In 2020, the international activities of Dutch artists and cultural organizations dropped by 72% due to the corona pandemic.
In 2018 Dutch artists participated in more than 15,000 cultural activities in 108 different countries.
Flanders remained a strong and homogeneous Roman Catholic area shortly after the Second World War. Today the Church in Flanders is not longer as strong as it used to be, but in a whole new phase. The change is gathering momentum. It is impo...
Michel Foucault may have predicted the end of the humanities, but today Digital Humanaties, the digital revolution and the virtual world are offering a new beginning. In the process, our humanities research and how this is being done will ...
British journalist Derek Blyth travels through the Low Countries and stops in cities that are worth visiting. Each time he looks at the place and its inhabitants through curious glasses.
It's early morning in Mechelen and the streets are empty. Derek Blyth is looking forward to wandering down the cobbled lanes, looking inside gothic churches, passing some time in the municipal museum, and ending up, as everyone does, in one...
The life of the painting The Bon Vivant (De vrolijke drinker), by Louis de Moni (1698-1771), has been quite eventful. During the lifetime of the Dutch master, at the start of the 1760s this work in cabinet format was purchased for the coll...
Anyone reviewing the landscape of the Dutch-language poetry of the last few years is bound to note that it is flourishing, that it is characterised by an enormously multi-facetted structure and that, considering its negligible economic imp...
Back in the 1880s, when Van Gogh was plodding through the Brabant potato fields, Eindhoven was just a small Catholic town. Now it is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, with an acclaimed modern art museum and a world-class design ac...
You think you know Flanders and the Netherlands. But take it from us, you haven’t seen anything yet. British journalist Derek Blyth takes you on microadventures to L-Spots, hidden and exciting places in the Low Countries.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Hannah van Wieringen. We translated her poem ‘cry me a river’.
The proximity, shared language and history make it easy for Dutch artists to find their way to Belgium.
Those who know where to look can read the history of the planet and the human race in trees and landscapes. Two researchers from the Low Countries, Salomon Kroonenberg and Valerie Trouet, tell the story of the earth, our past and perhaps al...
The Ghent-born conductor will be awarded the prize for his ability to reach a wide audience without compromising on his art.
In her debut novel 'Niemand keek omhoog’ Evelien Vos raises the question: to what extent can we control our lives?
This week's Friday Verses are written by Hans Depelchin. We translated his poem ‘wind egg’.
The Rotterdam-based duo explores the human dimension in technology with interactive design.
J. Slauerhoff’s romantic novel ‘Adrift in the Middle Kingdom’ is for the first time available to English-language readers.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Jonas Bruyneel. We translated his poem ‘Glass Borders’.
Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere considers himself a language romanticist. 'A romanticist will consider language as the spine of one’s identity.'
‘About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters’ DUTCH AND FLEMISH ARTISTS AROUND THE GLOBE On 20 January 2017, a mural appeared on Barthélémylaan/Boulevard Barthélémy on the Canal in Brussels, of an imminent beheading. The knif...
This week's Friday Verses are written by Ulrike Burki. We translated her poem ‘Berlin’.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is presenting artist's portraits in an exhibition on identity and image.
Rineke Dijkstra’s new film installation Night Watching shows 14 groups of people looking at Rembrandt’s The Night Watch.
The Nigerian-Belgian artist is always searching for the connections between the world and bodies, poverty and enrichment, Africa and Europe. Her works are in international demand.
Hind Fraihi argues that the new 'blacktivism' should not become an identity movement.
We need to decolonise our language, states scriptwriter and opinion former Raf Njotea. Raising awareness is the first step.
The Netherlands and Belgium lead the way in terms of granting equal rights to transgender citizens in Europe. But the daily struggle against discrimination continues.
Nowhere is the Gender Pay Gap as strongly present as in professional football and cycling. Hind Fraihi states its about time the gap gets closed.
Cultural historian Lotte Jensen recounts how she has seen the consequences of climate change with her own eyes.
An interactive walking route aims to bring the Olympic past of the port city back to life.
In the science fiction novel 'Concept M' author Aafke Romeijn takes the reader forward to the Netherlands of 2020, where the disease of colourlessness makes for heated, polarizing debate and protest.
Portrait of a Flemish metal band that far exceeds the genre and puts bandages on gaping wounds.
The work of Dutch landscape photographer Saskia Boelsums is inspired by the rich painting tradition of the Old Masters.
After being hidden for six hundred years, the Royal Library of Belgium presents its unique collection of manuscripts from the Burgundian period.
At the beginning of September 1944, 75 years ago, the first allied forces entered Belgium to liberate the country from the German occupier.
Hind Fraihi suggests a digital detox. ‘Why not try a Digital Free Month to drastically free ourselves from social media?’
