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Everyone is welcome to the poems of Babs Gons

The busiest year ever in the career of word artist Babs Gons (49) gets its crowning moment with the publication of her first book of poetry, Do it anyway. A debut that, for Gons herself, feels more like a farewell than a beginning. 'For a performer like me, paper as a form is very definitive.' Erosion and sprawl Do it anyway is called 

The cultural sector can and must emerge stronger from this crisis. And that starts with political vision and ambition.

The Dutch cultural sector is in distress. Halbe Zijlstra's spending cuts ten years ago started a free fall that has still not stopped. The Social and Economic Council (SER) calculated that these cuts of 200 million not only caused impoverishment in cultural supply, but also wreaked havoc on the labour market. 20 thousand permanent jobs disappeared 

Between heaven and hell: Frank Westerman on our fascination with the cosmos

At the time Covid-19 flattened normal life, Frank Westerman had fortunately already done his research for his new book. To take care of his parents, he was suddenly living 'at home' again for three months, in his boyhood room on the outskirts of Assen. Writing offered him the chance to escape to heavenly realms: Cosmic Comedy is about the human... 

13 foundations and one private limited company. Controversial Brabant grant decisions raise more questions every day.

To get a subsidy in the Netherlands, you have to jump through a lot of hoops. Every farmer knows that, and so does every artist. In the cultural sector, for instance, it is important that you have a form of organisation that is controllable and approachable. You cannot have a profit motive either. That is why you can usually only apply for funding as a foundation, so you have statutes, a board and a... 

Soon - Rahi Rezvani

Dutch dance world back on stage in September with these performances

From small dance schools to big dance companies, the Dutch dance world is daring to expose itself on a stage again. Dance lovers can get back into the studios or theatres, or both, thanks to protocols, and bookings are being made enthusiastically as many performances are already sold out. After all, nothing beats dance art in the flesh. In the words of dance dramaturge Jochem Naafs: 'If you... 

Eurosonic/Noorderslag and Scapino possibly saved. But at the expense of new art acquisitions. #tkculture

Creativity expresses itself in Dutch politics mainly in bookkeeping. On 29 June, just before the start of the three-month summer recess, the Lower House actually found money to save pop festival Noorderslag and dance company Scapino from collapse. That demise would become a reality in the new arts plan, which takes effect in 2021, as the Culture Council... 

With local rooting of subsidised art, you take the wind out of populism's sails

In recent days, tentative proposals for a new system to fund the arts in the Netherlands have appeared in various places. Tricky pieces, and so far not attesting to very much incisiveness. In Het Parool, a number of prominent figures, including Tinkebel and advertising man Kessels, think that we should think less in pigeonholes, and that, besides quality, we should also... 

49th edition Film Festival Rotterdam opens with Mosquito - history as a fever dream

In the trailer for the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which kicks off on 22 January, film images crumble into abstract shapes and colour patterns. It has to do, I understand, with the wonder of the irrepressible urge to make stories. Once, a cave dweller put a painted hand on the rock face. In the digital age, we conjure stories with coloured pixels. The... 

Netflix's The Witcher is having an identity crisis. But if you make it to episode five, you'll want to know how it ends.

With much fanfare, Netflix's The Witcher was announced. Except for some comments about Superman in a white wig, there was and is a lot of interest in the film adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski's fantasy book series. Successor to Game of Thrones. With the way that one ended? No thanks! I'm not familiar with the books or the games myself, but Netflix's description... 

'Too much arbitrariness in heritage law'. Pechtold committee wants us to take our cultural heritage seriously.

We treat our cultural heritage too casually. This is evident from the report 'Reserved and Involved', presented on Monday 30 September, drawn up by the Pechtold committee at the request of minister Van Engelshoven. In 110 pages (with pictures), it says that the current design of the Heritage Act leads to arbitrariness and uncertainty. This means that unsavoury situations like... 

Bring on that fair! 7 established facts that make an ever-younger festival Boulevard unique.

Theatre Festival Boulevard is a highlight of the festival summer every year. Because there are no barriers and because it carries the casual atmosphere of the city in every fibre. But it goes even further. Here are my seven learning moments: 1: Boulevard is more accessible than the city itself Some people find it verging on the hysterical, but... 

More French-language rap please.

