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This year's Theatre Festival Boulevard feels greener than usual - and you'll notice it in the performances #tfboulevard

The permanent site of Boulevard's festival centre has largely turned into a construction site this year. This forced the organisers to move to Zuiderpark. Although this is a bit outside the city centre, it is much more spacious and green than the Parade square. It gives the festival a nice feeling of air, space and proximity to the... 

Antonio Scurati wrote novel about Mussolini: 'Of my readers, 99 per cent consider the book anti-fascist. The other 1 per cent were already fascist and recognise themselves in it.'

Formation of the Fasci di combattimento (the Black Shirts) Milan, Piazza San Sepolcro, 23 March 1919 We look out on Piazza San Sepolcro. Barely a hundred people. All men who don't count. We are few and we are dead. They wait for me to speak, but I have nothing to say. The stage is empty, awash with eleven million corpses,... 

It is not too late to make a European Cultural New Deal central to recovery funds

Recently, US geopolitician Joseph Nye1 drew attention once again to the fact that transnational culture is one of the great forces of the European project. For those looking at the European Union from the outside, this common culture is evident, but we, citizens of the Union, are less and less aware of it. Moreover, we tend to... 


Artists show Albania the way to EU accession

An artists' protest in Albania deserves extra attention. Especially as EU accession negotiations resume. Indeed, the protest action is impressive and offers a view of EU accession from an interesting perspective. That of a people who are committed to democratic values, who value their own history and culture, who do not want to give way to... 

Why this book is suddenly ominously reminiscent of the situation in Italy now: 'Everything I describe in my book does happen somewhere in this world.'

With northern Italy cut off from the outside world because of corona and looking increasingly desolate, we are reminded of an interview we had a few years ago with writer Davide Longo about his book The Vertical Man. A book à la The Road by Cormac McCarthy, in which Longo outlines a desolate world that has changed dramatically as a result of... 

'Art tax cuts and a cultural fund will be created as an incentive for homeowners to invest in works of art.' (How we think the throne speech should have read)

Members of the States General, This year about 72 years ago we had the first Holland Festival. After years of enslavement and tyranny, hope for a better future literally came from above, in the form of Maria Callas. Eyewitnesses who saw the lights in the Stadsschouwburg turn red that day would never forget that image. 72 years later, it seems... 

Is the boom in the art trade really about art? The European Parliament has its doubts.

Tackling tax fraud and money laundering, as we reported earlier, also affects the arts sector. Money can no longer be hidden in shadowy limited companies behind foundations, which in turn hide behind other companies and individuals. Everything has to be transparent from now on. A new measure was added last week, according to Artnet. The European union is going to introduce a... 

Poubelle, fragment of cover

Poubelle by Pieter Waterdrinker: MH17 and the stench of Europe

The Netherlands is commemorating the MH17 disaster this month. Two years on, the question of guilt is still not unequivocally answered. The protagonist of Pieter Waterdrinker's novel Poubelle has less trouble with that: who holds himself mostly responsible. A conversation with correspondent novelist Waterdrinker: on modern European history, the Russian mentality, Great Literature and the shit of contemporary Europe.

Ça ira (1) Fin de Louis, Joël Pommerat, photo: Elisabeth Carecchio.

On the edge of Europe, Holland Festival attracts 86,000 visitors #HF16

Ruth Mackenzie has brought new impetus to the Holland Festival. Not that her predecessor Pierre Audi did badly, but the British organisational talent has brought topicality and urgency to the programme. When she devised her programme theme, she too will not have suspected that the concept of 'Edges of Europe' would take on such a charge. After all, simultaneously with the last weekend of the festival, the English people decided, against the wishes of everyone but the Welsh, to leave the European Union behind. The Netherlands suddenly found itself on the far edge of Europe, with only a view of distant Ireland.

Holland Festival 2016: urgent, challenging and inviting

Never before has the Holland Festival placed itself at the centre of society as it is today. The 2016 programme is steeped in the turbulent times in which we live. The Netherlands holds the presidency of the European Union this spring. Artistic director Ruth Mackenzie has taken this fact unflinchingly to give 'Europe' a wide place in the programming. In presenting... 

Greece special (4): Aspasia Nasopoulou hits the mark

When I went on holiday four weeks ago, the European Union was anxiously awaiting the Greek government's response to its latest ultimatum on the terms of a new money loan. After being offline for over a month, I read that it is still muddling through, with yet another 'ultimatum' expiring on 20 August. Ah well. 

Jens Hillje of the Gorki Theatre Berlin (Photo Wijbrand Schaap)

Play 'Nibelungen' debunks modern Europe at Holland Festival

Berlin's Gorki Theatre won a prize this year: it was named the best theatre in the German language area by the German-language press. The company won the award partly because it employs many actors of immigrant origin. With its performance Der Untergang der Nibelungen, which can be seen in this year's Holland Festival, the group also thematises the... 

78 M€ download damage and 6 more things I learned about copyright

78 Million euros is the turnover lost by the film and DVD industry in the Netherlands due to illegal downloading. This was recently announced in a press release. Yesterday, it was also one of the topics at a discussion afternoon organised by Film Producers Netherlands (FPN) on copyright developments.

Once upon a time, in the book age, everything was simple. Now, in the image and internet world, everyone is mad at each other, says copyright expert Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm. An ini...

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Unforgettable stage version of Man Without Qualities gets undeserved dessert from Yves Petry #hf12

Maybe it is also just the wrong choice to see part three immediately after the first two parts. Maybe after a day of you or some settling down you will be able to appreciate Petry's text, on its own merits. Imagine a three-star dinner. A sensuous succession of small and medium-sized dishes, prepared with the... 

Getting a whiff of Lotte van den Berg's special approach, fresh back from Africa

What she does is vulnerable to the point of confrontation. Theatre-maker Lotte van den Berg has such a personal view of the world that, outside the safe context of theatre, it can come across as absurd. Or alienating. On Sunday 26 September, she returned with the members of her Dordrecht-based location theatre company OMSK back from a four-month stay in the Congo capital Kinshasa. A full house in Rotterdam's Gouvernestraat then got to be there when they unpacked their bags a few hours after landing.

Raw 'Hard to be a God' by Mundruczó lingers on the surface #dekeuze

Things happen in places like this that cannot bear the light of day. We are deep in Rotterdam's container port, among the neon-lit transhipment yards and dark warehouses. In one of those raw warehouses are two truck trailers. One is set up as an illegal sewing workshop, the other is filled with earth and rubber tyres. They form the backdrop for Hungarian theatre-maker Kornél Mundruczó's performance 'Hard to be a god'.

The performance v...

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