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Sandor Somkuti: Budapest 1985. CCBY2.0Sandor Somkuti: Budapest 1985. CCBY2.0

IN PERSPECTIVE 20: BUDAPEST AND FREE SPACE FOR CULTURE

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: the 1985 Budapest Cultural Forum and a renewed cold war. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only a short time before, intense discussions between Warsaw Pact and NATO countries on security, disarmament and free cultural... 

Always a new failure. Why internationally lauded writer László Krasznahorkai experiences all his work as a failure

Great international recognition notwithstanding, Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai himself considers every novel a failure. 'I strain my brain to the limit, but it never becomes the book it should be. So I start again. And again.' Hope for redemption lost Film adaptations of his novels and winning the prestigious Man Booker International... 

A trip around the world, a bike, a cat and her bodyguard Dean: 'Nala makes my life a lot more exciting'

When he left Dunbar over two years ago for a round-the-world bicycle trip, Scottish Dean Nicholson (32) could not have suspected how much his life would change. When he rescued a kitten a few weeks old from a ditch in Bosnia, his life took a completely different turn. Since then, Nala and he have been inseparable, cycling together... 

European Cultural Foundation seeks new imagination on anniversary.

'Nothing can make up for the past. But the real, enduring power of the past lies in how it affects our present and our future. What we can do is shape a future history in which we consciously and determinedly carry with us only the best of our past.' Not keep rooting, but cognitive behavioural therapy for the whole of Europe, you might... 

Laundry is still hanging on the line and food is still on the tables in restaurants. The doomsday scenario of Chernobyl, now as an HBO TV series.

On 26 April 1986, an explosion occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. To this day, it is one of the most catastrophic disasters caused by man. The effects of the nuclear disaster are felt even today. For many, Chernobyl represents a long-forgotten memory. Places with a macabre history have always drawn people and... 

'Most people prefer to live alone.' Philippe Claudel on his poignant novel 'The Archipelago of the Dog'

Three black men wash up on a small island. This threatens to throw a spanner in the works of the residents and their economic plans. So everyone prefers to pretend that nothing has happened. Archipelago of the Dog, Philippe Claudel's new novel, is a haunting book with lightness peeking through at times. The French bestselling author worries: 'Once, nuclear weapons constituted... 

Ligeti festival - tribute to adventurous and idiosyncratic composer

Hungarian composer György Ligeti (1923-2006) suffered under several dictatorships; the Nazis killed his father and brother during World War II, and after the War the communists forced him to write sweet 'folk music'. After the 1956 Hungarian uprising, he fled to Vienna and then to Cologne. In the West, he unpopularised into an idiosyncratic composer, who already... 

Krisztina de Chatel in A frenzied mastery

Truly something to look forward to. Krisztina de Châtel's emotions come unstuck in A frenzied mastery

'A frenzied mastery' is the name of the documentary that Manon Lichtveld and Bas Westerhof made about Krisztina de Châtel. The emotions really hit home when visiting their parents' home in Hungary. We met them in the Rabozaal of Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam. They were also filming. Bas Westerhof and Manon Lichtveld. Cameraman Leo van Emden and I followed Koert... 

String theory inspires organ concert: Peter Eötvös conducts KCO in Multiverse

On Thursday 19 October, Peter Eötvös will conduct the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Dutch premiere of his organ concerto Multiversum, which he commissioned for the company. His brand new composition is flanked by works by György Ligeti and Claude Vivier. Transylvania's rich musical tradition Hungarian composer and conductor Peter Eötvös (Székelyudvarhely, 1944) grew up in Transylvania. Towards the end of... 

The Britten Youth String Orchestra is 10 years old. Conductor Loes Visser: 'I'm still learning every day'

Already during her studies, Loes Visser (1959) formed the Alpha Chamber Orchestra. In 1990, she initiated the Adamello Ensemble and, seventeen years later, she founded the Britten Youth String Orchestra, with which she is now celebrating its second anniversary. What drives her and what are her best experiences? Chamber orchestra "I founded the Alpha Chamber Orchestra because there was a need",... 

