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'This new law means even more obstacles and restrictions for visiting culture.'

Honourable members of the House of Representatives, It is with great concern that we look at the Temporary Test Act that will be voted on in your House on Tuesday 11 May. This new law means even more hurdles and restrictions for visiting culture. Restrictions that will be introduced but where the end date is not given. This new testing law could be a godsend for... 

HOLLAND FESTIVAL 2021 with associate artists Ryuichi Sakamoto and Gisèle Vienne

From 3 to 27 June 2021, the 74th edition of the Holland Festival will take place in and around Amsterdam. This year's associate artists are American-Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and French-Austrian theatre maker Gisèle Vienne - notable artists with wide-ranging interests, as evidenced by their collaborations with Hollywood directors, techno artists, visual artists and rock bands. During the... 

Call. Let culture workers take one-and-a-half metres of Space for the Imagination

Whether the 'cry for culture' ten years ago was the best response to the cuts announced then, I don't know, but just like then, I feel the urge to do something now. In response to a spontaneous statement of mine on Facebook, a still modest group of people emerged this weekend willing to commit to an idea... 

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... 


From 4 to 28 June 2020, Amsterdam will host the 73rd edition of the Holland Festival. Associate Artist this year is American choreographer, director, writer and dancer Bill T. Jones. His work will include the new show Deep Blue Sea, in which Jones himself dances and, assisted by a hundred mostly local... 

From now on, mandatory for every theatre talk: a blank sheet of paper.

If a Nobel Prize for brilliant innovative festival ideas is established, the first may be awarded to whoever came up with the solution to 'the festival conversation' yesterday. You know, that ever-necessary conversation with the important guest or guests. At a table. On chairs. On television, such a setting is already problematic, live in a theatre usually lethal. A currently anonymous... 

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... 

Martine Dekker (Cinedans): 'The new generation does not respect the demarcation between the arts at all. That's very fun and interesting for a festival like Cinedans.'

Cinedans has been around since 2003. Back then, it was a single evening, part of Amsterdam's Julidans festival. Pretty soon, it grew into something bigger. According to Martine Dekker, involved with the festival since the 2011 edition, this was due to the overwhelming supply of dance films: 'From the second edition, filmmakers were invited to submit films,... 

'Nothing to Hide' in Nijmegen. A dragnet festival to objectively inform citizens

Apart from a lot of confusion, the advisory referendum law has also created a new category of festivals. The 'Ukraine referendum' spawned at least one festival (at Amsterdam's De Balie debating centre) and the dragnet referendum on 21 March 2018 prompted the 'Niks te Verbergen' dragnet festival in Nijmegen. Prominent member of the organising team is Viola van Alphen. With her foundation Violavirus... 

Where is Norman Rockwell when you need him? Ode to The Grumpy Hallkeeper, the Peanut Butter Floor and Ms Koons

Classic joke about the attendant: "Proudly, the Rijksmuseum's new attendant reports to the museum management at the end of his first working day. 'Mr director, I think you will be pleased with me. I have already sold two Picassos and one Apple today!' " (Source: Thus illustrating the supposed relationship of the traditional attendant to the modern... 

IDFA 2017: digital pioneer Jonathan Harris switches to analogue

With a 500-million-year-old pebble, Jonathan Harris began his lecture. IDFA presents the first international retrospective of this artist. As IDFA's chief guest, Harris gave the 'Master Talk' on Friday, about his life and work. His remarkably analogue vision was also the common thread during Sunday's well-attended DocLab conference. Fundamentally analogue Harris, who once started out in computer science... 

Diversity, schmiversity (my reservations about the CCD Award)

Brief summary. On Wednesday afternoon, I went to the presentation of the important award (actually two: audience award and jury award) called Code Cultural Diversity Award. I did not see a single fellow journalist(s). What I did see were lots of professional advocates speaking on behalf of people who were barely present themselves in the Galaxy. NB: the author is of Aruban-Chinese-Dutch descent and in no way wants to undermine the urgency of the issue of diversity... 

Suzie Ruzie: Guts, lack of rules and stinky fingers

Little rebellious girls, that's what writer Jaap Robben and illustrator Benjamin Leroy know how to deal with. Suzie Ruzie, the girl with a stinky finger, goes to the swimming pool. Not in the toddler pool - well, in the deep end! A Quattro Mani's guest reviewer Afke Bohle, mother of three, went with her. The first book we had here in the house by Jaap Robben... 

distributed content the desk magazine media cafe

'Distributed content': "Everyone is trying their best to reach you".