Thierry Baudet’s conservative ideas fly in the face of the enlightenment values that have long been dominant. This opposition is a defining moment for our modern culture.
Our selection of recent university press publications in English on the Low Countries.
In a new book by our publisher Ons Erfdeel vzw, experts state that a lot of institutions and systems that were built up after the Second World War are at risk today.
Reflecting on Leonardo da Vinci’s death, 500 years ago, Luc Devoldere makes a few comments on the notion of the uomo universale.
Kunstmuseum in The Hague presents a fascinating exhibition about the friendship and rivalry between two important Dutch painters: Isaac Israëls and George Breitner.
In June 1520, rival nations France and England impressed each other with lavish competitive displays of wealth and splendour on the “Field of the Cloth of Gold”.
The speech of festival director Viktorien van Hulst at the seminar ‘Indonesia and the Netherlands: a joint future’.
The bicycle and car sharing that we know today can be traced back to the ‘White Bicycles’ and ‘White Cars’ initiated by the Provo movement.
The young Dutch sculptor reimagines what seems so common and known to us.
'Seeking a cross-border measuring tool', a study of the interconnectedness in the Flemish-Dutch theatre sector.
Although the Dutch stayed in Taiwan for less than forty years in the seventeenth century, Dutch has had a lasting impact on the language the islanders still speak today.
Belgian politician Charles Michel made a rapid rise to the political pinnacle of Europe.
The far right uses social media as a sort of pulpit from which to lash out without restraint against the left and society’s alleged excesses.
With her latest publication, the Dutch photographer Awoiska van der Molen continues her own modest search for places of human origin.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Kristien Spooren. We translated her poem ‘Gingerbread’.
When it comes to Dutch, editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere states that it is not clear who determines which language norms to respect and which rules to adhere to.
Abdelkader Benali has been awarded the Golden Goose Feather as an ambassador of the Dutch language who reaches young people with his enthusiasm and dedication. This is his ode to ‘bastard Dutch’.
When Dutch children's literature deals with taboos, some books are too unconventional for the anglophone market.
At Saint Petersburg State University, translation studies and interpreting are important subjects within the study of Dutch language and culture.
When natural processes and the laws of physics lead to compelling, lyrical artefacts.
Milo Rau and his theater company NTGent adapted the Greek tragedy The Oresteia. Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere left the performance with mixed feelings.
‘Augustus’ by Irma Maria Achten is a sensual debut novel about improbable love, in which passion, a longing for death and family secrets play an important role.
At the end of the first millennium, an agricultural revolution was about to change the lives of the peasants in the Low Countries.
The importance of the resistance during World War II doesn’t form part of the Belgian collective memory. That’s remarkable, as the resistance represents an impressive achievement.
In 2019 the oldest Centre for Dutch Studies in the UK, housed at the University College London (UCL), celebrates its centenary. One may ask if there is much cause for celebration.
Throughout history, the Low Countries would often be defined by their interactions with great powers nearby. This began with the Romans.
What's at stake on Sunday? Political scientist Herwig Reynaert is looking ahead.
The artist dismantles stereotypes about women and people of colour.
The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art wants to present “cultural history 2.0”. That's why it has been rethought as a computer game.
The artist from The Hague builds overwhelming experiences in the form of large installations.
Belgium has an interim minority government to deal with the corona crisis. The emergency has exacerbated the division in the country. Will Belgium fall apart, or is it actually a laboratory for Europe?
They may not paint a cheerful picture of man and the world, but the books of Willem Frederik Hermans are worth re-reading, says writer Henk Pröpper.
Birney's throat-grabbing novel 'The Interpreter from Java' about the colonial past in the Dutch East Indies highlights the lasting consequences of a civil war in a penetrating way.
This week's Friday Verses are written by Dominique De Groen. We translated her poem ‘Dreaming of the Sacrificial Lamb - Dream #1’.
In the Netherlands the harsh winter of 1944-1945 became a symbol of the people’s suffering during World War II.
Many European rulers gave speeches during the corona crisis. How did they infuse their words with power? What meanings did Willem-Alexander’s concerned look and Filip’s stiff facial expression lend to their messages? And who gave the best s...
Flanders has only recently recognised the value of its historic theatre scenery. Experts are figuring out now how it can be preserved and best be used again.
The work of the Antwerp-based duo raises questions about public space and society.
British poet Will Stone explores the importance of Stefan Zweig's early friendship with the oft-overlooked Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren.
Have you ever wondered why orange is the colour of the Netherlands? You find the answer in the sixteenth century.
Our selection of recent university press publications in English on the Low Countries.
After five years of renovation and decolonisation, the AfricaMuseum in Tervuren opened again. Dutch writer of Congolese descent, Kiza Magendane visited the museum with mixed feelings.
According to historian Benjamin Kaplan, the new English translation of the most read Dutch history book will attract new generations of readers.
