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Authors' Union: 'Sign statement of support for Pim Lammers'

Dear members, dear colleagues, The Authors' Union is standing behind our endangered colleague Pim Lammers and signing a broad statement of support from the book trade. You can also join this individually. The sign-up address is open until Thursday 9 February, 10am. This is what it's about Full of horror, we followed the news surrounding our colleague Pim Lammers. Pim received death threats following a... 

still from the vpro series our man with the taliban, with Thoams erdbrink talking to a taliban fighter in an orchard

How much diabolical power does the artist have?

What would the world be like if art had had the power that book burners and iconoclasts have attributed to it over the centuries? In the fascinating documentary series 'Our Man with the Taliban', Thomas Erdbrink takes a rather perilous journey through an Afghanistan abandoned by the 'civilised' West. We see a world where book burners and iconoclasts... 

Square Theatre loses facebook page over nipple in poster image

Social media censors on woman's nipple and Plein Theatre loses facebook page over nipple in poster image of Cat Smits Company's performance Nouveau Fuck. This digital prudishness and sexist inequality goes way too far, Berith Danse and Cat Smits think. Facebook is known for a strict 'no nudity' policy, at least not for men, as naked male torsos are no problem at all. Photos that... 

Alaa al Aswani: 'Literature doesn't change politics, it changes people'

Four years ago at the Winternachten Festival in The Hague, we spoke about it with Egyptian writer Alaa al Aswani, who was disarmingly upbeat despite the fact that he can barely publish in his own country. On lack of freedom of expression and fiction in times of fake, this year's theme, Al Aswani could have a word. 'Freedom of expression is even worse now than under dictator Mubarak.'

Down with the veil! Three gutsy girls found Iranian Women Composers Union: 'We want to form a global home front'

Things can change. In 1979, Iran changed from a Western-oriented secular state to a spiritual dictatorship, where Islamic leaders call the shots. Women must henceforth go through life veiled and music is banned as extremely sinful. Four decades later, three women founded the Iranian Female Composers Association. In America, though. 'Music is like a drug, those who feel... 

J'Accuse - is Polanski's latest film about the Dreyfus case or the creator himself?

It is 1895. Colonel Georges Picquart (Jean Dujardin) has just been promoted, to his own surprise, to head the French army's intelligence service. To get rid of the sewer smell there, literally and figuratively, he frantically yanks on the window in the musty office. It won't open. A touching image in J'Accuse, one of the most talked-about films of this... 

Naked men and black bronzing under philosophical veneer. Is Angelica Liddell overshooting the mark with The Scarlet Letter? (Why the Holland Festival can expect a riot)

That you cannot shamelessly treat a black man as a rutting primal beast and a faceless object for your unlimited lust fantasy as a white woman? Seems logical to me, but for Angélica Liddell, world-renowned performance artist, it is typical of the new puritanism that threatens free art. She now brings The Scarlet Letter to the Netherlands, a theatrical performance that is rather... 

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... 

Major concerns over fate of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov - eight weeks on hunger strike in Russian captivity

Human rights organisations from around the world and thousands of filmmakers and artists express support for Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years by Russia. This Ukrainian filmmaker has been on hunger strike since 14 May. His life is in serious danger, according to the European Film Academy.

No free tickets for journalists in the cultural sector: censorship or just a matter of business?

Menno Pols, reporter for De Gelderlander, was denied accreditation (free ticket and other benefits) for the three-day Manana Manana festival in Vorden this year. Reason: an article he wrote last year about the money flows within the club behind the festival. That club earns millions mainly from Zwarte Cross, the biggest festival in the Netherlands with 220,000 tickets sold. The accreditation... 

Opening Night at Winternachten celebrates the power of perseverance, and supports writers in captivity. (Why sometimes a cardboard TV can help)

'Writing and reading, like sex, are a form of fusion. Literature is the practice of impurity'. Pakistani-American author Mohsin Hamid can formulate. In his Free the Word speech at the opening of Winternachten in The Hague, the man, who wrote an international bestseller with The Fall of a Fundamentalist, made a case for impurity. 'Purity,' he told the... 

Setan Jawa challenges you. That alone is reason to go watch #HF17

What do you get when you combine shadow play, Weimar cinema, gamelan and Javanese myths? A mix that demands a lot from the audience, but is a delight if you are willing to surrender to it. Indonesian director Garin Nugroho does not make easy films. Often they are visually stunning, like Opera Jawa, but the plot gets in the way a bit... 

How fuss in theatre can lead to intercultural dialogue

A dance performance for youth (6+) recently caused a stir. Pupils from groups 5 to 8 of the Islamic Aboe Daoedschool in Utrecht visited IJspaleis (6+) by dance theatre group plan d-. At a dance of two penguins in love, one of the teachers requested that the performance be stopped. This scene was not considered suitable for the pupils, the explanation said. It... 

Modern dance only allowed with clothes on Facebook now

The first bare female breast I consciously observed in my life was the happily swishing boob of the girl in the Fa advertisement. It must have been sometime deep in the 1970s. The same time the Pacifisties Socialistiese Partij also did something similar with a cow in the background. Advertisement for soap Election poster PSP Now, a fat... 

"This piece already carries history with it"

Terezín, 1944. In the most deplorable conditions imaginable, Victor Ullmann completes the opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis. The camp authorities forbid a first performance after a few rehearsals. The unmistakable allegory on Hitler and his downfall leads to one of the rare forms of censorship in the camp, which the Nazis showed as an example to the Red Cross.... 

43rd Rotterdam Film Festival celebrates 25 years of Hubert Bals Fund with opening film Qissa

9,000 euros was the amount with which Indian director Anup Singh's Qissa got off the ground a decade ago. That money came from the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) affiliated Hubert Bals Fund (HBF), which has been supporting filmmakers in developing countries for 25 years now. Last night, Qissa opened the 43rd edition of the Rotterdam festival. This makes the port city the world capital for independent film for ten days, as business director Janneke Starink said at the ...

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'Anti-Greek' facade banner Theatre Frog destroyed after protests

We received this via Facebook: "During the night of Friday 11 to Saturday 12 January at 1.30am, a group of about seven young men destroyed a large canvas hanging on the facade of Theater Kikker on the Ganzenmarkt in Utrecht. The canvas, which had a size of about 7 by 7 metres, referred to the Greek flag and served as an announcement of the project 'De NUTtige Winkel, Greece in de uitverkoop' that the Utrechts Toneel is performing at Theater Kikker from 8 to 26 January. The poli...

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