in the
online community
T H E P I T C H
‘Who am I? And where do I belong?’ In this rapidly-changing, fast-paced world, these
questions have come to increasingly bewilder us. Somewhat ironically, we are both
more connected to and more disconnected from one another than ever before.
Overwhelmed by it all, many of us crave ways in which to genuinely connect, and re-
connect, with the people and places around us. We sense that we not only need to
see the world differently but also to be in the world differently.
Author: Meghann Ormond (meghann.ormond@wur.nl) Version: 16 November 2018
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