At the Magazine Media Café at the Amsterdam debating centre De Balie, journalists, publishers and freelancers discussed the phenomenon of distributed content. What is it and what can you do with it? Distributed content: a new online phenomenon Distributed content is actually reverse publishing. You offer content (stories, photos, video) where the reader is, instead of the reader... 

Hitler on Hacking habitat (Roy Villevoye)

Hacking Habitat: battle for total digital power impressively depicted

In the corridor leading to the airspace, a shabby man stands leaning against the wall. Exhausted, cold, untouchable. It is a young Adolf Hitler, portrayed by Roy Villevoye as the homeless, failed artist he once was. Now he is at Hacking Habitat and full of potential, according to the caption. The art manifestation that has taken possession under that title in... 

Van Veen (vvd), Pechtold (d66) and Monasch (pvda) during the culture budget debate

Culture budget anno 2015. Not: '13.5 million more', but: 'no 13.5 million off'.

Update 4-12-15: During the plenary discussion of the culture budget on 3 December, Messrs Monasch (PvdA) and Van Veen (VVD) withdrew the controversial amendment. Instead, an amendment was adopted in which a one-off 10 million was released from the additional proceeds of the tax on polluting companies. From this contribution, festivals will be supported, talent development facilitated and... 

Welcome to the Jungle: a catastrophic clusterfuck at the Channel Tunnel

Maaike Engels (video artist and filmmaker) and Teun Voeten (war photographer and cultural anthropologist) made Welcome to the Jungle. A documentary about the utter chaos in the makeshift migrant camp near the canal tunnel in Calais, where some 6,000 people are now waiting in harsh misery for their chance to travel clandestinely to England. Welcome to the Jungle is a painful and bij... 

Particular Dutch culture remains under the radar due to amateur status

The India Dance Festival received just a little less attention from the national media this weekend than the Amsterdam Dance Event. Something that theatre director Leo Spreksel of The Hague-based Korzo Theatre was a bit worried about on Sunday. Because for three days now, his halls have been so muddy that he even turned away visitors who came all the way from Switzerland.... 

Kenneth Herdigein, Vastert van Aardenne, Urmie Plein, Reinier Bulder in Race by David Mamet.

Discussion on colour should also rage in theatre

At Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg, Hans Kesting will once again play the title role of Shakespeare's Othello, in a legendary version by top director Ivo van Hove, already 12 years ago. A stone's throw away, at De Balie, is the equally impressive actor Kenneth Herdigein in David Mamet's play Race. Why connect the two? Hans Kesting, the... 

The Impact of Art, fierce conclusion to three-day conference

How can you write about a three-day conference, part of which took place behind closed doors, the closing night of which looks very neat on vimeo, but where the tension in the room was palpable? With a completely open mind and not much more background than an average newspaper reader, but with a firm belief in the power of the arts,... 

La Re-sentida (Chile) reckons with leftist church in Holland Festival 2015

The 1970s have for some time been the target of what we shall conveniently call the up-and-coming generation. And so we are talking about the 1970s as the glory years of hippyism, the jubilant times of the left-wing church and everything else that, with the knowledge of today, is dirty and dirty. They were the years when... 

Why you should go to Snorder (while you still can)

Het theaterproject ‘Snorder‘ begon ooit als de soap waarmee de lange avonden op het festival Hollandse Nieuwe werden afgesloten. Een festival voor nieuwe toneelschrijvers, eerst in theater Cosmic, later in MC. Beide Amsterdamse theaters bestaan intussen niet meer, Hollandse Nieuwe ook niet. Maar regisseur John Leerdam en zijn crew hebben nu de ruimte gekregen voor een revival in de Balie… 

Proven: theatre-goers seek intellectual satisfaction and hardly ever read reviews

Drama reviews mainly fill a need among artists and journalists. Newspaper readers hardly use them. In London, this has been studied. Only 36 per cent of theatre-goers say they read reviews. Much more value fans place on tips from friends and family. Last Saturday at Amsterdam's De Balie debate centre, there was a discussion between theatre-makers,... 

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