In the exhibition The Kindness of One, Dutch photographer Margaret Lansink and poet René van Hulst contemplate the great potential within a single person’s act of kindness. The couple was inspired by events in 1940, during World War II, when the Dutch Consul-General in Kaunas (Lithuania), Jan Zwartendijk, took personal action and began issuing visas for the island of Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean for the Jewish community trapped in Kaunas. In only two weeks, he issued 2,345 visas and saved the lives of more than 6,000 people. The Japanese consul of Kaunas, Sugihara, likewise issued visas that enabled the people to travel through Russia and reach Japan by boat. In her black and white, intuitive photography Lansink traces the feeling of everyday saviors like Zwartendijk through an intuitive view of Kaunas and Japan. With his poetry Van Hulst muses on the potential of our human existence: we are all afraid and alone, together. Gently, they urge for kindness.
This exhibition is generously supported by Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York | DutchCulture USA and The Netherland-America Foundation.