Seeing Stars | Studio Roosegaarde

Seeing Stars

Daan Roosegaarde and UNESCO bring the stars back to your street.

Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars

Daan Roosegaarde and UNESCO bring the stars back to your street.

See the stars in your own street. It might sound like a fairytale, but the Dutch city of Franeker achieved this by switching off all its city lights in the project SEEING STARS. Together with Unesco Netherlands we brought back the stars to create a sense of connection with each other, something that was missing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor of Leiden confirmed the collaboration with Studio Roosegaarde to realise SEEING STARS Leiden as part of the Leiden European City of Science 2022. SEEING STARS Leiden took place on September 25 between 22.00 till 23.30. Visit www.seeingstarsleiden.nl for all information.

SEEING STARS is one switch away, and encourages other cities to follow. Unesco Netherlands aims to recognise seeing stars as a form of universal heritage.

More than 80% of the world’s population lives under light-polluted skies; a barrier preventing us from experiencing the beauty of the universe. But there is a solution. “Everybody should have the right to see the stars through an unpolluted night sky. Looking at the stars makes you feel connected to each other, we are all part of the immense cosmos. This is the communal and universal heritage I strive for. SEEING STARS is an important step forward.” - Kathleen Ferrier, Chairperson of the Netherlands Commission for Unesco

"For one night, citizens in Leiden will restore natural darkness and reveal the stars overhead. SEEING STARS is just the beginning. At a time of energy crisis, climate crisis, and biodiversity loss, embracing dark skies through better quality lighting year-round is a simple step all cities must take." - Ruskin Hartley, Executive Director of the International Dark-Sky Association.

“Everyone is now in their own little bubble, disconnected from each other. I realised that every night, there is actually an amazing light performance hidden up high in our sky. SEEING STARS brings the stars back to your own street. The stars are one switch away.” - Daan Roosegaarde, artist

SEEING STARS creates a sense of connection, not only with our community, but also with our planet. SEEING STARS is a collaboration between the residents, government, and businesses of the city, Unesco Netherlands and Studio Roosegaarde to switch off all non-essential household lights, billboards, and street lights. By removing this light pollution on a city-wide scale, SEEING STARS enables everyone to reconnect with the universe and experience the magic of starlight again. Public safety is ensured in close collaboration with the local government. SEEING STARS began in Franeker and Leiden and aims to travel to cities such as Sydney, Venice, Stockholm, and Reykjavik.

“I am so proud to switch off all the lights in our city, to see the stars and feel connected with each other.” - Marga Waanders, mayor of Franeker

Unesco, Nacht van het Wad, Earth Hour, Nacht van de Nacht, and the International Dark-Sky Association have all previously advocated moments of darkness to increase human and animal well-being. SEEING STARS is part of this movement and acts as a radical premiere which is focussed on viewing the stars in your city. It contributes to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and reflects the rich astronomical history of the city of Franeker and Leiden.

Specifications:

2021, city of Franeker in Friesland, the Netherlands. Controlled switching-off of city lights and non-essential lighting. Public safety is ensured in close collaboration with the local government. SEEING STARS is the third project in the series DreamScapes, in which a dream is turned into reality to create a better world. Photography SEEING STARS is by Albert Dros and Merel Tuk. Movie by Media.Monks with Jan Kooyman and Studio Roosegaarde.

SEEING STARS Leiden took place on September 25, 2022 between 22.00 till 23.30. Visit www.seeingstarsleiden.nl for all information. SEEING STARS Leiden photography by Ossip van Duivenbode, Dirk van Egmond, Raymond Rutting, and Rutger Bus. Movie by Media.Monks.

SEEING STARS is available for other cities as a site-specific exhibition, and aims to travel to cities such as Sydney, Venice, Stockholm, and Reykjavik.

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Clients:

Studio Roosegaarde in collaboration with Unesco Netherlands, Visit Friesland, Visit Wadden, Media.Monks, the city of Franeker, and Leiden European City of Science 2022.

Seeing Stars
Seeing Stars
"Last night the city of Leiden was a remarkable experiment: SEEING STARS Leiden. In the wide vicinity of the Leiden Observatory, all the lights were turned off by thousands of citizens. Although it was cloudy, we suddenly saw Saturn and other stars in the historical streets of Leiden. It was so mysterious to walk with so many people in a dark city. I felt like an astronaut on Earth.” - Daan Roosegaarde