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'Vanished talent and manpower will break up culture sector as it relaunches in September'

The uncertainty of the events sector and cultural institutions, after 17 months of lockdowns and one-and-a-half-month openings, is not only disastrous for the mood of directors, artists and spectators. According to the Creative Sector Taskforce, much more is being lost. In fact, a 'Marshall Plan' is needed to get the cultural and creative sector back on its feet,... 

'Minister bans art!' - How dangerous propaganda gets a chance in cucumber time

Down to the union, the message was shared: outgoing culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven had allegedly gone overboard with her diversity policy and now wants to ban non-diverse art from universities. It was big in the Telegraaf and former cabaret artist Hans Teeuwen got a few hundred thousand likes with it on Instagram. Meanwhile, it has also reached the columns of Het Parool thanks to 'artist' 

How writer Maartje Wortel was confronted with herself: 'I was literally and figuratively running the same laps over and over again.'

For five years, writers Maartje Wortel and Niña Weijers walked endless laps through the Oosterpark every day. When that suddenly came to an end, Wortel was suddenly confronted with herself in a big way. 'I didn't feel I had anything to hold on to anymore'. Cheerfully waving, Maartje Wortel (38) approaches, a full bag of groceries in hand. 'Not handy no, for a walking interview,' observes... 

'Writing has been my salvation.' The troubled life story of Vamba Sherif

Actually, all his female characters are based on his powerful mother and grandmother, says Vamba Sherif (47). In his new, autobiographical book Unprecedented Love, the Liberian-born writer tells his troubled life story to his daughter Bendu. An ode to his homeland and the most important women in his life. I was born into a learned and influential family. The Sherifs... 

Culture Council marginally updates opinion, but sticks to controversial decisions

The National Opera had made a mistake in preparing its application. According to the Culture Council, the multi-million-dollar national institution had failed to break down performance data between dance and music. As a result, the company had to come up with an entirely new application before 1 November. Now it turns out that was not so bad. As it turns out, the data... 


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... 

#Corona-classics I: Le Dernier sorcier Pauline Viardot

When corona measures were declared on Thursday 12 March, it felt surreal at first. The next day, the world premiere of Willem Jeths' opera Ritratto fell through. I had been looking forward to this immensely, just like all the other productions in the Opera Forward Festival. Besides, I was in the midst of preparations for numerous introductions the next... 

'I want to become more and more like Charlie'. The life insights of actress and writer Romana Vrede

Last month, De Arbeiderspers published Romana Vrede's novel De nobele autist, based on life with her son Charlie, who has a mental disability and autism. Conversation on what she learned from him and other life events. 'Not Charlie is crazy, the world is crazy.' 'Normal' is not normal 'When my son Charlie was a 2-year-old boy in... 

Tears and pancake flour - Noël Fischer a week after Trojan Wars cancellation

Director Noël Fischer, artistic director of HNTJong, Het Nationale Theater's youth club, learned a week ago just before the first try-out that she and Trojan Wars would not be allowed on stage for the try-out, nor for Saturday's premiere. No ordinary performance but a marathon performance with three parts, with fodder for the mind (music) and the... 

Into the bookstore with a shopping basket. Booksellers are grasping at the straw called behavioural change.

Last December, we had no internet and no TV/netflix for a week. The Customer Disconnection Department of KPN, formerly XS4All, had not understood that a broken cable in our neighbourhood could have had anything to do with it. One of the funny effects of these fibre-less days was that I finished reading four books. Something I normally do only on... 

Peppie & UBO: privacy concerns for business leaders and directors. (Why anti-money laundering policies can wreak havoc on culture)

Our government leaders, united in Europe, have come up with something to combat the masking of corruption. It is called UBO register. The Netherlands is also going to introduce it in the near future. This has consequences, also for cultural foundations and associations. Because every organisation has to determine who is a UBO (Ultimate Beneficial Owner). This causes some complications. In the cultural sector, it is... 

(With PODCAST) The Netherlands worth a quarter of a billion more because of books. (And only a few writers benefit from that)

A person working at a publishing house thus generates for himself an income of 42,379.79 euros. That is slightly more than the average income of people in the book trade, who only make do with an average of 31,000 euros per person. This income is largely generated by authors and translators. These earn - on average - 1540.55 euros. Per person. Per... 

Best Listened to Culture Press Podcast: No more hypes, but beautiful books (on publishing, and why small is fine)

When the longlist of the Man Booker International Prize was announced on 12 March this year, two things stood out. First, of course, that our own Tommy Wieringa had won a place on this list of fiction translated into English. Even more striking was that 11 of the 13 titles had been published by small, independent publishers. That development... 

'Look, there's someone letting his pineapple out!' How journalist Lex Boon fell in love with the queen among fruits

Everyone has seen them before, those pineapple plants from Ikea. Many people keep them in the room for a while, until they die and end up in the dustbin. But for journalist Lex Boon (35), the moment he received such a plant as a gift from his (ex-)girlfriend was a turning point in his life. He became hooked on the crowned fruit and flew... 

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... 

Just a few reasons to come to @tfboulevard in Den Bosch in early August.

If the weather holds up a bit, the upcoming edition of Theatre Festival Boulevard will be the most tropical in history. The smart ones among us, who opted for a staycation in West Balkonia this year, can indulge their cultural heart in Den Bosch. Not for nothing regularly called 'The Avignon of the Netherlands'. Theatre festival Boulevard is unpacking 2018 with a truly overwhelming... 

Lakedance is well organised: 'You don't have to walk around lost, nice and handsome people everywhere, no complaints anywhere, clean toilets!'

"In the Netherlands, we are actually on holiday," say Daphne (40) and Ilja (26), laughing. They are travel experts, with Japan as their core destination. "I visit a few festivals every summer, but whether I'm really a festival-goer? Not so much, I think." Seven years ago, Daphne was last to Lakedance, now she is "getting up to age" and got to go for... 

Resolved(?): Ombudsman Allegiance admits carelessness.

This was the email from the editors of Trouw, dated 9 May 2018: "Mr A. Bakx has had the phone number and email address we now have from him under this name since 2014. We therefore assume that he is A. Bakx." Was supported by an email to Erwin Roebroeks, which mentioned a telephone conversation with... 

That's why Iris Hannema is the best travel writer in the Netherlands: 'Anyone who has not made a good fool of himself on a trip has not really been somewhere.'

'Iris Hannema writes like a guy,' I wrote a few years ago in a review of her The Bittersweet Paradise (2016). You wouldn't get away with that now. Actually, I meant to say: Iris Hannema writes solid, image-rich, independent ánd critical texts that you rarely come across in female as well as male travel journalists. Why that is, I will tell you later. Get lost' Typical... 

A wolf inside you: the rage of Kristien Hemmerechts

Wolf is Kristien Hemmerechts' first novel since her non-fiction book about breast cancer, and it is about rage. What it's like to be furious, the Belgian writer knows all about that. "When I had breast cancer, I experienced intense feelings of aggression." Why is it that some people who have experienced trauma or tragedy can give it a place,... 

Master painter Henk Helmantel honours the creation story: 'I don't have the impression that I make old-fashioned paintings. My work fits well in modern interiors.'

Museum Gouda will soon show the exhibition Faith, Harmony and Silence by master painter Henk Helmantel. In 2008, he was named artist of the year. At the same time, there are major exhibitions by Helmantel in Gorssel and in Taiwan. His paintings are characterised by a gossamer texture, careful composition and sophisticated lighting. As subjects, he often chooses still lifes and tranquil... 

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