About a quarter of a million Asians were present on and near the front in Belgium and Northern France during the First World War.
From the 16th century onwards, the centre of European printmaking was in Flanders and the Netherlands. Printmaking did more even than painting to familiarise Europe with art from the Low Countries.
Hind Fraihi believes that we have to face the reality of Islamist street terrorism and eradicate it using both hard and soft approaches.
Ostend is different. Other resorts along Belgium’s North Sea coastline are small, touristy places. But Ostend is a real city.
The Dutch have a constant willingness to compromise and whose aim above all is a general consensus.
The Low Countries' view of the United States has gradually changed from admiration to sadness and frustration.
Even in the Low Countries, not everyone is convinced that the anniversary should be celebrated with much fanfare.
Built on a former mining site, creative hub C-mine is more than a reminder of the underground past.
The Leonardo Da Vinci of the Low Countries is responsible for many revolutionary discoveries in physics, architecture, mathematics and linguistics.
On 31 March 2020, we celebrated Marga Minco’s 100th birthday. Her oeuvre is an incessant attempt to come to terms with the war past by constantly creating new literary variants of it.
An estimated 600,000 enslaved Africans were traded by the Dutch from West Africa to the Atlantic. Almost half of them were shipped by the West India Company.
Belgium was one of Europe’s founders and main supporters, but in recent times the consensus for the European project has been somewhat worn down.
Where are the official apologies for the sufferings the Dutch and Belgians caused in their former colonies?
Remembrance has replaced history as the dominant way of working through our feelings about the Second World War.
The second stage of our cycling trip on the Via Belgica takes us from Tournai to Liberchies.
What did the Dutch know, through the ages, about what went on in their colonies, in the East and West Indies? Ewald Vanvught gives an outline of the current changing view of the colonial period in the Netherlands with reference to four monu...
The festival season has barely started, but, already, the Ghent artist with Caribbean roots seems to be making her mark this year.
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Great Britain in 'Reynard the Fox', a masterpiece of medieval Dutch literature.
For three centuries, the barge between Bruges and Ghent was a popular and luxurious means of transport.
No fewer than 76 different flowers and plants have already been identified on the Ghent Altarpiece. And all that greenery is rich with significance.
No house is more Dutch than the terraced house. Yet this type of architecture has only recently come to be valued as it should. Time to redress the balance.
Welcome to the surreal worlds of the Antwerp-based artist with Portuguese roots, whose characters’ hair blows with the wind.
In the 13th century, wool was the most important commodity in Flanders, with Bruges as the epicentre of the wool trade. The industry determined the political, social and economic relations and left its mark on architecture.
The only remaining professional ballet company in Belgium celebrates. But the future is uncertain.
Who's helping who? That is the question in Siel Verhanneman's poignant debut novel, 'Or else everyone dies'.
Dutch art often appears in debates about identity, and this always happens in terms of what is 'own' and 'foreign' to it. Rembrandt in particular turns out to be very 'malleable'.
These Flemish artists and organisations across cultural disciplines have been rewarded with an Ultima for their outstanding contributions.
Hind Fraihi argues that the Decolonise Movement should face its own excesses and focus on real problems, like institutional racism.
Cross-border solidarity in Belgium and the Netherlands is more popular than the political debate suggests.
In her essay ‘Connection in Confusion’, Hind Fraihi gives Vooruit Arts Centre in Ghent some suggestions on how it should deal with a world that is becoming increasingly diverse and colourful.
Twenty-four Flemish writers and poets wrote each other letters during the first weeks of the coronavirus lockdown. This is the correspondence between Jeroen Olyslaegers and Siel Verhanneman.
The Dutch haven’t always been so mad about bikes. That close bond with cycling crept in quietly.
If we consider the history of the First World War from the perspective of its enduring legacy, 1917 was the most crucial year of all.
Thierry Baudet and Dries Van Langenhove receive far more attention from the media than is justified by their importance.
The Ghent-born American inventor of Bakelite brought science and industry closer together.
The Dutch artist is not afraid to unravel the loose threads that constitute the fabric of society.
According to Hind Fraihi rabid Black Lives Matters supporters view colour blindness as a form of micro-aggression designed to erase ethnic identity and experience.
For some, he was a servant, for others a vanquished devil. However, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats sheds a different light on the origins of the controversial Black Pete tradition.
The Amsterdam house where Jewish writer Etty Hillesum wrote her famous diary during WWII is in danger of being demolished. Philippe Noble, who translated her work into French, tells us why the writings she left behind are still as powerful ...
The young Dutch artist is as fascinated by famous paintings as he is by trivial images.
The Antwerp painter has her first international solo exhibition at the Castor Gallery in London.
Antwerp painter Jules Schmalzigaug (1882-1917) deserves more prominence in the canon of the European avant-garde.
