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'My interest took on some obsessive traits.' Inge Schilperoord delved into the appeal of faith for her new novel

Seven years after her acclaimed debut novel Muidhond, Inge Schilperoord's new book is published. She delved into the experiences of a young Dutch girl attracted to the Islamic faith. When Inge Schilperoord (49) was a forensic psychologist in 2017, she spent time providing psychological examinations at the terrorist ward of a prison, where people suspected of having ties... 

'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... 


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... 

Lera Auerbach decries 72 demons: ''We know exactly what the right decision is, but often choose against our intuition''

Guts cannot be denied the Russian-American Lera Auerbach (1973). After all, you have to be 'a bit crazy and a bit of a genius to write a full-length choral work on a text limited to a list of 72 angel names', as one reviewer noted in 2016 after the world premiere of 72 Angels for the Netherlands Chamber Choir and the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet.... 

'High time for an end to segregated religions!' - Joost Kleppe composes Spirit of Mustafa for Groot Omroepkoor and Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

'Everything I make stems from feeling, from being touched', Joost Kleppe (1963) once said about his music. That sensibility is often triggered by poetry and his oeuvre therefore includes many vocal works. His lyrical, rhythmically varied pieces regularly appear on the desks of both professional and amateur choirs. With his appealing style, Kleppe follows in the footsteps of illustrious composers,... 

ZEP takes on the sacred cows of love with comedy HABIB. (Why Rascal should just come and watch)

So certain words are taboo. Moroccan Said explains that his ideal woman has to be a virgin, chaste, and so should not let him ... well, that is. That word you are not allowed to say. The Turkish Evrim thinks that's big nonsense again. Why not call a spade a spade? In Habib, the latest performance by theatre group ZEP, it is all about... 

Setan Jawa, Garin Nugroho.

This is why Setan Jawa was such a special highlight of the Holland Festival #HF17

Setan Jawa is the latest film by prominent Indonesian director Garin Nugroho (b. 1961). It is a 'silent' film, shot in black and white by Teoh Gay Hian. It was shown at the Muziekgebouw aan t IJ during the Holland Festival last weekend. The music to the film is played live by Rahayu Supanggah Gamelan Orchestra and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Inspired... 

Composer Huba de Graaff: 'I value provocative radicality'

Using a television interview as a libretto for an opera? Quirky composer Huba de Graaff does not shy away from it. On 22 June, her opera The Naked Shit Songs will have its world premiere. It is based on a 1996 conversation by Theo van Gogh with British artist duo Gilbert & George. Due to lack of interest, De Graaff wanted her opera with a... 

Long live the pedometer! 5 books you'll want to read in May

Bark Skins Annie Proulx We had to gather some courage to start Annie Proulx's Bark Skins. After all, the book is 800 pages long, so you have to make some time for it. But this novel is well worth that. As a reader, you are unceremoniously planted in the wild forest of North America, still called New France in the late seventeenth century.... 

Baudet's art vision blamed for old battle between Rotterdam and Leiden

For those who like to be around art, politics has become a bit more fun again, since 15 March. Since the 2017 elections, Thierry Baudet has been in the House of Representatives. Thierry Baudet knows a lot about art, he thinks, and we will come to know it, too. In fact, Thierry Baudet is the best thing about art these days... 

How fuss in theatre can lead to intercultural dialogue

A dance performance for youth (6+) recently caused a stir. Pupils from groups 5 to 8 of the Islamic Aboe Daoedschool in Utrecht visited IJspaleis (6+) by dance theatre group plan d-. At a dance of two penguins in love, one of the teachers requested that the performance be stopped. This scene was not considered suitable for the pupils, the explanation said. It... 

Beef heart ragout and handshake. Cultural capital reinvents church service

Maybe God is dead, but His church is alive. At least in Denmark. This has to do with what you might call the Danish paradox of faith: a highly secularised society with a Lutheran Folkekirke (=Volkskerk) supported by a large majority of the population [hints]The American sociologist Phil Zuckerman has commented on this aspect of Denmark (and also a little... 

