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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 

Godfried Bomans: respectively loved, vilified, misunderstood and forgotten

Godfried Bomans died half a century ago. Almost immediately afterwards, the Netherlands' best-loved writer sank into oblivion. It is time for a reappraisal of Bomans' literary work and even his political views. I delved into the archives, also looking for the few traces of Bomans in Amersfoort. First some round figures. Seventy years ago, he delivered a lecture... 

Refresh Symposium - Art climate of Amsterdam

On Friday 12 February 2021 from 12:00-17:00, the Amsterdam Museum, together with its various partners, is organising the Refresh Symposium on the Amsterdam art climate. A symposium in which makers such as Bas Kosters, Massih Hutak and Raquel van Haver together with representatives of cultural institutions such as NDSM-werf, AFK and Amerpodia will critically examine the art climate in the city. The symposium... 

TOP THREE

'It's really starting to become something with me now anyway,' poems Vrouwkje Tuinman with healthy self-irony in the collection Lijfrente. In her case, you could say that - Lijfrente won the Great Poetry Prize last year. It's a beautiful line, well suited to mumble to yourself on occasion. Too inappropriate is the most fun: you... 

hugo's shoes

Over seven years ago, I started as house poet at Sven Ratzke's Late Night Show in Utrecht's Blue Hall. It was a special time. Not for Sven, who probably came into the world singing and wearing designer clothes through a curtain of peacock feathers and imitation ermine fur. For him, the sultry, permanently ramming sold-out nightclub show was cut-and-dried. For... 

stone

A school friend was a mountain climber. He was good at it; he never did anything else in holidays. The school friend was tall and so strong that he could pull himself up by one finger. On the first day after the autumn holidays, he told me that another climber in his group had fallen to his death before his eyes. If I remember correctly, he was alive... 

Cultural big earners: jump through your karma for once

My story about cultural big earners turned out to be the talk of the town in the cultural sector. Not publicly, i.e. mainly behind the scenes, I was approached. One of the few people who did speak out publicly was Henk Scholten. On Facebook, he responded to a column by journalist Aukje van Roessel about the questions raised by The Hague city council 

On uncertainty, drift and desire for freedom, and yes, sports too: 7 life questions to Wilfried de Jong

Freedom and openness are essential in Wilfried de Jong's life. Don't pin him down on one trait, because then he will get pissy. 'I am not "that guy from sports".' That's right, De Jong is a theatre and television producer and writer, among other things. About sports, for instance. His new book The man and his cycling stories will be in stores from this week,... 

In the Netherlands, time sings

Of course, it takes Italians to make this poetic statement about the Netherlands, the headline of this article. The old Italian saying refers to the carillon that signals time in public spaces. Typical tradition of the Low Countries. Since the fourteenth century. Nice and practical, of course, because then the whole city knows what time it is. Does everyone hear hits from the... 

Coronapodcast (15): Buy local, buy more and get on your bike. Bookseller Lot Douze and writer Jeroen Thijssen on reading in Corana time

Lot Douze delivers to your home. By bicycle. With her bookshop Over Het Water, she focuses very specifically on her neighbourhood, Amsterdam Noord. Now that everyone has to stay at home as much as possible because of the corona situation, she experiences an increase in demand. Online, customers in Amsterdam Noord now also know how to find her well. Because of her customer focus, she has a... 

Being engaged does not only mean presenting interesting work, it is also about those you show it to.

A man walks down the theatre corridor with his daughter in a wheelchair. Stops at an usher. Hesitates, then says: 'I don't want to nag, but she can't go on the disabled toilet. I'm looking for a place to change her.' So this usher, he helps search. Moments later, they are behind a rack in the pantry. Sugar sachets, coffee, speculoos, tins.... 

Open letter from theatre directors: 'Spectators want human contact'

Over the past year, we, Annemiek Lely and Susanne Visser, heard various noises about boring introductions and useless fringe programmes that would add nothing. Such comments pass the revue in the artist foyer, at the bar or find their way onto social media. 'I want after-shows led by a local presentation talent instead of a drawling dramaturge,' wrote an already established director 

Between nappy and dishes - the (in)visibility of female composers

Amsterdam, 8 March 2018. Today is Women's Day, no one can fail to notice. The media are brimming with articles about women's unequal pay and their still limited representation in prestigious positions. Whether in politics, business, academia or the arts. Perhaps the most conservative is the classical music world. There, the female composer has yet to... 

Celebrate art in times of gloom. #tfboulevard

Opening speeches. Every festival has one. Or two. You have to go through them. As a guest, but also as a host. Something should be found on it. Of course a point has to be made, a flag raised, a champagne bottle bang introduced. And also the sponsors should be thanked. In these times of a retreating government, there are more of them every year. And. 

Jeroen van Merwijk behind the window of Kunstruimte Kuub in Utrecht. Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Why Jeroen van Merwijk likes to welcome you to his studio: 'Being a cabaret artist is not a profession.'

'Everyone has an Apple. Everyone has a Corneille. Nobody has a Van Merwijk. So the question is whether Van Merwijk is any good. Nobody knows that. Then the challenge is for a few great people to buy a Van Merwijk. After that, everyone wants to have a Van Merwijk. When that happens, I'll go back to making other work, because I want... 

'In five years' time, you won't hear anyone talking about black Pete' (podcast)

Sheila Sitalsing went to work as a journalist after studying economics. After the weekly Elsevier, she joined the Volkskrant, in which she now has a column three times a week on page 2. Sitalsing won the Heldring Prize for best Dutch columnist in 2013. She also appears with some regularity in the foam & ash section of the TV programme Buitenhof.... 

Frieda Mulisch: 'I'm not going to be doubted by what others say about me'

Adultery, lustful sex and desperately dating forty-somethings - these are the spicy ingredients of caSINO, Frieda Mulisch's debut novel. On their quest for true love, her protagonists Polly and Sam scour dating app caSINO, a kind of Tinder. We talk to her about her book, literary aspirations and, of course, her father Harry Mulisch. 'If Tinder had been around fifty years ago,... 

Polyptych, Lada Hrsak, Misericordia, Old Church, 2016.

Old Church in search of contemporary forms of charity and mercy

Amsterdam's oldest and perhaps most beautiful building combines quite a few functions. Although tourists are dominant these days, believers still celebrate the love of God there every week. And even though the former Nicolaaskerk no longer provides space for fishermen to mend their nets, organ concerts are still given there, since the fourteenth century. Handing out bread is not... 

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