The Belgian-Bolivian artist translates form and material into sound, building objects in clay and playing them to produce atmospheric soundscapes.
Flanders' most colourful and most cosmopolitan rocker turned 70.
In her debut novel, Valerie Tack unpicks skilfully how a young woman, marked by life, slowly but surely turns into a cold-blooded murderer.
Substantially declining student numbers, reduced social status, dropping budgets: Dutch studies is encountering heavy weather.
This debut is a dreamy novel about the love of trees and the loneliness of surviving in a new country.
Between the two world wars, a strange kind of snobbery arose among the Colombian elite: the siren call of distant Brussels.
Was the Dutch writer really such an anti-colonial rebel? And what about his preference for young girls?
Mariken Heitman has written a penetrating debut about gender identity.
In the Flemish music industry, pop and rock photographer Alex Vanhee has been a household name for more than 25 years now.
In his debut novel ‘Uiterste dagen’, Ferdinand Lankamp undertakes a search for our motives, which can sometimes be very dark.
Regardless of how long NATO remains standing, strengthening military cooperation between European countries is essential.
Forty years after his death, the novels of Louis Paul Boon, Flanders' most anti-authoritarian writer, are still worth reading.
Dutch biodesigner Emma van der Leest researches how she can make sustainable materials with bacteria and algae. Her work is part of the group exhibition Polarities, on show at MU in Eindhoven until 1 March 2020.
Thanks to the travels of musicians between France and Flanders, the border city Tournai was able to develop as an international music centre in the late Middle Ages.
Belgium's oldest city has refreshed its identity. Thanks to the Romans.
Four years after her victory lap through the Low Countries, Lize Spit will now delight English-language readers with her translated debut novel.
In the late eighteenth century, various ships departed from hotspot Ostend to the coasts of Africa to exchange goods for people.
The flamboyant South African writer has eighty candles to blow out. Portrait of a complex artist.
The Bozar Museum in Brussels is presenting a retrospective of the work of Roger Raveel. This major, radical and non-conformist painter would have turned 100 in 2021.
Travel diaries written by Dutch men and women born more than two centuries ago suggest that stress is not a recent phenomenon.
How can we counteract the decline in reading, especially among young people? Former publisher Henk Pröpper has a message for politicians.
In his book 'Leopold's Legacy', photographer Oliver Leu is researching the various forms of representation of the colonial history of Congo in Belgium.
Right-wing extremism and Muslim extremism penetrate deeper into society, even into institutions. Meanwhile a much larger problem is overshadowed: inequality.
In his playful works Kasper Bosmans investigates histories of traditions and objects creating new narratives to offer a critical view on cultural and political relics.
Pop music sung in dialect is on the march in the Netherlands. Why?
Calling Kortrijk a hidden pearl along the River Lys might be too much honour. Yet there are numerous treasures to be found.
Freed from the need to be working the land due to the improvements in agriculture, people in the Low Countries began congregating in urban centres. For the first time, they were able to put their fingers onto the scales of power.
As a socially desirable phenomenon, laughter is the paragon of happiness. But what if that laugh cannot be sustained?
One hundred years ago the world encountered a Spanish flu pandemic which cost an estimated 50 to 100 million lives. But in the Netherlands it was long underestimated by the government. Medical historian Leo van Bergen sketches the devastati...
One hundred years ago, Paul van Ostaijen wrote his famous poetry collection 'Bezette Stad' (Occupied City). Dutch poet Iduna Paalman finds in the occupied city of Van Ostaijen the blueprint for the infected city of today.
Rotterdam used to be a tough industrial city. Not any longer. It’s now got the energy of New York combined with the liveability of Copenhagen.
After 1945, Belgium and the Netherlands rolled out a monumental social security system that brought prosperity and emancipation. Today, this welfare state has come under pressure.
Jeroen Olyslaegers unravels the mystery of the most significant Renaissance painter of both Flanders and the Netherlands.
Seventy-five years on from the end of World War II, the differences between Belgium and the Netherlands from an economic perspective are significant and growing.
Seventy-five years after the declaration of Indonesian independence, it is high time for apologies to be made at the level of government, and for a national memory that is more inclusive.
In her masterful novel 'Your Story, My Story' Dutch author Connie Palmen gives Ted Hughes a voice.
What is the result of the deal between Google Books and the Ghent University Library?
In our book 'Standing Tall in Babel. Languages in Europe' (2007) Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk wrote an essay on her mother tongue, Polish. Or is it her father tongue?
The new director of Ons Erfdeel regrets that the debate about Flemish self-awareness has degenerated into a polarisation between the populist right and the tendentious left.
In 1302, an unexpected victory of an untrained Flemish infantry militia over a professional force of French cavalry ended the French annexation of the County of Flanders.