It is an indisputable fact that the existing linguistic variety is rapidly being eroded in virtually every part of the world. But if the Netherlands wishes to remain a Dutch-speaking country, while at the same time benefiting from its situa...
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.
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.
Flemish artist Thomas Renwart creates contemporary tapestries resembling botanical gardens.
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.
Water shortage is becoming ever more serious and is now causing problems with shipping, agriculture and subsidence.
The main problem with the film ‘Oeroeg', based on Hella S. Haase's autobiographical novel, is the rather simplistic approach to the so-called (post-)colonial Dutch-East Indian trauma
Professor Jan Tinbergen, who was bom in 1903 and died on 9 June 1994, was in some respects an extraordinary man and in others quite the reverse. His ideas and theories bore witness to exceptional gifts and very high moral standards. In his ...
Today, as a result of almost four decades of innovative sociolinguistic research by scholars such as Durk Gorter of the Fryske Akademy in Leeuwarden, we are rather well-informed about the actual state of the Frisian language. But although i...
Linguist Fieke Van der Gucht declares her love to a comma.
With his first novel, ‘Mendel's Legacy', Marcel Möring was at once hailed by Dutch critics as a major author, one who dared to raise wide-ranging problems. They liked the way he did not go for ironic solutions but rather remained weighty an...
The author points out that the Dutch policy preparation regarding environment is without doubt superior to that in Flanders. However, this need not necessarily mean that the quality of the environment policy itself or, more important, the q...
Flanders and the Netherlands are fertile ground for the collaborative economy because they are densely populated and very connected. But is it a success?
Linguist Marten van der Meulen thinks these popular lists of supposedly untranslatable words are strange.
Finding new uses for parish churches is not yet a problem in Flanders since very few of them are redundant. Several aspects of the situation are very different from that in the Netherlands. The churches are managed by church councils called...
One of the problems with which small film-producing entities such as Flanders struggle is that within a context of limited means it is difficult to produce a sufficient critical mass. Artistic recognition, however, and awards arrived event...
The restored portico and garden pavilion won in the most sought-after category.
On a visit to the Flemish coastal town of Ostend, Derek Blyth discovers grand architecture, a world-famous soul singer and the perfect shrimp croquette.
Looking for exciting places in the Low Countries, British journalist Derek Blyth stumbled upon the castle where baroque painter Rubens spent the last years of his life.
In Daniël Samkalden's ambitious debut novel 'Nova', the three main characters become more involved with one another than they would like.
The English language knows 'they' for one person. But in Dutch a gender-neutral alternative to 'he' and 'she' is still a long way off. This may have to do with a grammatical rule that Dutch speakers consider important.
Dutch studies in Britain are not dead or dying. But numbers, and consequently resources, are limited and, if anything, dwindling. Virtual Dutch was devised as at least a partial response to this problem. It is an alliance between the main u...
Getting young people excited about contemporary Dutch-language poetry. With that goal in mind, Flemish-Dutch cultural institution Ons Erfdeel vzw and Poëziecentrum vzw joined forces. Their collaboration resulted in the video poetry project ...
The original paint layer has been exposed again, revealing details that have remained hidden for many years.
Salverda discusses the multilingualism of Dutch society as the consequence of continuing migration. The strong, open economy attracts people to the Netherlands from a multitude of countries, so that today over a hundred languages are spoken...
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.
Interest in the work of Flemish woodcut artist Frans Masereel has increased substantially in the US and the UK. Masereel biographer Joris van Parys knows how that came about.
Under the headline ‘Macho Plants’, a Dutch-Flemish gardening magazine recently published an eye-catching article describing ten garden plants which are not only resistant to exceptionally heavy rain but also to long periods of drought. ‘Ma...
The Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp was founded in 1931 as a private institution. Nowadays it is linked with the University Hospital of Antwerp. It plays a vital role as a link between the populations in developing countries on on...
When the new Dutch cabinet took office in 2006, tackling the problem of deprived areas was high on its agenda. This was in response to the electorate's evident demand for positive solutions to crime and the general sense of insecurity. Dur...
Words become outlawed, and people with different opinions soon accuse the other party of engaging in ‘framing’. Are the language police just round the corner?
Have you ever wondered where those cargo bikes come from?
Flanders' most colourful and most cosmopolitan rocker turned 70.
The internationally renowned essayist has been awarded the Golden Quill for his contribution to the international political debate and his outstanding service to the Dutch language.
Just going by today’s headlines, the end of Western democracy seems imminent. However, is a crisis not the essence of a democracy?
