About Four Freedoms throughout the year

All year round events are organized in Zeeland about the Four Freedoms of Franklin D. Roosevelt: lectures, concerts, exhibitions and activities at schools. Very different events that have one thing in common: they tell a story about freedom. A group with representatives of Zeeland companies and organizations is responsible for the coordination of the annual programme, under the name 'Four Freedoms throughout the year' (Dutch: FFDHJH).


The FFDHJH provides a varied program with annually recurring events, but also with varying one-off activities for different target groups. In all cases, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Four Freedoms form the basis for the connection between ideals and (local) initiatives in Zeeland. The freedom to say what you want, to believe what you want, but also to be protected from poverty and fear.

An overview of all activities can be found on the activities page.

The working group

In 1998, under the coordination of the Province of Zeeland, a collaboration was started between the organizers of Bevrijdingsfestival Zeeland, Festival Cultureel Gekleurd (Switch) and RPCZ (uitvoering een Zee van Vrijheid) on the theme of tolerance. Since 1999, a joint offer of activities has been established every year. Since 2014, a working group called 'Four Freedoms throughout the year' (Dutch: FFDHJH), including representatives of Zeeland companies and organizations, has been responsible for coordinating the annual programme. By watching the program together, great collaborations and initiatives often arise. The working group meets 6 times a year under the chairmanship of the Province. The Province is not the 'owner' of FFDHJH, but is responsible for the overall coordination of the working group and the annual programme.

Representatives of the following organizations are present during meetings of this working group:

  • Province of Zeeland;
  • Cultuurwerf/Bevrijdingsfestival Zeeland;
  • Drvkkery;
  • ZB Bibliotheek van Zeeland;
  • University College Roosevelt;
  • Roosevelt Foundation;
  • HZ Cult;
  • Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS);
  • Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland;
  • Municipality of Middelburg;
  • Anti Discriminatiebureau Zeeland (ADBZ);
  • Etty Hillesum Huis in Middelburg.

In conversation with Imke Elstak of the ZB Library of Zeeland

I work as a cultural advisor at ZB Library of Zeeland (ZB). Our organization organizes various projects in our province as part of the Four Freedoms, with the emphasis on education. For example, the educational project the Literary Tour. The ZB is also project leader of the Black Achievement Month in Zeeland (BAM). Together with various partners, we organize a diverse program in the field of education, performance art, film, theatre, dance and literature. Over the past 5 years, we have brought colored talent and ‘new’ stories to the attention.

Photographer: Rem van den Bosch

Imke Elstak

The ZB is developing from a classic library into a broad social organization at the heart of local Zeeland society. Together with partners from the network of Four Freedoms throughout the year, the ZB wants to strengthen its social contribution. As a developer of (educational) projects, as a booster and connector or by making its facilities and network available.

The partnership with the Four Freedoms means that we can develop programs and projects for as many people as possible. These are about human rights, freedom and equality and invite you to listen to each other’s stories, meet the other and offer new perspectives. In order to understand each other a little better and to look at a just future and an inclusive society in solidarity.

Our individual contributions to the partnership add up and start a social movement. The Four Freedoms are not self-evident, these stories need to be told. And that requires something from us. I notice in my projects that this conversation is appreciated and that schools, young people, festivals and organizations want to build that just world with us. Not only far away where freedom is under pressure, but also close to home. These themes are also about us.

This collaboration also inspires me personally. I learn from our participants, from the other local partners and initiatives that support the Four Freedoms. It touches me to see how involved and committed people are to a just world. With the ZB I like to take this commitment and inspiration further.