So says Sebastiaan Berendse, the director of Corporate Value Creation, responsible for Impulse and the photo exhibition.
On October 1, the Power of the Wasted photo exhibition was removed temporarily from campus after criticism from the United Community of African Students (UCAS). It was the first exhibition in the new outdoor exhibition space near Impulse. The photos were taken down to ‘create space for a broader discussion about the sensitive aspects’. So far, there have been two sessions. Berendse: ‘What makes someone from the African community feel at home in Wageningen? What underlies certain emotions? It is good to reflect consciously on this.’
At the same time, there is the desire to inform the broader campus community, says Berendse. ‘Sometimes you need to search for that fine balance between space and safety for sensitive discussions in small circles on the one hand and providing information for the broader campus community on the other.’
The exhibition was removed with the announcement that it will return in its entirety with additional context provided by Impulse. Berendse: ‘One of the reasons for the confusion is that the photos are intended not as a scientific presentation but as an art exhibition, albeit inspired by a graduation project. WUR could have done better in explaining the context.’
More sessions between the university, UCAS and the photographer will follow, says Berendse. ‘There is room for sensitivities, but we will also look at what additional context is needed to allow the exhibition to return to campus.’ It is not yet known when that will be.