Linguist Marten van der Meulen is fascinated by a special phenomenon: the Escher sentence. And although it can drive you crazy, he is happy to provide some tips on how to create ambiguous sentences.
Where are the official apologies for the sufferings the Dutch and Belgians caused in their former colonies?
The Dutch writer and visual artist Nicole Montagne is searching for 'imaginary lonelinesses' with, among others, Hopper, Spilliaert and the 'unknown girl from the Seine River'.
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.
Is there such a thing as typical Dutch or Flemish humour? And if so, what are the differences and similarities?
The Belgian judicial system is failing. This is not a conclusion which has been reached recently, following the failure of judicial bodies in a number of cases involving missing children and the consequent mass protests. The maladies of the...
A captivating debut about a son who may want to break away from his mother, but gradually understands that this is impossible.
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?
Get to know Amsterdam and its inhabitants through its carved façade stones decorating the canalside houses.
Hind Fraihi warns us of the growing influence of ‘a second generation of Salafist organizers’.
Younes Laaguidi made a poetic film after the poem ‘Houston we have a problem’ by Lotte Dodion.
‘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?
Right-wing extremism and Muslim extremism penetrate deeper into society, even into institutions. Meanwhile a much larger problem is overshadowed: inequality.
It is one of the pillars of Dirk van Bastelaere's poetry that a poem is never self-evident. The problem this poet is struggling with is poetry itself. He is trying to keep contemporary poetry alive by thinking it through thoroughly to the e...
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.
Anne Marijn Voorhorst looks at a mustard pot made by Jean Baptiste Claude Odiot around 1819.
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.
Hind Fraihi argues that the Decolonise Movement should face its own excesses and focus on real problems, like institutional racism.
Hind Fraihi believes that we have to face the reality of Islamist street terrorism and eradicate it using both hard and soft approaches.
The Netherlands celebrates extensively that women are allowed to vote there since 1919. Yet the struggle is far from over.
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.
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.
Migration offers good pickings for populists, while those who take an honest look at the subject find they are up against a headwind. A double interview with migration specialists.
Thanks to two biographies published at the same time, the Dutch physicist and Nobel Prize winner Hendrik Lorentz finally gets the attention he deserves.
The Dutch author absorbs influences from all major comic book traditions and aims her work at an eminently international audience.
With a mere 58 cm, Manneken Pis has grown from a fountain into the symbol of Brussels, known throughout the world.
According to journalist Huib Modderkolk, the Belgian and Dutch governments are taking nowhere near enough protective measures against digital hacking and sabotage.
How can we counteract the decline in reading, especially among young people? Former publisher Henk Pröpper has a message for politicians.
According to historian Benjamin Kaplan, the new English translation of the most read Dutch history book will attract new generations of readers.
How to deal with Dutch words, concepts and expressions that simply cannot be translated into another language?
Which objects are we talking about exactly? Who claims them? And what should be done with them in the country of origin?
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.
What has happened to the East Germans since 9 November 1989? They had celebrated the prompt reunification with exuberant joy. However today, the gap between East and West still exists.
Even in the Low Countries, not everyone is convinced that the anniversary should be celebrated with much fanfare.
The Ghent-born American inventor of Bakelite brought science and industry closer together.
Students from two British Universities translated an excerpt from a theatre production by Flemish actor, writer, rapper and podcaster Rashif El Kaoui.
A young, progressive generation is genuinely interested in Belgium’s colonial past, mainly because they realise that the origin of today’s racism can often be found in this period.
This Easter weekend our video poetry project 'Bewogen Verzen' kicked off with an inspiration session in Amsterdam.
Four leading Dutch historians call for insights from the past to be used to defeat today's pandemic.
The anxieties around the status of the language we speak, find a precedent in the nineteenth-century Netherlands.
Veneboer wrote a dialogue in response to a portrait of Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian independence movement during the French Revolution.
Confronted with challenging societal, historical and ethical questions, many museums are trying to redefine their role. MSK Director Manfred Sellink makes some proposals.
In his call to remain alert to a new anti-Semitism, Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg referred to the Holocaust during National Remembrance Day. According to Hind Fraihi, he shouldn't have done that.
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.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is presenting artist's portraits in an exhibition on identity and image.
When Flemish author Dimitri Verhulst (Aalst, 1972) took the literary world by surprise with his tragicomic autobiographical novel The Misfortunates (De helaasheid der dingen) in 2006 he was still a complete unkown. Of the nine books he had...
