A novel about art, about cycling, but perhaps above all a story about the fear of an insignificant life.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Amina Belȏrf. We translated her poem ‘De nachtklok’.
Globe Aroma provides support to refugees, migrants and illegal immigrants in their art whilst giving them the opportunity to discover a wide range of cultural offerings in Brussels.
With its large collection of works from the Golden Age, the Mauritshuis is one of the most important museums in the Netherlands. Important but not without controversy.
On the eve of the First World War, three Dutch friends believed they could make the world a better place by walking around the globe and propagating socialism in Esperanto.
The post-war transformation of Brussels was a traumatising experience for a large proportion of its population.
Social and political changes are forcing Brussels to rethink its governance. But there is little room to manoeuvre.
The Royal Library of Belgium published a new reference work on its collection of Flemish and Dutch drawings from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.
Belgium’s largest coastal town has its own unique connection to the Irish author.
On a trip to Mechelen, Derek Blyth discovers lost mediaeval rivers, Beethoven’s Flemish roots and the world’s oldest carillon school.
An abandoned sixteenth-century chapel in Ghent was given a new lease of life thanks to internationally renowned artist Berlinde de Bruyckere.
When Sulaiman Addonia moved to Brussels, he felt thrown back into the time of Oliver Twist. But the author gradually changed, and with him his multi-layered view of the city.
Unique works of art all about reproduction processes: the wonderful paradox at play in the work of Dutch artist Jaya Pelupessy.
The city held the title in 2000 but did not make an overwhelming impression on the outside world.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Ann Bellemans. We translated her poem ‘Krater’.
De Keyser was a celebrity in Britain and in his native Belgium. He once owned the biggest hotel in London.
The Dutch writer has received the prestigious PC Hooft Prize 2022 for his extensive and diverse oeuvre. Portrait of a prolific writer with a mission.
The impending famine caused by the war in Ukraine recalls previous famines: in Ireland, in Ukraine itself, but also in the Low Countries.
Stefan Zweig’s reportages on his visits to Belgium have been translated into Dutch and collected into a small, beautifully illustrated volume.
International interest in Dutch sources is huge and, thanks to digitalisation, there are more texts available than ever. But human know-how is lagging behind technological progress.
Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, initiated a dynasty that would change the Low Countries forever.
The Dutch critics unanimously proclaimed her poetry debut a masterpiece.
In her debut novel, Katrien Scheir portrays the often very difficult position of women in a #MeToo situation.
How does one become a writer in a different language? We asked Sholeh Rezazadeh, who moved from Iran to the Netherlands and made her successful debut in 2021 with a novel in Dutch.
Portrait of a “bastard” who searches for his identity through art. ‘The stage is the only place where I get space.’
The American Protestant Church of The Hague was originally built for the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels.
Thirteen Flemish artists and cultural organisations have been awarded an Ultima for their outstanding contributions.
According to journalist Huib Modderkolk, the Belgian and Dutch governments are taking nowhere near enough protective measures against digital hacking and sabotage.
The jury awarded ‘a book that is unparalleled in form, content and brainpower'.
Charity has a long tradition in the Netherlands and the actions for Ukraine show many parallels to past events.
Eating herring is a Dutch tradition. This silvery, slimy fish is even part of their national identity, thanks to a myth about a humble herring fisherman.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Sabine Kars. We translated her poem ‘Waarom zo koud’.
Our selection of Dutch-language books that have recently been translated into English.
How to deal with Dutch words, concepts and expressions that simply cannot be translated into another language?
Charlotte Van den Broeck tells a story of tragic architects who committed suicide in or because of the buildings they designed.
'Quaco – My Life in Slavery', the first major graphic novel about the Dutch history of slavery, is now available in English, thanks to modern languages students at the University of Sheffield.
The pretty beach town of De Haan in West Flanders is dotted with reminders of its most famous visitor.
Students from two British Universities translated an excerpt from a theatre production by Flemish actor, writer, rapper and podcaster Rashif El Kaoui.
An exhibition at the In Flanders Fields Museum shows how missing soldiers of the First World War have got their identity back thanks to archaeological and historical research.
Even spelling can be important in the war of Ukraine, writes linguist Marten van der Meulen. This is why he will never again refer to the embattled capital city as Kiev.
Derek Blyth discovers a monument to an English martyr, a traditional horsemeat restaurant and a waterfront that looks like Brooklyn.
In this podcast, you will discover why the story of religion in the Low Countries is much more layered than claiming that the Netherlands is a Calvinist society and Belgium a Catholic one.
