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Zeruya Shalev wrote a beautiful novel about mourning: 'I felt the pain as if it happened to me'

With a fine, precise pen, Israeli Zeruya Shalev (63) writes about human relationships. Her new novel Lot is about what binds and drives loved ones apart, and about the different faces of grief. Sentences that want to be written For some writers, a book begins with an image, a pressing question or a character that presents itself. For Zeruya Shalev, a... 

David Grossman: 'I know what it's like to live on with trauma'

More than 20 years ago, David Grossman's phone rang. A woman by the name of Eva Panić Nahir had something to say about an article he had published in an Israeli newspaper. Grossman smiles at the memory. 'What my piece was about I don't remember, except that she thought I had not gone far enough in my criticism of the government. I did find it refreshing to be attacked for once by someone from the left, instead of - as usual - the right wing.'

'I want to leave my children something substantial'. The eventful life of creative jack-of-all-trades Marc de Hond (1977-2020)

It still came as a shock, the sad news that comedian, presenter and theatre-maker Marc de Hond died yesterday. Around the beginning of corona, we were still in touch briefly about his theatre tour Voortrijdend inzicht, which he made as a legacy for his children. How unfortunate it was that most of the performances now had to be postponed indefinitely. His health situation... 

Ekaterina Levental: 'I come from the very bottom of society, didn't even have the right to be here, was even less than a junkie.'

Singer, harpist and theatre-maker Ekaterina Levental (Tashkent, 1977) came to the Netherlands as a refugee in 1993, where she built a successful career. Together with her partner Chris Koolmees, she made the triptych De Weg, De Grens and Schoppenvrouw, in which she sings of her own difficult road to happiness. With her pocket performances, she holds up a mirror to us: 'We are quick to judge a... 

'Don't be too quick to think you know someone.' Six life insights from writer Rosita Steenbeek

She survived a brain haemorrhage and a serious car accident. As a result, writer Rosita Steenbeek (62) no longer has a fear of death, but an enormous zest for life. It has enriched her. By looking death in the eye, I understood that love is the most important thing in life'. 1. You can also be happy without a relationship 'I've been alone for a number of years and... 

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... 

'I now understand how complex "guilt" actually is': Takis Würger wrote novel about Jewish betrayer (and put his email address in it).

'That I have perpetrators in my family gives me the responsibility to keep remembering. Many of my contemporaries say we should never forget and that it should never happen again, but do nothing else. Being a writer gives me the opportunity to do something. To write about it, make readers feel... 

NS presents the first train thriller on WhatsApp. Authors Jowi Schmitz and Louis Stiller test the experience

'The first Dutch WhatsApp thriller' was launched at the end of January. For five days, a select group of screen readers could follow this 'real time' story. Writers Jowi Schmitz and Louis Stiller were among them, app'ing with each other about this new form of storytelling. Sunday Louis > Suddenly a whole pile of names in my whatsapp (including 'paps' and 'mums'). Jowi > I give them... 

Fit during Significant Moments of NDT2

Vulnerable surrender for NDT2 in Significant Moments

Moving. Before Significant Moments begins, the brisk Fernando Hernando Magadan presents himself as the new artistic director of NDT2. Applause in the auditorium. But the reason he stands behind a lectern with a huge flower arrangement is to pay tribute to the retiring artistic director: Gerald Tibbs. Gerald Tibbs. The peerless dancer everyone could walk away from 

Are we still capable of having a real opinion?

I read the biography of Jacob Israel De Haan, Onrust, by Jan Fontijn. Writer and director Gerardjan Rijnders based Salaam Jerusalem on this biography. It is this play, performed by De Nieuw Amsterdam, that really makes me realise how urgent it is to let such an almost forgotten figure as De Haan speak. Jacob Israel De Haan overturned taboos, fought... 

Due to success re-runs: Conversations with my Mother

In 2013, production group Diamantfabriek and ensemble Nieuw Amsterdams Peil presented the full-length performance Conversations with my Mother. Director Matthias Mooij (1976-2014) and composer Benedict Weisser (1967) asked seven male authors to write a fictional telephone conversation with their mother. At the heart of the piece is the fundamental inequality of communication between mother and son. 'I advise all mothers and... 

