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Monumental Moments in Statia

Geplaatst op 14 mei 2024

Wiki Loves Monuments (WLM) is the world's largest photo contest held annually in September. The goal is to make cultural heritage of participating countries (more) visible to the public. Vanessa and Shandra Rouse, owners of marketing & communications company Duo Brandits, decided to organize a Walk-Through Photo Gallery in St. Eustatius as part of this effort. Below, they share their inspiring story of passion, perseverance and unity.

The Genesis of an Idea

Statia, with its revered monuments and rich history, provided the perfect canvas for this ambitious project. The collective goal was to engage our community in a unique celebration of heritage through a physical expo - a first for Statia and Wiki Loves Monuments. The vision was bold: to create a space where people could walk through history, illuminated by the photographs taken by inspiring locals.

Collaborative Foundations

Engaging with a range of vendors, stakeholders from local officials to international contributors was crucial. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie and the WMF Rapid Funds for their generous financial support, which was instrumental in bringing Monumental Moments to life. Special thanks to Mr. Wolter Braamhorst, who at time of organizing the event, served as the Senior Communications Advisor at GIS, Public Entity St. Eustatius. His indispensable assistance and unwavering dedication were crucial to the success of Monumental Moments.

Community Involvement

We invited our community to contribute their perspectives, capturing and submitting photographs of local monuments. By opening the door to participation, we ensured that the event represented a true collective effort, embodying the spirit of unity and shared history. Recognizing the importance of fostering a love for heritage in the younger generation, we conducted workshops in schools. The enthusiastic participation of students and the promise of their budding talent was a beacon of hope for the continuation of such cultural endeavors.

The Milestone Event

When the inaugural day of the expo arrived, it was a culmination of months of meticulous planning, collaboration, and anticipation. The expo became a living museum, with each photograph telling a story, each story inviting reflection. The success of the event was not just in its execution but in the message, it conveyed: that together, we can create platforms to celebrate and preserve our collective heritage.

Reflecting on Success and Looking Ahead

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, turning what started as a bold idea into a proposed annual event. For others inspired to organize a similar event, our story stands as a testament to what can be achieved when passion meets perseverance.

Statia's Monumental Moments photo expo wasn't just an event; it was a statement. A statement that heritage matters, that community involvement is powerful, and that global initiatives like Wiki Loves Monuments can transcend digital boundaries and become a tangible experience.

As we reflect on this historic milestone, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who made it possible. Our story is a beacon of inspiration, not just for Statia but for countries around the world. Let's continue to celebrate our heritage, one photograph at a time, and keep creating monumental moments together.

Watch this video that shows a walkthrough of Monumental Moments during the expo.

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse vertaling

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