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Writer Henk Pröpper's slow heartbeat

Writer and publicist Henk Pröpper had only just moved to his beloved Paris when the city came to a standstill, and so did his heart almost. Once fitted with a pacemaker, he took to the city in the one hour a day Parisians were allowed. A new world opened up for him. For Henk Pröpper (62), former director... 

The 'weird life' of all-rounder Jef Last is not over

Better to die standing than to live kneeling. The statement is fresh in memory after the murder in the Lange Leidse Dwarsstraat, as a mantra in praise of Peter R de Vries, his fearlessness, non-conformism, straightforwardness and honesty. This same statement jumps out even from the first paragraphs of the introduction to the biography of poet Jef Last, written by Rudi Wester.1.... 

PODCAST - Naomi Velissariou's permanent quest: 'I wonder if I should do interpretation or connection as an artist.'

Naomi Velissariou (1984) was actually supposed to be at the Bossche Festival Boulevard 2021 with more performances. This year, her entire trilogy 'Permanent Destruction' would be performed in a setting like club rave. Fierce musical theatre, based on playwrights Sarah Kane and Heiner Müller, and concluded with the more subdued work 'Pain against Fear'. All parts have received rave reviews from audiences and press, but... 

Amsterdam Museum runs conversational campaign for Golden Coach

The Amsterdam Museum is running an innovative campaign for the exhibition The Golden Coach in collaboration with various agencies and creatives. Sharing knowledge and starting a national conversation about the controversial carriage is the goal. Head of Communications & Marketing at the Amsterdam Museum Maurice Seleky explains why this was chosen: ''The exhibition The Golden Coach tells... 

A dangerously hurt little bird. Writer Caroline De Mulder delved into the world of girl gangs and sugardating

Girl gangs and sugar dating - these are the themes of Bambi likes you raw. Caroline De Mulder (44) wanted to talk about the violence of women rather than against women. 'I could work out the dark, aggressive sides in myself without bashing someone's head in.' Bambi's protagonist, 16-year-old Hilda, or Bambi, as her... 

The myth of Europe, you need a Greek for that anyway (and a better theatre) #hf21

'...this (final) image, in which really I saw what I never saw before. That was so insane where I started to doubt my own perception. Interesting sensation that for me is separate from interpretation.' I quote here a visitor I know from the performance Transverse Orientation, one of the toppers of this year's Holland Festival. She was sitting three metres... 

'New venom is added every day.' In book, presenter Naeeda Aurangzeb lets non-white Dutch people experience what comes over them daily

Even though she has lived in the Netherlands since she was three, journalist and radio TV presenter Naeeda Aurangzeb (47) is still not considered a full-fledged compatriot. In her book 365 dagen Nederlander, she gives a disconcerting picture in short sketches of how non-white Dutch people or Dutch people with a migration background are treated. Biology teacher to class 'This is what you call olive-coloured skin. You can... 

'Silence has made me sicker.' Kathelijn Hulshof aims to break the taboo on mental illness with her book

An insight into her stormy inner self - that is what Kathelijn Hulshof (32) wants to give with her book Gevalletje borderline. We should dare to talk to each other about mental illness, she thinks. 'Then the burden becomes less heavy and lonely.' Hurricanes inside me 'No, you can't have borderline, people told me. I had completed an education, I had... 

Antonio Scurati wrote novel about Mussolini: 'Of my readers, 99 per cent consider the book anti-fascist. The other 1 per cent were already fascist and recognise themselves in it.'

Formation of the Fasci di combattimento (the Black Shirts) Milan, Piazza San Sepolcro, 23 March 1919 We look out on Piazza San Sepolcro. Barely a hundred people. All men who don't count. We are few and we are dead. They wait for me to speak, but I have nothing to say. The stage is empty, awash with eleven million corpses,... 

INTIMATE LETTERS

Today I must write about A.L. Snijders, the totally idiosyncratic inventor of the Very Short Story. I have admired his work ever since I discovered it through Vrijstaat Austerlitz (1997-1999), a literary magazine that ran for only four issues. Those are probably the best literary magazines, the fewer issues they cover the better. Arjan Witte and Tommy Wieringa, two of the founders... 

How writer Maartje Wortel was confronted with herself: 'I was literally and figuratively running the same laps over and over again.'

For five years, writers Maartje Wortel and Niña Weijers walked endless laps through the Oosterpark every day. When that suddenly came to an end, Wortel was suddenly confronted with herself in a big way. 'I didn't feel I had anything to hold on to anymore'. Cheerfully waving, Maartje Wortel (38) approaches, a full bag of groceries in hand. 'Not handy no, for a walking interview,' observes... 