Substantially declining student numbers, reduced social status, dropping budgets: Dutch studies is encountering heavy weather.
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?
Between 1816 and 1919, Neutral Moresnet was a geographical curiosity on the border triangle between Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
The young Dutch artist has built up a diverse oeuvre in which language is increasingly prominent both as a theme and as a medium.
Regardless of how long NATO remains standing, strengthening military cooperation between European countries is essential.
What makes you a mother? Fen Verstappen looks for answers in her touching debut novel ‘Moeder af’.
Belgian welfare policy is responding to a variety of problems and pursuing several objectives: The author distinguishes four agendas for welfare policy. Two agendas are already old; one is new. Alas, none can be abandoned for the others. Bu...
On 11 October 2009, the Flemish missionary, known as Father Damien, was declared a saint for his extraordinary service in caring for the lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in the 19th Century.
The English language has many names and expressions in which the word Dutch is used. Its meaning is often negative.
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?
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.
From Nazi Germany to the current refugee crisis: Hind Fraihi argues antisemites have always found ways to blame the Jews.
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.
A new biography gives the seventeenth-century Dutch astronomer and inventor the credit he deserves.
The bad boy of Dutch cinema came to the Cannes Film Festival to please with a lesbian nun drama.
In his bestseller, the award-winning Dutch non-fiction writer searches for answers to anthropology’s most fundamental questions.
The Dutch artist is not afraid to unravel the loose threads that constitute the fabric of society.
Rembrandt studies are a nerve-racking field. It is nearly impossible to write a proper paragraph about the artist or his work without stepping on the toes – or kicking the shins, depending on your mood – of a colleague. Part of this is due ...
The artistic diversity of comic strips in the Low Countries is greater than ever. Yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to earn a living wage. There is still a market for illustrators. But for the makers of comic strips, the possibilit...
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...
Tourism is increasingly becoming more of a curse than a blessing in Amsterdam, Bruges, Maastricht and numerous other places in the Low Countries.
The Low Countries' view of the United States has gradually changed from admiration to sadness and frustration.
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.
Femke Vindevogel has written a blackly comic tale about a quest for one’s true self on the disadvantaged side of town.
The Flemish government has proposed severe cuts in arts funding over the next few years. In 2011, the cultural sector in the Netherlands was forced to make do with a budget cut of about 200 million euro. What can the Flemish artists learn f...
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.
Eighteen young writers have brought artefacts from the Rijksmuseum to life. Dagmar Dirkx looks at the painting 'Monk Meditating near a Ruin by Moonlight' by Frederik Marinus Kruseman.
Thierry Baudet and Dries Van Langenhove receive far more attention from the media than is justified by their importance.
Author Daniel Rovers thinks there is something wrong with the way loneliness is often written about.
Flemish and Dutch people have a totally different relationship with their language. Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere explains why.
Nxt Museum represents both a new museum for Amsterdam and an art institution for a new generation.
Writer Aster Berkhof has passed away. For a long time, he was one of the most read authors in Flanders. What should we remember of his oeuvre?
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.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen made its depot fully accessible to the public. It delivers a special experience in a new architectural icon.
Roland Gunst – half Flemish, half Congolese – uses installations, performances, film and video to explore the search for his own identity.
'Seeking a cross-border measuring tool', a study of the interconnectedness in the Flemish-Dutch theatre sector.
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.
Hannes Dedeurwaerder's semi-autobiographical debut novel about his upbringing in the Pentecostal community is an unusual glimpse into an otherwise closed world.
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.
As a socially desirable phenomenon, laughter is the paragon of happiness. But what if that laugh cannot be sustained?
The Dutch critics unanimously proclaimed her poetry debut a masterpiece.
Meet one of the Netherlands’ most exciting contemporary composers.
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.
The boundary between their own lives and acting is intentionally kept thin by the members of theater collective Wunderbaum.
At the beginning of the First World War, one million Belgians fled to the Netherlands. “More so than the Afghans, Ukrainians now are more similar to Belgian refugees back then.”
The work of the Flemish priest and poet Guido Gezelle has repeatedly been linked with both British and American literature and culture. And not without reason.
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.
Was the Dutch writer really such an anti-colonial rebel? And what about his preference for young girls?
After the First World War, architect Huib Hoste helped rebuild the Flemish Westhoek. But his innovative ideas quickly clashed with residents and their yearning for the past.
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld is the youngest writer to win the International Booker Prize, which celebrates the finest fiction translated into English from around the world.
