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William Kentridge

Colonisation is not a relationship. But we still need to establish that relationship, this Holland Festival showed.

Post-colonial criticism and reflection ran like a thread through this year's Holland Festival programme. Not only William Kentrigde and Faustin Linyekula, the associate artists with whom the festival's programmers collaborated, their work addresses the devastating effects of centuries of Western European trade and commerce. In reframing political and social history and reclaiming... 

With a cohesive team, you win the World Cup. How the Holland Festival gagged all the cynics this year.

The 2019 Holland Festival was the best in decades. At least in the 25 years I have consciously witnessed it, I cannot recall a national festival that coupled so much impact with so much prestige. Whether visitor targets were met or not will be of no concern to me in this regard. It is, as Volkskrant colleague Hein Janssen once remarked,... 

'Congo' is another highlight of one of the most meaningful Holland Festivals in years.

'I think they understood.' Faustin Linyekula says it, very quietly, a little apologetically almost, to his fellow actor at the end of the performance Congo. A slightly relieved laugh can be heard in the main auditorium of Frascati, where Princess Beatrix is also seated. Shortly before, Daddy Moanda Kamono had erupted in an increasingly desperate tirade against our shared past.... 

From now on, mandatory for every theatre talk: a blank sheet of paper.

If a Nobel Prize for brilliant innovative festival ideas is established, the first may be awarded to whoever came up with the solution to 'the festival conversation' yesterday. You know, that ever-necessary conversation with the important guest or guests. At a table. On chairs. On television, such a setting is already problematic, live in a theatre usually lethal. A currently anonymous... 

Black, French, or African: The Welcome Table holds discussion on 'négritude' well away from Holland Festival

The ground beneath your feet is sacred. It is, in these times of left-wing identity politics and emerging right-wing blut und boden thinking, quite a risky remark, but Faustin Linyekula used it anyway, in an answer to a question from the audience. That question was about the need, to defend your own place in an increasingly globalised world. Because. 

Los Incontados: a bizarre terrarium of small-human suffering in a cloud of cocaine and confetti.

Colombia's biggest export not only allows Urk fishermen to work long hours, or Amsterdam Zuidas lawyers to keep up with the global 24-hour economy. The white gold also dissolves the nasal septum of the cream of world culture, and costs thousands of lives in the country itself. That had to lead to a theatrical performance, and it did 

In the greatest spectacle, ultimately the smallest detail touches your heart (which is why The Head and The Load had to be the royal opening of the Holland Festival).

Some stories are too big to tell. Too big, but no less important or true for that. Like the story of the millions of Africans who died in World War I in the service of the warring factions there: Britain, France, Italy and Germany. No one knew that last story. At least, nobody I knew knew about it, and neither did I myself. It... 

Faustin Linyekula and the tearfulness of the travelling artist

'Aid workers come to my city to leave again. I come there to stay.' You cannot get Faustin Linyekula any more concise. 'Aid workers do not create a bond with the people they want to help. Their work is gone as soon as they leave. I don't come to help, but because I want to be there. If that makes me a few... 

*With sound!* Why the Holland Festival show doesn't have to stop for now

'Please stop the show!", shouted an 83-year-old former reviewer from the back row. Theatre Frascati fell silent for a moment. There had never really been such an interruption at the Holland Festival's traditionally festive press conference. And that while Faustin Linyekula had just got into his stride, telling about the projects he is carrying out with his Studio Kanako in Kisangani. They provided... 

Why it's good that the Holland Festival is putting the focus on Africa, rather than opting for a single artistic director.

Faustin Linyekula. Photo by: Joe Mabel [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsWilliam Kentridge and Faustin Linyekula. Remember those names, if you didn't already know them, because they are going to help define the face of Holland in the coming year. They have been appointed by the Holland Festival as associate artists. With this, the festival continues the phenom... You can log in now to continue... 

Hitler on Hacking habitat (Roy Villevoye)

Hacking Habitat: battle for total digital power impressively depicted

In the corridor leading to the airspace, a shabby man stands leaning against the wall. Exhausted, cold, untouchable. It is a young Adolf Hitler, portrayed by Roy Villevoye as the homeless, failed artist he once was. Now he is at Hacking Habitat and full of potential, according to the caption. The art manifestation that has taken possession under that title in... 

Italian grandfather of arthouse cinema

With Michelangelo Antonioni - Il maestro del cinema moderno, EYE has once again managed to put together a flawless and solid film exhibition. George Vermij visited the exhibition on the Italian master filmmaker and looks back on his influential oeuvre. In Dino Risi's road movie Il Sorpasso (1962), the passionate and extroverted Vittorio Gassman takes on a young and reserved Jean-Louis Trintignant... 

One Lulu is not the other

Eye organised a Lulu Marathon as part of the William Kentridge exhibition at the Holland Festival. Kentridge directed Alban Berg's opera Lulu. As part of that, Eye screened the two main Lulu films that inspired him. The first was Leopold Jessner's Erdgeist (1923) and the second was G.W. Pabst's Die Büchse der Pandora (1929). Two iconic Weimar... 

Lulu and Kentridge's clothes

Lulu, the opera that Alban Berg left unfinished on his death in 1935, is considered an undisputed masterpiece, which is frequently performed. The opera is at the Muziektheater for the third time this millennium, but for the first time with the third act completed by Friedrich Cerha. South African artist William Kentridge will direct. He and the performers were honoured after the... 

The seven performances you must see this Holland Festival

As Big as the Sky I am looking forward to Arnoud Noordegraaf's new multimedia project, As Big as the Sky, with sets by Ai Wei Wei. Noordegraaf is a master at blurring the boundaries between film and reality. His music is elegant and appealing and serves the story. As Big as the Sky, op... 

A vital and pitiful procession: William Kentridge at EYE

With its latest retrospective If We Ever Get To Heaven, EYE again convincingly and confidently presents itself as a museum that looks beyond film history. This was already evident in previous exhibitions such as Expanded Cinema, which showcased visual artists working at the intersection of film and art. Now William Kentridge has been given the honour of... 

Aufführung der Komposition " Delusion of the fury " von Harry Partch in der Musiktheater Inszenierung von Heiner Goebbels mit dem Ensemble musikFabrik in der Jahrhunderthalle Bochum im Rahmen der Ruhrtriennale 2012-14 am Mittwoch, 21.08.2013

Seeing music (and not hearing it?)

Because of my fascination with the complex relationship between listening and watching, I decided to visit three performances at the recent Holland Festival and experience what happened when I tried to pay equal attention to ears and eyes. The first was "Delusion of the Fury" (1966) by American composer Harry Partch, the second a concert performance of Philip Glass's opera "The CIVIL warS" (1983), the third a performance of Franz Schubert's "Die Winterreise" (1827) in which...

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William Kentridge & the dress rehearsal for the Holocaust

With Black Box / Chambre Noire, the Jewish Historical Museum presents the first exhibition by South African artist William Kentridge in the Netherlands. A multimedia artwork about the first genocide of the 20th century. Now on show at the Jewish Historical Museum.

Armed with clubs, two dark shadowy figures beat each other's brains out. And then a third victim, kneeling and unarmed, who shatters into pieces after the blows. In the background is music

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