If you’re not Dutch, you’re not much. Does that vision correspond with how other people view the inhabitants of the Low Countries and their language? Or is the picture more nuanced?
The Dutch author absorbs influences from all major comic book traditions and aims her work at an eminently international audience.
Tülin Erkan has written a debut novel about trying to find the right words and about how difficult it is to say goodbye to places and people.
Once upon a time, the Dutch language played an important role in international trade talks and diplomatic relations.
A floating exhibition tells the story of a 200-year-old Belgo-Dutch canal Zuid-Willemsvaart.
Derek Blyth visits a church that looks more like a pyramid from a science fiction film than a house of prayer.
Media, cultures and languages collide in the works of the Moroccan-born Dutch artist.
Lisa Weeda's excellent debut novel tells the story of a divided Cossack family.
He is best known as "the man who escaped from prison in a chest of books". But thanks to a new biography, we know that the seventeenth-century scholar was much more than that.
When the counts of Holland wanted to break the autonomy of Friesland, they incurred the wrath of the Frisian freedom fighters.
When Paris was besieged by Prussian troops in 1870, the French used hot air balloons to transport mail and people across enemy lines. They also landed in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Derek Blyth discovers a battlefield that shaped European history, a cafe dedicated to cycle racing and a tapestry with a secret message.
80.000 works, some dating back to the fifteenth century, will be made freely accessible online.
It is still something of a guilty secret, but Middelburg grew prosperous from the slave trade.
In his debut novel, Koen Caris exposes just how difficult it is to be left behind, especially in an oppressive, village setting.
Irish historian Paul Doolan claims that for many decades, Dutch historians have inadequately investigated the decolonization of Indonesia.
When John III, Duke of Brabant, died in 1355 without male heirs, his three daughters and their husbands claimed the inheritance with violence.
An essay in which cultural philosopher Ton Lemaire was bothered by the adoption of English words into Dutch, inspired linguist Marten van der Meulen to respond.
Too famous now to still be considered the rising star of Flemish art, Rinus Van de Velde brings a selection of his latest work to a high-profile show at Bozar in Brussels.
'Translation in the Low Countries' is a monumental book that not only sheds light on the flourishing translation of culture in our region, but also offers a fascinating cultural history.
Confronted with challenging societal, historical and ethical questions, many museums are trying to redefine their role. MSK Director Manfred Sellink makes some proposals.
A lifetime after the end of the colonial era, Dutch Indies literature still plays off colonial myths and realities against each other, and finds words for painful, half-forgotten things.
A large-scale investigation shows that Dutch soldiers used extreme violence during the Indonesian War of Independence and that high-ranking officials condoned it.
In his debut novel, Dirk Elst manages to describe a life of poverty without romanticising it.
This week's Friday Verses are written by International Booker Prize winner Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. Michele Hutchison translated his poem ‘Plukhoogte'.
In his second historical fiction novel, Jeroen Olyslaegers masterfully brings to life the city of Antwerp before, during and after 1566, the year of the Iconoclastic Fury.
Meet the man who managed to unite the Flemish cities behind him and dared to defy the French king for the benefit of England and the wool and textile trade in Flanders.
Calling Kortrijk a hidden pearl along the river Lys might be too much honour. Yet there are numerous treasures to be found.
Sanne Aletta van Otten voices a drip-filter coffee pot from 1816, manufactured by the Diemont company.
David Doherty has been awarded the prize for 'Summer Brother', his English translation of 'Zomervacht' by Jaap Robben.
Why do the Dutch so readily turn to the English language? Cultural philosopher Ton Lemaire has long been bothered by the use of English words when there exists a perfectly good Dutch alternative.
Kenneth Berth created an audio story in response to Louis Moritz’s painting The Music Lesson from 1808.
When architect Victor Horta was forced to flee during WWI, he travelled to the United States to give lectures. America influenced his ideas about architecture, urban planning, and society.
In the video essays of Vera Mennens, art and research coexist, as do landscapes and archives.
In the 14th century, up to half of the European population died of the Black Death after it first struck in 1348. Jews were often blamed for the plague and subsequently burned at the stake as punishment.
His experience as a jury member in a criminal trial led writer Peter Vermeersch to delve into alternatives to imprisonment, and to discover a world that was far removed from naïve dreams or bizarre utopias.
For a short period in the 16th century, Antwerp was really the centre of the world. Everything was possible, as long as it didn't hinder trade and economy, writes historian Michael Pye in his book The Glory Years.
