Museum Rotterdam, situated in the heart of Rotterdam and attached to an old artsy building, is really a place where new meets old in many different ways.

With stories and videos from five random citizens of Rotterdam, this part of the exhibition offers people the opportunity to view Rotterdam from a different standpoint, maybe similar or entirely different to their own. Either way, it is a guarantee that visitors will learn something new about our harbor city. Besides, if you haven’t experienced virtual reality, Museum Rotterdam is the place to be on a cold rainy day.

"My Rotterdam..."

Five random citizens of Rotterdam are represented with an accurate state of themselves and a short video in Dutch and English of them telling their story. These people vary from a Turkish fashion designer, a Ukrainian construction worker to a Dutch technician and inventor. Others are a baker and a permaculture entrepreneur who have spent most of their lives in this architectural city. All five of them tell their story by beginning with “My Rotterdam…” really emphasizing what the city means to them and how they perceive it. Having looked at the statues, listening to their videos and reading some background information, one can clearly see that they share one thing in common when they talk about the second biggest city of the Netherlands; cultural diversity. Diversity can also be seen in the audience, visitors range from young to old and both locals as well as internationals can be found here.

Virtual Reality

Furthermore, teenagers and students are challenged to use virtual reality goggles to view Rotterdam’s Central Station in a totally different and unexpected setting. Looking at yourself through three or four different mirrors also makes the audience think how they perceive themselves and their surroundings. This interactive section of the exhibition attracts and challenges teenagers and students to think twice about the city they live in and the fact that they are followed by cameras everywhere they go at any given point of time. Visitors are also allowed to vote on an area in the city which they believe is not camera controlled enough, i.e. Central Station.

All in all, the museum highlights the importance of the city’s history and its cultural diversity through different yet interesting perspectives. As an international student it is rather difficult as everything but the five engaging stories are in Dutch only, meaning that international students miss out on the extraordinary and essential history of Rotterdam. Here, the stories illustrate that Rotterdam is much more than the Erasmus Bridge and the Markthal.