Herta Müller: 'I like small things'

This week saw the publication of Nobel laureate Herta Müller's autobiography, My homeland, an apple stone. A few years ago, A Quattro Mani had an exclusive interview with the Romanian writer, when her first collection of poetry collages was published, The Skirt-chaser and its sly aunt. We spoke to her at her home in Berlin, she revealed how her poetry collages are created, and the making... 

'So Anyway'. A political Christmas column

But then. A day before Christmas, the prime minister experiences a sleepless night. He has no appetite for the Glühwein provided by the housekeeping service. The Christmas pastry, delivered by a friendly VVD baker, remains untouched. The security guards see their object sitting upright in his bed... Read and shudder That summer evening, Michelle de Kat sits smugly in a corner of the blood-hot studio 

Franz Liszt: from virtuoso keyboard lion to ascetic innovator

Franz Liszt (1811-1886) was revered in his own time as a true devil's advocate, whose virtuoso piano playing set many a woman's heart racing. But above all, he was an innovator, whose ambition was to "hurl a spear into the infinite space of the future". The Concertzender highlights life and work for two hours on Wednesday, 2 December 

Film summit on boosting film production in the Netherlands takes steps in the right direction

Yesterday, the long-awaited Film Summit was held. At this private meeting, ministers Bussemaker (OCW) and Kamp (Economic Affairs) met a large number of representatives of the film sector. The discussion focused on options to get the Dutch film industry out of an impending downward spiral.

Because Dutch film may be doing well in the cinema, but tough times have arrived for film production itself. And not only because due to government cutbacks the...

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'I am here': talking about the now during film class with the ISK #vvu

Documentary filmmaker Femke Stroomer and Sanne Sprenger will make two films in the coming year with two classes of the International Switching Class (ISK) under the title I am here. Part two of a report on this Treaty of Utrecht Community Arts Project.

The footballing boys in the schoolyard do not shout "come on with that ball!", but with heavy accent "can I have a loaf of bread from you? The whole team doubles over that exclamation. At the Internationale Schakelklassen in Utrecht, Dutch is n...

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Successful Holland Festival closes record edition amid uncertainty over future

Photo: Pierre Nydegger To conclude. The 2011 Holland Festival could well be historic. Not only was it the festival that attracted the most audiences for years, it was also the festival that took place while a minority government of populists, nationalists and materialists proclaimed the end of art subsidies. We therefore look back on a festival in which we were able to meet with... 

#HF11: We chat with Jeroen Stout, Daniël Bertina, Fransien vd Putt and Wijbrand Schaap.

  In conclusion. The 2011 Holland Festival could well be historic. Not only was it the festival that attracted the most audiences for years, it was also the festival that took place while a minority government of populists, nationalists and materialists proclaimed the end of art subsidies. We therefore look back on a festival in which we had a great time with our new... 

#HF11 Young Hungarians in Leonce and Lena deserve our sympathy

Actors wearing sort of harem trousers and bamboo sticks on a nondescript playing surface. Some of you may think back nostalgically or with trepidation to the days when there were 'Akademies voor Ekspressie' in the Netherlands. Summits of socio-art. Sometime deep in the 1970s, that is. Maladype Theatre, from Hungary, fits seamlessly into that picture, which... 

'I like beer' in C'est du Chinois sounds quite nice #dekeuze.

The teachers recite it, a whistle sounds. The audience mimics it, like wax in the hands of the five Chinese on stage. Anyone who walks into the performance C'est du Chinois walks into a Mandarin language lesson. An effective language lesson besides, you understand the two small families-they have only been in the country for four months but plan to... 

Stunning transformations by Shelley Mitchell in poignant monologue 'Talking with Angels' #tf2010

Invisible forces, described as angels, speaking through a Jewish woman to her friends at the time of the Holocaust in Hungary. A mysterious and true story, translated by American actress Shelley Mitchell into the one-woman performance Talking with Angels. A huge success in America. Yesterday on stage for the first time in the Netherlands.

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