• ExtraOrdinary

    One of the exhibition sites along the new canal.
    photo: Harry Cock

  • ExtraOrdinary

    One of the exhibition sites along the new canal.

  • ExtraOrdinary

    One of the exhibition sites along the new canal.

  • ExtraOrdinary

    One of the exhibition sites along the new canal.

  • ExtraOrdinary

    One of the exhibition sites along the new canal.

ExtraOrdinary

Noorderlicht puts rural region in global perspective

EXTENDED THROUGH AUGUST 11th
On June 8, in the Dutch province of Drenthe, the new King Willem-Alexander Canal will be opened. It is the first infrastructural construction that is named after the newly crowned king of The Netherlands. On this occasion, Noorderlicht presents ExtraOrdinary, an exhibition project that was developed by request of the Province of Drenthe.

With the works of 25 photographers from home and abroad, the exhibition places the region’s past, present and future into global context. The exhibition is installed in the public space by the new canal and in old barges that were instrumental in the region’s past peat industry. The ships are scattered on the shore along the new canal, and mark the new route. They are to be visited both by land and from the water.

The King Willem-Alexander Canal is only 6 kilometers long, but is a key piece in the unlocking of the recreational boating route in the region. Because of the canal, for the first time ever, it is possible to go full circle through the province, cross over to other water areas and even to boat to Germany.

Connecting through photography

Just like the King Willem-Alexander Canal connects the peat region with the rest of the country, so does Noorderlicht link the region with the rest of the world. The central question in the exhibition is: how, in these times of decrease, do we come to a revaluation of the countryside?

The 25 photographers show how other rural parts of the world deal with issues as economic change and population decrease. The exhibition connects these global issues with those of the region, and also serves as a source of inspiration.

The exhibition covers seven themes

Ecology - The fragile ecosystem.
Nature as Theatre - The landscape as a backdrop and creative inspiration.
Love of the Water - Water as a source of life and freedom.
Cultivation by Energy - Forces of nature.
An Economic Past - The depopulating countryside.
Home on the Land - Rural life.
Back to Nature - Looking for harmony and spirituality in the wilderness.

Historical material

The exhibition route also contains historic photographs from the Drenthe Archive from when the peat industry was still in business.

Special edition Noorderbreedte magazine

On the occasion of ExtraOrdinary, Noorderbreedte magazine issues a special edition that serves as a catalog for the project. This special edition of Noorderbreedte – quality magazine on the northern landscape with love for photography - is available at the lock houses along the route.

Visitor information

The exhibition is arranged in a 6 kilometer route at various locations along the new King Willem-Alexander Canal. The route can be followed by boat, foot or bike. Parking at both ends of canal. The King Willem-Alexander Canal runs near Emmen from the Bladderswijk in Oranjedorp to the Scholten Canal at Klazienaveen. The route can be started from both sides and can be visited for free at all times.

About the canal

The King Willem-Alexander Canal is part of the project Veenvaart, a route for pleasure boats passing through the former Drenthe and Groningen peat region.
Drenthe has been working for years to restore the route in its former state. Many original locks and bridges were restored and replaced. Due to large level differences, the King Willem-Alexander Canal has become an extraordinary example of water management, which its namegiver will surely delight.