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Writer Richard Osinga ©Keke Keukelaar

A puzzle with time. Richard Osinga's cruel but also loving new novel 'Coin'

Some writers are at the forefront, others write their novels in the lee. Richard Osinga (51) belongs to the latter category. With each book, he gains in eloquence. Mint is the new shoot on the stem of his increasingly interesting oeuvre. At one point, Richard Osinga himself was a little too lazy. After his novel... 

Renzo Martens on White Cube: 'From now on, the Stedelijk should devote its entire acquisitions budget to art by plantation workers.'

A sleek, snow-white art temple in the middle of the Congolese interior. What does that mean? Renzo Martens talks about his new documentary White Cube, and the art project that allows plantation workers to buy back their land. Premiering at IDFA and in Lusanga, Congo.

Dutch youth film in dire straits too? Plenty to talk about during the Cinekid festival

The Cinekid youth film festival opens this week with Binti, a catchy, highly topical youth film brimming with optimism. That sounds good, because optimism is what the Dutch youth film can use right now. Too bad, then, that Binti, about a girl from Congo who does everything in her power to be allowed to stay in Belgium with her father, is a largely Belgian production.... 

Colonisation is not a relationship. But we still need to establish that relationship, this Holland Festival showed.

Post-colonial criticism and reflection ran like a thread through this year's Holland Festival programme. Not only William Kentrigde and Faustin Linyekula, the associate artists with whom the festival's programmers collaborated, their work addresses the devastating effects of centuries of Western European trade and commerce. In reframing political and social history and reclaiming... 

'Congo' is another highlight of one of the most meaningful Holland Festivals in years.

'I think they understood.' Faustin Linyekula says it, very quietly, a little apologetically almost, to his fellow actor at the end of the performance Congo. A slightly relieved laugh can be heard in the main auditorium of Frascati, where Princess Beatrix is also seated. Shortly before, Daddy Moanda Kamono had erupted in an increasingly desperate tirade against our shared past.... 

Jimi Hendrix and Hlengiwe Lushaba: heavenly union in a requiem for Congo's freedom

Hlengiwe Lushaba, remember that name. This South African singer sings the paving stones out of the street during Sur lessons traces the Dinozord. She does so with a voice that goes from gritty falsetto to full Wagner soprano, though that term will again be resented by classical sharpshooters. But what would it be? Hlengiwe Lushaba will care little, because... 

What a broken-down bus has to do with liberation and feminism. Dancer Djino Alolo on Piki Piki at the Holland Festival

Djino Alolo Sabin (1990) sits there, relaxed, in the morning at the hotel in Brussels. The night before, he has danced his solo Piki Piki for the first time, which will also be shown at Theater Frascati during the Holland Festival. The performance touches on many intense themes, but is anything but melodramatic. Rather, it expresses a relentless optimism.... 

Faustin Linyekula and the tearfulness of the travelling artist

'Aid workers come to my city to leave again. I come there to stay.' You cannot get Faustin Linyekula any more concise. 'Aid workers do not create a bond with the people they want to help. Their work is gone as soon as they leave. I don't come to help, but because I want to be there. If that makes me a few... 

The uncomfortable truth of the paraglider. What I took away from the opening performance of @tfboulevard

About 18 years ago, while on holiday in the Auvergne region, my wife and I picked up a paraglider that had ended up rather unhappily in a meadow full of indignant cows. We were happy to do something. The paraglider looked grateful, although he was a little worried about the car in which we were going to take him back to... 

'Black' is unique collection of 'Afropean' literature: 'African-Dutch authors are directly compared to black American writers.'

The book may be called 'Black', but the stories collected in it make it clear that there are as many shades of black, as white and everything in between. We, and by that I mean myself and my largely white network, just need to look more closely. And listen. Take Olave Nduwanje's story, titled Imana Ikurinde (God save you), in the middle of the book. The... 

Jan Fabre's gems keep atmosphere of Hieronymus Bosch alive

Calm has returned to the North Brabant Museum in 's-Hertogenbosch. After more than 400,000 people saw the successful and widely acclaimed Hieronymus Bosch exhibition, the halls are now light and quiet again. No more opening hours from early morning to midnight. Just, peace and quiet. Although the Jan Fabre mosaics hanging there now are disturbing. Mosaic Panels 2016 is... 

The Walking Forest is performance you definitely want to watch twice (HF16)

De Braziliaanse Christiane Jatahy was vorig jaar al met het stuk What If they went to Moscow op het Holland Festival. Ze kwam, zag en overwon. Dit jaar komt ze met het laatste deel uit de trilogie van toneeladaptaties, The Walking Forest. De titel verwijst naar de drie heksen in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, die zijn opkomst en ondergang voorspellen. Het stuk vormde het uitgangspunt voor een performance met vier videoschermen, een bar, een actrice, een dode vis en, o ja, publiek.

passions humaines, guy cassiers, photo Kurt van der Elst

Hidden lusts of Belgians lead to great art on #HF15

2014 was the year of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, award-winning stage adaptation by Ivo van Hove. This year, that performance has been outstripped by 'Passions Humaines', written by Erwin Mortier, magisterially designed by Guy Cassiers. Again at the Holland Festival, confirming its place as a stage for the great debate on art. Two plays in which architecture, artistry and... 

