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Inger Stokkink

Inger Stokkink is a freelance correspondent in Denmark - in Aarhus, to be precise. Aarhus? Isn't that the 2017 European Capital of Culture*? Yes it is, and she writes about it for CulturePers. She is married, has two cats and a sailboat. * along with Pafos in Cyprus, by the way

Number of overnight stays and good luck city branding as highlights for the Capital of Culture. Goodbye AARHUS2017, hello LEEUWARDEN2018. And: VALLETTA2018, may I have my potato back?

An ancient melody floats, crackles and drones through the town hall of Aarhus, Denmark. The city is close to being European Capital of Culture. That is why we hear the same song at the handover ceremony as when it was launched on 21 January. Then Aarhus celebrated the start of Aarhus, European Capital of Culture and 'Jeg drømte mig en drøm i nat' thundered through the Aarhus streets.... 

Hooligans, but good hooligans. Viking drama on the edge of comic and laughable

Roaring warriors, pomp and circumstance, a tough drama set against the historical background of the Viking era. That goes down like cake (or beer) with the Danes who see themselves as direct heirs of the Vikings, the organisers must have thought. And that is why the play Røde Orm is being presented as one of the highlights in... 

Dutch trash artist on the hunt for litter in spotless #Aarhus2017

You can't help but grin at the sight of a cute little jellyfish consisting of a bottle and an orange net. A spray bottle with a well-placed cap becomes a penguin, or a goose. Even rolled-up hair, harvested from a washing machine, does not escape Adriaansche's universe: a family of flies called Musca capillus. It does something to the way you look. 'Where... 

Match for five lemonade with a straw. (It's not called that but that's what it sounds like)

It is dark. Basses thump. An intoxicatingly sweet female perfume hangs in the air, a child cries. AquaSonic has just started, and I already want to leave. What possesses a musician to go head-to-head? Our Danish correspondent went to find out. AquaSonic is an ode to water, played by Between Music, a collective of five Danish musicians. They make... 

Beef heart ragout and handshake. Cultural capital reinvents church service

Maybe God is dead, but His church is alive. At least in Denmark. This has to do with what you might call the Danish paradox of faith: a highly secularised society with a Lutheran Folkekirke (=Volkskerk) supported by a large majority of the population [hints]The American sociologist Phil Zuckerman has commented on this aspect of Denmark (and also a little... 

German couple collected unique jewellery in Danish Design #Aarhus2017

Delicate petals, tough links, a denim collar. You can't dream it up or Danish designers have designed them in silver as jewellery. Thousand Jewels offers an overview of Danish design from the twentieth century. Among them are internationally renowned designers and silversmiths, such as Georg Jensen (not only jewellery but also silver tableware), Kaj Bojesen (not only silver but also... 

All about Nothing. Danish premiere of youth opera Intet by David Bruce

From a country where a giraffe is dissected for children as a holiday attraction, you don't have to expect a sugary pink Disney opera. And so Intet (= Nothing) is not. Think Lord of the Flies, place of action: a peaceful Danish village. Also think Søren Kierkegaard - because philosophy. Also by no means a buffoon. The story Intet is based on the eponymous... 

The Vikings have landed. With ships full of culture

Sustainability, diversity and democracy. These are the core values of the European Capital of Culture, which Aarhus aspires to be this year. Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard says it. Rebecca Matthews, the CEO of Aarhus 2017 says it. If those values are also reflected in the programme, Juliana Engberg, programme director for Aarhus 2017, has done her job well. Other speakers' speeches follow 

Ønskelandet bursts open in Aarhus, European Capital of Culture 2017

Kids are in the front seat this year. Director Rebecca Matthews and programme director Juliana Engberg have said so themselves (see here and here). Children have a creativity and spontaneity that adults could learn from, and that deserves its own place in the year that Aarhus is European Capital of Culture. Or: in Aarhus 2017, as the 'locals' say. Children also deserve a... 

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