Maartje Wortel lives through the Oosterpark

'The book is a declaration of love to Niña, I dedicated it to her unborn child.' Writer Maartje Wortel (38) lived right by Amsterdam's Oosterpark until recently. Her friend and fellow writer Niña Weijers lived on the other side. For five years, they walked laps of the park together, sometimes several times a day. In The Groove, Carrot tells about... 

'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... 

'I can finally have real fun again.' How "devil child" Angélique (51) survived 25 years of abuse and mistreatment

Een duivelskind werd ze genoemd, en zo behandelden haar ouders haar ook. Angélique van Deursen (51) werd 25 jaar lang mishandeld en misbruikt. Het tekende haar voor het leven, maar kreeg haar niet helemáál kapot. Al had dat weinig gescheeld. Twee vaders Als kind had ik voor mijn gevoel twee vaders. Overdag was mijn vader een boze man, die me… 

Rarely have I experienced a historical book that is so accessible and so imaginative

With journalist Bianca Stigter's book Atlas of an occupied city, you walk through today's reality, as it were, with historical virtual reality glasses on. An extra layer appears over the familiar backdrop of Amsterdam's streets: of World War II occupation. What wartime past is hidden in the streets and behind the facades? Atlas... 

Writers writing. That's what Moped at Sea is about, and that's ok. 

Many avid readers will dream of their favourite author sitting at their table one day, talking about her work. Perhaps just as many avid readers will take their dream author on a stroll, want to drink lamb on a café terrace or take them to a darkroom. Or to a classical concert at the Concertgebouw. All can be done. Some will even just... 

Excluded after a boner in the shower. Dries Muus on his bold debut novel

For years, writer and reviewer Dries Muus (36) beat around the bush. Until he realised he could, or rather had to, use a drastic event from his own life for his debut novel The Deviation. Stiff Two accomplished manuscripts ended up in the bin before Parool reviewer Dries Muus' debut novel saw the light of day. But third time's the charm, and after... 

The first year of the corona crisis is described, and it makes for a wonderful book.

TivoliVredenburg is a building like a festival. countless stages, bars, a café and a restaurant, hundreds of people at work, thousands inside on a night. I always came there too little. But when I did get there, it was a party. A building run by and attended by super-motivated people with only one goal: as much music as possible for as many people as possible. Until... 

Godfried Bomans: respectively loved, vilified, misunderstood and forgotten

Godfried Bomans died half a century ago. Almost immediately afterwards, the Netherlands' best-loved writer sank into oblivion. It is time for a reappraisal of Bomans' literary work and even his political views. I delved into the archives, also looking for the few traces of Bomans in Amersfoort. First some round figures. Seventy years ago, he delivered a lecture... 

Platform BK: Deferred work means deferred money. The artist cannot buy food from that.

What we feared at the beginning of the coronasteun appears to have become reality. The generous support money for culture should also reach the small self-employed in the arts via the institutions, but that is now happening too little. Of course, there are fine examples, such as the large subsidised arts institutions in Groningen and festivals like Boulevard and Holland Festival that support self-employed... 

Dear Mr Rutte: Why should music schools stay closed? Why so arbitrarily?

Dear outgoing Prime Minister Rutte, dear Mark, This is the first time I have turned to you, the first time at all for me to write such a letter. I have to get something off my chest, because I can no longer follow or understand it all. Before I point out what is bothering me, I will write to myself... 

'A structural show of love for the arts and culture from The Hague is needed in the Netherlands.'

Dear outgoing Prime Minister Rutte, Dear Mark, In my capacity as a self-employed person working in the performing arts, I am writing you this letter. This is my first letter ever about the situation of the cultural sector, culminating in corona time. First by way of introduction: we met when I played a Scarlatti sonata especially for you at the TV programme Podium Witteman, and also... 

You don't forget tap, but tap dancing does. Why it is bad that art is not mentioned

Everyone balks. Let's put that first. And a lot of people are badly affected. Hospitality, retail, schoolchildren and especially students: everything that is not necessary for survival balks. So does the arts. Not all art, of course, especially larger institutions are coming through the corona crisis reasonably well so far. Quiet and closed, but not bankrupt. We can't take that from... 

'If you touch just one person, it can change the world' "Desperate optimist" Adriaan van Dis wrote a book full of joyful anger

It is a fresh and lively book, the new novel by Adriaan van Dis (74). In his characteristic humorous tone, Van Dis broaches the big themes of our time in KliFi: climate change, the refugee crisis, political populism, (im)freedom. When in the republic of the Netherlands a crushingly hot summer turns into a hurricane and a village of refugees is wiped out, silence... 

The theatres in Poland are open again. But the curves....

After Guido Weijers' Fieldlab turned out not to be a superspreading event, and nobody laughed hard enough at Dolf Jansen to infect others, now also good news from our relations in Poland: over the past month, since the reopening of theatres in Poland on 12 February, 55,000 people have already been to the theatre. Plenty of reason for enthusiasm, as it apparently... 

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