Proceeds from 30 years of Art and Kitsch, or too the rare pen candlestick that served as a toilet roll holder

In the end, homo calculus - and who isn't, a "calculating man" - turns out to be primarily concerned with the monetary value of art objects, and only then - sometimes a long time later - with their beauty, artistic value or rarity. Every episode of the television programme Between Art and Kitsch demonstrates this. It also applies... 

Alain Platel deals firm death blow to traditionalists in #hollandfestival

Met talent alleen kom je er niet. Je moet ook een beetje geluk hebben. Dat geluk overkwam Alain Platel inmiddels zo vaak dat je bijna gaat twijfelen aan je eigen goddeloosheid. Maar toch. Wie niet alleen een componist als Fabrizio Cassol tot zijn vrienden mag rekenen, maar ook het zangwonder Serge Kakudji een kans heeft gegeven, verdient wel een beetje geluk. Wat het drietal nu met 13 muzikanten uit Kinshasa voor elkaar heeft gekregen is ronduit revolutionair. En een doodsklap voor wie gelooft dat noord en zuid elkaar nooit echt kunnen ontmoeten. Ik maakte hem maandag 16 juni mee. En hij dreunt nog na. 

No happy sex, but bitter sex #WU14

Sometimes a Writers Unlimited programme can catch you off guard. Last year, the late-night talk show on literary sex was a hilarious highlight - pun intended - of the festival. This time, the programme dropped Let's talk about sex bar little to laugh at.

Forget the connotations with Salt N Pepa. Indonesian Linda Christanty writes not about 'happy sex, but about bitter sex as a means of power, as a form of coercion and violence.' That made us quiet for a moment. 

Photo: Anne Bonthuis

Exhibit B confronts with probing glimpses @hollandfestival

Holland Festival Holland Festival

Een gezellig groepje dames dat lachend en kletsend binnenkwam, verlaat beduusd en betraand de zaal. Van slag, beschaamd, zo zie ik alle bezoekers naar buiten komen. Wat met woorden moeilijk te omschrijven is, staat op hun gezicht geschreven. Exhibit B van Brett Bailey is meer dan indrukwekkend. Het is een expositie die confronteert en raakt.

'Shéda', insane chaos with a glimpse of genius @hollandfestival

Holland Festival Holland Festival

Als al na het eerste kwartier de helft van de middenrij de zaal uitvlucht, en je kijkt op je horloge, en je denkt, mijn god we moeten nog ruim vijf uur, dan is er iets grondig mis met de voorstelling. ‘Shéda’, van de Congolese theatermaker Dieudonné Niangouna, is een krankzinnige bak chaos van onsamenhangende tirades. Aan één stuk door schreeuwend gedeclameerd door twaalf hyperactieve Afikaanse en Europese acteurs, ieder met een vast personage, die als goden terugkeren naar aan apocalyptische wereld, à la Mad Max, en elkaar met bizarre teksten om de oren slaan. Allemachtig, er is geen touw aan vast te knopen. Maar toch blijft het fascineren. Waarom?

Netherlands closes a special embassy

Deze week viel officieel het doek voor de Theatre Emabassy, een club bevlogen mensen die Nederlandse kunstenaars liet samenwerken met kunstenaars in ontwikkelingslanden als Honduras, Bhutan en Congo. De voorstellingen die dat opleverde waren maar sporadisch in Nederland te zien, maar zo nu en dan maakte een project ook hier breed indruk, zoals een ‘Op Hoop van Zegen’, gespeeld door echte vissers, maar dan uit Mali.

Faustin Linyekula stages the "fundamental resemblance between Negroes and ballerinas" with "La Création du Monde" (Fernand Léger, Darius Milhaud), #HF12.

The 1923 Afro-Cubist dance classic can be seen at Music Theatre today and tomorrow, commented on by Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula. "Europeans have no idea that they are denying the shared history of Africa and Europe. Belgium is part of everyday life in Congo, but Belgians hardly know anything about Congo, or it is the clichés about poverty 

From insane Moroccan drum 'n bass to alienating dream sounds: Dakka al Marrakchia, Zoumana Diarra & Basile Maneka #WU12

It is incredible what an energy the men of Manar can generate. These six - dressed in djellabas - percussionists play Dekka al Marrakchia: an insanely rousing form of traditional Moroccan drum 'n bass party music and religious Gnawa. After a solemn, almost ritualistic beginning - in which the band comes jogging onto the stage of the Theater aan het Spui in a goose-step, accompanied by the menacing sounds of two huge horns - the drums erupt and the dance floor is full of swinging visitors.

We say goodbye to a festival that was once again unique. For the last time? #decision

There was a time, when art did not have to draw full theatres to be accepted by the population. After all, out of the total budget of a municipality, something like art costs no more than a penny, so you don't get worse, while at best you can only get better. So is... 

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