Everyone is always on a journey, literally or figuratively, and everyone hopes to find something on this journey. Spiritual, material or both. Something we have in common is that we all want to be happy. We are all Gelukszoekers.
For you non-Dutchmen, the term ‘Gelukszoeker’ might not make a lot of sense. Let us therefore explain in short, what this word has come to mean in Dutch society: The term ‘Gelukszoeker’ translates literally to happiness seeker and is generally used to refer to people who have left their own country to come to Holland in the pursuit of happiness. Great, you might think. Well, the problem is that not everybody is too keen on having those people in our country. Some of them are afraid that they have come to steal our jobs and resources and that they will overcrowd the country. If you look up the word Gelukszoeker in the dictionary it says it means ‘’fortune seeker’’ or ‘’rat’’ and right wing politicians often use this word, even when the debate is about refugees.
We find it sad that people are blamed for wanting a better life simply because they where born somewhere else. Especially if you take our history in consideration. Our travels over sea are, for a big part, responsible for our wealth today
To us, everyone is welcome. Whether you’re on the run from war or simply looking for a better life. The world is ours and everyone is in pursuit of happiness. That’s why we’ve photographed over 250 famous and less famous people in a t-shirt that reads the word “Gelukszoeker”. We hope to show the world that everyone is indeed a Gelukszoeker! On the 27th of October 2016, everyone shared their portrait on social media, accompanied by the statement: “Ik ben een Gelukszoeker” (I am a happiness seeker).
We hope that this campaign has contributed to a society in which everyone wants the best for each other regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation or political affiliation. And we hope our merchandise are used as conversation starters.
Stichting Gelukszoekers donates her profits to foundations that support refugees.