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Charlie Hebdo

Too divided for unity. How a booklet on yoga nearly brought writer Emmanuel Carrère to the brink of collapse

A light-hearted and delicate little book on yoga is what French author Emmanuel Carrère intends to write. By this, he does not mean the glorified form of gymnastics that so many practise, no, he is talking about the sacred yoga that leads to calming the mind, to serenity and pure perception of what is. Al also goes after... 

When words become weapons, listening is pointless. Frank Westerman at festival Winternachten on negotiating with terrorists.

In the 1970s, a wave of terror swept through Europe. A wave that claimed far more victims in our regions than the Islamic violence to date. During literature festival Winternachten, from 18 to 22 January in The Hague, it is about the struggle for freedom, about us against them. On Saturday afternoon 21 January, Frank Westerman and Mohsin Hamid will discuss the... 

danse de nuit, Boris Charmatz / Musée de la danse. Photo: Boris Brussey.

danse de nuit, on cartoons and other violence in our lives, #HF17

On Anton de Komplein, it is less cosy than on the roof of Parking 58 in Brussels, where I saw danse de nuit earlier. Above South-East, the moon is hidden behind a thick haze, the square feels big and empty so without the market. The performance by choreographer Boris Charmatz/Musée de la Danse, also today and tomorrow,... 

Boris Charmatz

Danse de Nuit in the Bijlmer: 'Of course we want to influence public space' #HF17

Boris Charmatz has been a guest at many editions of the Holland Festival with impressive, provocative, socially engaged, finely composed and conceptually strong dance performances: Aatt enen tionon and Con forts fleuve (both in 2001); 50 years of dance (2010), Enfant (2011) and Manger (2015). His latest choreography, danse de nuit, premiered in Geneva last September. During the Holland Festival... 

7 reasons why you should invest in Holland Festival 2017 #hf17

Ruth Mackenzie has achieved an enormous amount in the short time she has been boss of Holland Festival. I've experienced the festival now since the late 1990s and watched it evolve from something very personal and sometimes obscure (under Ivo van Hove), to an ethereal feast of sizzling aesthetics (with Pierre Audi), to what it... 

Joel Pommerat: 'History does not repeat itself. Instead, we can learn from it.' (HF16)

One of the special performances at this year's Holland Festival is 'Ça Ira (1): Fin de Louis' by French company Compagnie Louis Brouillard. I visited the performance earlier in Luxembourg and spoke to the director and writer of this over four-hour marathon about the French Revolution. It seems quite something: 40 actors on stage... 

Böhmermann: Turkey is the place to be

'No barbaric act can ever erase press freedom,' French President Hollande tweeted immediately after the bloody attack on the editors of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in January 2015. German Chancellor Angela Merkel walked side by side with him in a mass demonstration for freedom of expression. But that was the reality of the time. Now she stands ... 

winter nights opening: debate

'Western writers are part of oppression'

The annual presentation of the International PEN Awards during the opening of Winternachten in The Hague is never a truly convivial affair. After all, every year at least one of the awardees is unable to receive the prize herself. Because she has been captured, because he is missing, or ill. This year, Thursday 14 January at the Theater aan het Spui, could... 

From world politics to the most intimate story: in search of what touches at Writers Unlimited '15

Writers Unlimited's Friday night kicked off with an Islam debate. In no uncertain terms, religious historian Karen Armstrong argued that Islam and jihad are not the same thing. There are only 41 jihads in the entire Quran, most of which are the peaceful struggle to help the poor when one is destitute oneself. But after the Paris attacks... 

Karl Ove Knausgard opens Writers Unlimited with strong appeal to individualism #wu15

"Everyone who writes will sooner or later run into a wall, a limit of what cannot, should not and should not be written. And almost everyone will flinch at that moment and refrain from writing it. Because that wall is there to protect us from what we don't want." Karl Ove Knausgård, already compared by some to Marcel Proust,... 

Another black day for independent journalism

After the brutal attack on the staff of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris yesterday, journalists, cartoonists, politicians and the general public rallied worldwide to defend the freedom of speech. Many a front page of today's newspapers showed the cartoons for which chief editor Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier) and 11 others were brutally murdered by Said and Cherif Kouachi,... 

Black day for independent journalism

I'm in shock: 12 dead in horrific attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. - Just before the attack, it tweeted its latest cartoon: a cartoon showing the leader of IS expressing a New Year's wish. Humour connects, humour fraternises, humour helps break taboos, humour puts painful life themes into perspective.... At least, that's what I've thought all my life, until in 2005 my worldview tilted.... 

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