French is made for rap. Forget all that American-English mincing, listen to the rhythmic drone that good French-language rap offers. One of the possible benefits of a self-absorbed US and a post-Brexit Europe is that we might start hearing that beautiful language of our southern southern neighbours a bit more often. 'Speak French to me, darling!' Macron will be delighted. Wednesday... 

Sex sells, originality does not. Once again, two museums go out of their way to celebrate nudity.

When we don't have fresh, current posts on the site for a while, our 'most-read posts' list on the right always changes dramatically. Within two days, all stories are trending that include the words 'nude', 'nude' or 'sex'. After all, sex sells. If you like clicks from rutting men, at least. Unfortunately, this particular target group does not read much cultural news. But attention is... 

On Bergen and Delden, Greg Nottrot and the lost million: Culture Press' Best Listened To podcast.

Linda Huijsmans and Wijbrand Schaap catch you up in a good half hour on the backgrounds of the larger Culture Press News of the past few weeks. It's a bit more about the nude/nude situation in the arts, but of course it's also about money, that million that was drilled through the nose of performing artists by a row in the board of the Social... 

Nude and naked. Two worlds as far apart as Bergen and Delden. (podcast)

Two private museums in the Netherlands have made human flesh the subject of an exhibition this autumn. In Bergen (NH) it is about Bare, and in Delden (Ov) it is about Nude. But where one exhibition (at Museum Kranenburg in Bergen) seems to be mainly an ode to the free-spirited 1970s and what happened afterwards, Museum No Hero in Delden puts... 

People no longer want to be seen as toys. We can't get around it. Museums can't get around it.

Searching for what I stand for and what path I should take, time and again I come across facts that confuse and amaze me. I live in a country where only a single woman is in De Volkskrant top ten most influential people - in tenth place, that is. Only three out of 100 young Dutch millionaires... 

PODCAST! We, Man. Frank Westerman's fascinating latest book uncovers our own unexpected history

Once upon a time, someone was the first. The first to walk upright, to use his front legs for something other than walking. But who was that, and what did the first human focus on? Frank Westerman takes on that question in his latest book. In a fascinating journey that starts in Leiden, and ends in Flores, or maybe actually in the Mediterranean.... 

'No faith in the system.' The second season of Netflix's Making a Murderer.

"Don't let Netflix tell you what to think". The Netflix documentary Making a Murderer caused a huge stir in the United States and the rest of the world in 2016. Society was divided into two camps: those who believed Steven Avery was guilty and those who believed he was once again innocent in prison.... 

Paradiso debate 2018: Optimistic arts sector wants less supply and better pay

Less supply of subsidised art is good for the country. Antoinette Laan, culture spokeswoman for the governing VVD party, has thought so for at least eight years. Back in 2011, then still as alderman in Rotterdam, she stated that she did not understand why art institutions were open on weekdays. After all: everyone was at work then and so couldn't come and have a look anyway. Listen here... 

Podcast: This year, Poetry International explores the role of nationalism in poetry.

Jan Baeke has been associated with Poetry International as a programmer for many years. In this podcast, I talk to him about the programme and the theme of this 49th edition: The Nation of Poetry. It's about nationalism, of course, but also about identity. And about what role poetry plays in that. And then, of course, it's not primarily about folk songs. We... 

View on the Acropolis and Partheon, Athens (photo author)

Documenta 14: You have 100 days to discover Athens

Every five years, the art world is turned upside down. Then it is time for the fourteenth Documenta. At that time, the German city of Kassel turns into a veritable Mecca for art connoisseurs and art lovers, snobs and connoisseurs. And, of course, tourists looking for that other Efteling. This year's Documenta has a sizeable Dutch contribution. But there is more: for the... 

Museum Voorlinden: A cactus without spines

Joop van Caldenborgh, founder of Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, has commissioned a classical museum that builds on existing conventions about presenting art. The art should be central and the building does not matter, so to speak. Yet the design plays an important role. Architecture critic Tim de Boer dives deeper into the thoughts behind the building,... 

Ivo Pogorelich shocks Eindhoven and streams on Idagio

'It took me 18 years to make a new recording,' Croatian pianist Ivo Pogorelich (1958) says with a modest smile. 'Just as much time as it takes a baby to come of age.' It is Wednesday, November 2. A special moment, because on that day Pogorelich's CD-less new recording of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas No 22 and No 24 will go on... 

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