We join Dagmar Bosma as she questions a cabinet made by Charles-Guillaume Diehl in c. 1867 – c. 1880.
‘Conceptual engineering’ tries to improve the way we speak about concepts. But is it possible to ‘improve’ language? And if so, how should we go about it?
In a country with five billion trips by bicycle a year, special roundabouts are no luxury. No wonder the Dutch make roundabouts look like design masterpieces. And now they are spreading to progressive cities around the world.
Henry Van de Velde became famous as an architect. But little known is that he started as a painter. From a new catalogue raisonné emerges the picture of an artist who struggled with social status and innovation in his craft.
Flemish composer Annelies Van Parys is one of the most sought-after contemporary composers in Europe. What makes her talent so unique?
Anne Marijn Voorhorst looks at a mustard pot made by Jean Baptiste Claude Odiot around 1819.
Derek Blyth discovers a wedding that changed history, the world’s most complex clock and some of life’s sweet pleasures.
The image of farmers and the countryside in Flanders and the Netherlands has been teetering between positive and negative for decades. Why? And how much wiggle room do farmers have today?
Into the Open is a new performance by Voetvolk. Read this portrait from 2019 of unconventional dancer Lisbeth Gruwez, composer Maarten Van Cauwenberghe and their company Voetvolk.
In her debut novel "Ongehoord" (Unheard) Pascale Petralia tells the story of how a victim gradually becomes ensnared in the net of someone obsessed. And no one can save her.
Pim Lammers offers us an insight into Gerrit Schouten’s Model of the Memorial of J.F. de Friderici from 1812.
Artificial Intelligence opens new ways for language research. You can programme a bot to write sonnets like Shakespeare, and one day we might be able to converse with someone from the 16th century.
In the 19th century, rabbits from Flanders became a popular source of cheap meat for the poor of London. They came by boat, so they called them 'Ostend Rabbits'.
The British have a longstanding love affair with the Duffel coat. It is named after the cloth made in a small Flemish town, though it is hard to establish a link between the town and the coat.
Loss of their mother tongue among children of Syrian refugees in Belgium leads to conflicting ideas about their identity.
Maxine Palit de Jongh presents us with an Erard Frères pianoforte from 1808.
From Marcel Broodthaers to Otobong Nkanga, more and more Belgian artists want to cast a critical perspective upon the colonial past in order to influence ongoing debates.
Dutch writer Godfried Bomans died on December 22th 1971. He was one of the first writers to star on television. And though people like to think they know him, he was difficult to grasp.
Jorik Amit Galama wrote a text in response to the painting Farm on the bank of a stream in Gelderland by Wouter Johannes van Troostwijk.
A broad knowledge of languages is important and translations are an essential part of Dutch literature, writes Lotte Jensen in her column.
Teaching material should exhibit diversity, according to policy organisations such as UNESCO. But textbooks for newcomers in Flanders and the Netherlands are lagging behind in diversity terms.
Kiriko Mechanicus explores Girl in a White Kimono, painted by George Hendrik Breitner in 1894.
Having plants in the house is not such a long-standing habit as we might think. Only in the 19th century greenery made its way into our houses.
Since the 1980s improvisational theatre has seen an impressive uptake, in the Netherlands and Belgium. The competitive nature ensures improv’s lasting popularity.
Erasmus was a man with great ambitions and who took orders from no one. But his succes also had its drawbacks, unveils a new biography.
The overgrown Campo Santo cemetery clings to a low hill in the Ghent suburb of Sint-Amandsberg has been described as the Flemish Père Lachaise.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen made its depot fully accessible to the public. It delivers a special experience in a new architectural icon.
Sumai Yahya gives us a look at an Etruscan vase made by Manufacture Impériale de Sèvres in 1858.
De Afwijking by debutant Dries Muus is a beautiful coming-of-age novel against the backdrop of an urban football environment.
We join Marieke Ornelis as she looks at Portrait of a Young Woman, with ‘Puck’ the Dog, painted by Marie-Thérèse Schwartz
Discover some of the weird sports that have developed in or been adopted and grown in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Imaginative content, physical extremes and remarkable links and contrasts have made De Warme Winkel a favourite among theatre critics and audiences alike
Heisteeg, one of the narrowest streets of Amsterdam, has sparked off a furious debate about overtourism.
Five hundred years, ago painter Albrecht Dürer travelled through the Low Countries. That journey is now coming to life in an exhibition, several books and his own diary entries.
To celebrate the 400th year of birth of Aelbert Cuyp, The Dordrechts Museum is organizing a special exhibition that focuses on his impact on English landscape painters.