City of the Blind is ethical research and sensory experience in one

An old man strolls into the infirmary with a transistor radio. 'Where did you go blind?' the already present blind ask the newcomer. 'In a museum,' he replies. A moving conversation then unfolds about what was the last painting he saw, and the possibilities are projected onto the wafer-thin canvas that separates the audience from the sick room. This tot... 

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,... 

Navigating between art and politics, an intermediate view

Wednesday was the opening night of the three-day conference What's Art Got To Do With It? on art, politics, and Israel/Palestine. How do you open a conference on a loaded topic that everyone, especially from the sidelines, has an opinion on? With music. Because how can you be against it? The evening began amiably with a short performance by the Amsterdam Andalusian... 

East, west, hell best on Writers Unlimited

Home is where The hell is. The naming of Writers Unlimited's programme sections leaves little to the imagination. And listening to the opening of this particular section, writer Maaza Mengiste is not one to leave us with pleasant thoughts either. She has plunged literarily into the plight of refugees coming from Ethiopia to... 

Antjie Krog and Andries Samuel drive a tractor over your heart #WU14

"Of course she can write!" seems the mother of the award-winning South African poet Antjie Krog ever having exclaimed. "Because I can do it too, right? There's nothing special about that."

Blood creeps, even for Krog. After a ten-year career as a successful architect - and secretly grinding on words - her own son debuted Andries Samuel with the crushing, heartbreaking collection of poetry Wanpraktyk (2011). 

Writers Unlimited brought mother and son together on stage. Late at night. For the first time ever. And Wende sang to them. And god almighty how beautiful that was. By the way, you have to take it from us, because on pain of caning, pitch & feathers and fines from here to Siberia, it turned out that it was forbidden to film Wende singing (but we did, and the film was online for a while, but has now been removed from the internet).

Mini festival of extremes at Nederlands Dans Theater's young guard

ADVERTORIAL They could hardly be further apart. Alexander Ekman and Sharon Eyal both make dance pieces, and are both children of Nederlands Dans Theater, but that's about where the similarities end. The new programme of NDT2, the young makers' house of the internationally leading dance company from The Hague, features world premieres of new w...

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A lot of Oz & a little Van Dis on impossible dreams and ideals #wu13

During the kick-off of Winternacht 1, publicist Bas Heijne brought the two literary giants Amos Oz and Adriaan van Dis closer together. What remains of their former idealism? Oz's barrage of wonderful one-liners proved difficult to tame and made for a hilarious but somewhat unbalanced conversation.

A recalcitrant teenager, Israeli Amos Oz ran away from home at the age of 15 and joined a kibbutz. He lived there for years. Adriaan van Dis, too, once spent time as a ...

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!

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Become a member, or log in below:

Wry-poetic Alzheimer's doc First Cousin Once Removed best of IDFA

Two opposites had emerged. Would the VPRO IDFA Award for best feature-length documentary go to a personally coloured auteur's film, or to a thoughtful account of a major issue? To Alan Berliner's remarkable portrait of Alzheimer's-affected poet Edwin Honig, or to Dror Moreh's fascinating insight into the Israeli secret service?

Young dance makers meet and develop talents in travelling dance workshop Europe in Motion

 Europe in Motion is a travelling talent development programme and acts as a battleground and meeting place for young choreographers. What is urgent in dance is discussed for a week to encourage dance makers in their artistic development. This second edition, with partners Dance4 (Nottingham), iDans (Istanbul) and Imagetanz (Vienna), ends in Utrecht. Springdance previously featured dance from high-tech laboratories in Israel (Batsheva Dance... 

Springdance Journal: "Dutch dance is very well behaved compared to what we have seen here"

Our team agrees: Springdance really took off on Saturday. With Ibrahim Quraishi's installation 'Wildlife Take Away Station' for sure. Reviewer Daniel Bertina made his own recordings, which will appear in his review. And it was even more tasty for him at '(M)imosa. Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (M).... 

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