The Back Door, publicity image. Photo: Jan Dirk van der Burg

'Return Turkey': brave confession from a gutmensch on #tfboulevard

The world is changing quite a bit and it's nice when artists do something with it. Festival Boulevard gives Lizzy Timmers the opportunity to make an attempt. That attempt, performed in a somewhat run-down cultural centre in a real Bossche power district, is quite something. Backurk is the name of this semi-documentary performance. Timmers has immersed herself in young, well-educated, well-integrated Turks who have come to the Netherlands to... 

Secrets of Karbala: The Crusades in oriental light and glass marionettes #hf16

How can you rewrite an intensely complicated history from a different perspective? By using grotesque glass puppets and not actors. This revolutionary invention was shown at the Holland Festival on 8 June, and can still be experienced there 9 June. In that film, Egyptian artist Wael Shawky takes us back to bygone centuries and shows us... 

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... 

From world politics to the most intimate story: in search of what touches at Writers Unlimited '15

Writers Unlimited's Friday night kicked off with an Islam debate. In no uncertain terms, religious historian Karen Armstrong argued that Islam and jihad are not the same thing. There are only 41 jihads in the entire Quran, most of which are the peaceful struggle to help the poor when one is destitute oneself. But after the Paris attacks... 

Karl Ove Knausgard opens Writers Unlimited with strong appeal to individualism #wu15

"Everyone who writes will sooner or later run into a wall, a limit of what cannot, should not and should not be written. And almost everyone will flinch at that moment and refrain from writing it. Because that wall is there to protect us from what we don't want." Karl Ove Knausgård, already compared by some to Marcel Proust,... 

Black day for independent journalism

I'm in shock: 12 dead in horrific attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. - Just before the attack, it tweeted its latest cartoon: a cartoon showing the leader of IS expressing a New Year's wish. Humour connects, humour fraternises, humour helps break taboos, humour puts painful life themes into perspective.... At least, that's what I've thought all my life, until in 2005 my worldview tilted.... 

Carceri, Peter Zuur

Visual artist Peter Zuur: sieges in a bird's eye view

,,I put discomfort in my artworks. I get that feeling when I walk through the city and see all those big buildings. The postmodern architecture with its megalomaniac mentality, and its decay, those depress me." From 29 November to 4 January, visual artist Peter Zuur is one of the exhibitors at the Pulchri Graphic Biennial, The Hague. Notably, his works... 

Sometimes a good story needs to be told, not just imagined.

Some art needs a story. Then a canvas on the wall with the caption 'Untitled' is not enough. The performance 'Laaroussa' (Bride) by French-Tunisian brother and sister Selma and Soufiane Ouissi falls into that category. As extraordinary as their physical presence on a dark stage is, without explanations beforehand and a Q&A afterwards, it all says precious little.

Is that bad?

Lower chamber talked about art. We followed the debate for you

We kept a liveblog. Nice and old-fashioned, from the days when every month there was uproar somewhere about the government's handling of art. Now there is peace in the tent, as the PVV sardonically points out, because 'The Left' is now the bearer of policies devised by the PVV. The PVV predicts a black future for 'The Left' once the PVV comes to power.

Below are our updates, which paint a picture of a room that still doesn't really know where it is in d eculture ...

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Abou Lagraa: gender separation frustrates Arab man

'That men and women in the Islamic world live apart from each other, that is a big frustration,' says choreographer Abou Lagraa. 'That is what El Djoudour is about.'


Because of his background, Abou Lagraa has a particularly enlightening take on these issues. He was born in France, the son of Algerian parents. His family is Muslim. So is Abou Lagraa himself, though in practice he does nothing about it. But however Muslim his parents were, they brought him full...

You can now log in to continue reading!

Welcome to the Culture Press archive! As a member, you have access to all, over 4,000 posts we have made since our inception in 2009!

(Recent posts (under three months old) are available for all to read, thanks to our members!)

Become a member, or log in below:

Hassnae Bouazza's Thousand Shades of Arabia on #wu13

John de Mol is doing good business in the Arab world. He acts rather dismissively about this, according to Hassnae Bouazza. According to her, the television producer talks publicly mainly about the many restrictions on his formats because of Islam and the sentimentalism of TV in the Middle East in general. That De Mol's success number The Voice of Arabia during the final in

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