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The Best Listening Cultural Press PODCAST! Greg Nottrot visited Putin's dacha, where Halbe Zijlstra was not.

'How many realities can we handle? For me, that is the theme of 2018. Those ladies from North Korea who were cheering, for example. But it was also in Halbe Zijlstra who had lied about Putin's dacha.' Greg Nottrot, theatre maker from Utrecht, had set out for this year to create an end-of-year performance that would capture the zeitgeist well.... 

Thierry Aartsen of the VVD is quite right. And no idea.

'Culture is about stimulating, fraternising, challenging. Then there is no difference between corso and ballet.' Says Thierry Aartsen on Friday 16 November in the Volkskrant. Thierry who? Thierry Aartsen, the one who will be speaking on culture at the VVD in the coming months. In the coming months? Yes, because VVD culture spokesmen are usually appointed for one or two debates, after which... 

Major concerns over fate of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov - eight weeks on hunger strike in Russian captivity

Human rights organisations from around the world and thousands of filmmakers and artists express support for Oleg Sentsov, sentenced to 20 years by Russia. This Ukrainian filmmaker has been on hunger strike since 14 May. His life is in serious danger, according to the European Film Academy.

Podcast: This year, Poetry International explores the role of nationalism in poetry.

Jan Baeke has been associated with Poetry International as a programmer for many years. In this podcast, I talk to him about the programme and the theme of this 49th edition: The Nation of Poetry. It's about nationalism, of course, but also about identity. And about what role poetry plays in that. And then, of course, it's not primarily about folk songs. We... 

Holland Festival presents scorching Salome #HF17

Herod has not yet uttered his cry "Kill this woman!" or his soldiers roughly lift Salome onto their shoulders and hurl her into hell. - The fancy drawing room, which had been turned into a ruin, was visible through a see-through hatch for almost the entire opera. Salome's blood-soaked dress seems to flare up for a moment, but then - pats! - the... 

arie doeser on #cityt2cities

Lock up the alderman! 6 lessons from book festival #City2Cities 2015

The building alone made literature festival City2Cities worth a visit. After all, the Post Office on Utrecht's Neude, built in 1924 as an ode to progress in a style that brought together the best of the Amsterdam School, had been closed for years. So even those who don't get excited by Nick Cave and who think Michel Houellebecq is a creep had a reason... 

Fifa executive turns out to be art expert

That it smells a bit like rotten fish in the Fifa offices is well enough known. The men's club of upstart youth team managers has refined its own revenue model considerably. So now it appears it is no longer just about beautiful women, cocaine, money and other things you put in brown envelopes, but about art. And then it gets interesting. According to a further... 

Debating reviews is pointless. Readers are perfectly capable of judging for themselves.

Art has rapidly become unimportant. Artists have been effectively dismissed by populists as subsidy-addicted scum. Media leaves no opportunity to downplay the consequences of the ensuing cuts. Putin is about to bring a third world war to Europe. In Amsterdam on Saturday, September 6, three of the Netherlands' last daily newspaper critics talk to artists about... 

Gergiev under fire. How a silly statement and half-hearted attempt at nuance worries Rotterdam. And exposes a bigger problem.

Protests abound again tonight at a concert conducted by Valery Gergiev, this time at London's Barbican. Many of the protesters are demanding that the orchestra emphatically distance itself from the Russian star conductor and speak out openly against gay legislation in Russia.

Suddenly controversial photo project on Sotchi gets alternative opening in Moscow

The photo documentary made by photographer Rob Hornstra on the preparations for the Sotchi Olympics will be shown in Moscow after all. At least we hope so, now that after an earlier sudden cancellation, a venue has been found at Moscow's Sakharov House. Next Friday, Dutch fans can attend the opening from Amsterdam's Stadsschouwburg (bring your own beer). Unless the row with Moscow has gone so high that instead of Willem Alexander, we have a few straa...

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Mondrian, Verhoeven and human rights in Netherlands-Russia year

With all the critical coverage of Russia that Putin and his supporters are provoking, we would almost forget that we are in the middle of the Netherlands-Russia year sitting. A screening of Paul Verhoeven's war film will take place tonight at the Pioner Gorky Park in Moscow Black Book, as a kick-off to

Russian flowers and Beatrix @HollandFestival

Holland Festival Holland Festival

Gorgeous dresses, big sunglasses and high heels. It is clear that the performance by the famous Moscow theatre company Theatre of Nations also attracted a large Russian audience. Men in suits occasionally talking to their sleeves seem to testify to Russian billionaires present. But nothing could be further from the truth when suddenly Princess Beatrix steps into the auditorium with her entourage. 

IFFR 2011 - Tiger from Sri Lanka kicks off, courtesy of taxpayers

The first film from the Tiger competition for new talent that Rotterdam festival audiences got to see on Friday was Flying Fish from Sri Lanka. Director Sanjee Pushpakumara, present at the screening, was clearly overwhelmed. He himself was seeing his film on the big screen for the first time, and in front of a sold-out audience. His acceptance speech was not only touching but... 

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