John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, asserted himself as the dominant power broker in the Low Countries of the late 14th, early 15th century, showing the ever-restless towns what might happen to them should they rebel against his authority.
Remembrance has replaced history as the dominant way of working through our feelings about the Second World War.
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'.
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.
After eleven years of renovations, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp is opening its doors once again. It intends to assume a leading role in the Flemish museum scene.
We have known for a long time what happens when one colonises a country. But what happens when one wants to get rid of the ex-colony, but can't, and yet wishes to deal with it in a proper manner? Post-colonialism is a thing of the past, you...
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.
The Flemish film policy of the past twenty years is finally bearing fruit.
Writers Ivo Victoria, Sarah Meuleman and Geert Buelens all found it liberating to move to the Netherlands. But it wasn’t long before they encountered the downsides of their destination country.
About the state of the animation film in Flanders, including a survey of the most important filmmakers. Unfortunately, neither the national radio and television station BRTN nor the commercial TV station VTM have shown any interest either i...
In the Low Countries too, the use of profanity by politicians in office is no longer an exception. Is this profane language spontaneous and innocent, or is there a calculated strategy behind it?
Students from two British Universities translated an extract from the most recent novel of the Surinamese Dutch writer Tessa Leuwsha.
Derek Blyth pays tribute to the man who has shown us the way for more than four hundred years: the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator.
Seventy years ago, the Korean War broke out. Belgium and the Netherlands too sent soldiers to Asia. They were all volunteers who decided to sign up for the most diverse reasons.
Milo Rau and his theater company NTGent adapted the Greek tragedy The Oresteia. Editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere left the performance with mixed feelings.
At the age of 75, Flemish roots rocker Roland Van Campenhout still plays in the sandpit.
Thanks to letters captured by English privateers, historical linguists can investigate how ordinary people wrote in the Dutch Republic.
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?
On a trip to the capital of the Belgian province of Limburg, Derek Blyth finds comforting food, innovative architecture and 25 places to be happy.
Five hundred years after his birth, publishers can still learn from his cultural entrepreneurship.
On a trip to Mechelen, Derek Blyth discovers lost mediaeval rivers, Beethoven’s Flemish roots and the world’s oldest carillon school.
Pinkster came across to the United States with the 17-th century Dutch settlers.
When the counts of Holland wanted to break the autonomy of Friesland, they incurred the wrath of the Frisian freedom fighters.
Hind Fraihi suggests a digital detox. ‘Why not try a Digital Free Month to drastically free ourselves from social media?’
The museum in the heart of the vegetable region near Mechelen presents forgotten horticultural material and cultivation methods of yesteryear in an interactive way.
Football is unquestionably big business, but many clubs and organisations also use their popularity to engage in community service projects.
Utrecht is so much more than a pleasant day trip from Amsterdam. Discover its picturesque canals, lively pub culture, the world’s largest bike parking garage and a cute little rabbit that pops up everywhere in town.
The Rotterdam-based duo explores the human dimension in technology with interactive design.
How do we have to treat books that have fallen out of favour or have become taboo due to a changing Zeitgeist and more progressive perceptions?
No matter where you are in the world, the 1928 Olympic Games that were held in Amsterdam have left their mark.
Flemish soprano Lisa Mostin sings the most coveted parts in the opera repertoire, from Stuttgart to Ramallah and from Amsterdam to Berlin.
In her debut novel, Katrien Scheir portrays the often very difficult position of women in a #MeToo situation.
Broadcasters and major news brands focus more and more on podcasting. What about its popularity in Flanders and the Netherlands?
On 10 April 2020, the Dutch poet Hans Verhagen passed away at the age of 81 in his hometown Amsterdam.
Loss of their mother tongue among children of Syrian refugees in Belgium leads to conflicting ideas about their identity.
Derek Blyth lets himself be overwhelmed by the multi-talent Rubens. Or is it by his love for the human flesh?
The 1971 farmers’ demonstration In Brussels was the tipping point for our agriculture sector.
These Flemish artists and organisations across cultural disciplines have been rewarded with an Ultima for their outstanding contributions.
Eindhoven-based story designer artist Alice Wong is interested in how reality is shaped.
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.
On a visit to the Flemish city of Sint-Niklaas, Derek Blyth discovers the largest market square in Belgium, the biggest cigar in the world and the greatest atlas ever printed.
A big survey shows that Dutch and Flemish people who move abroad to Anglophone countries don’t speak Dutch quite as often as their other emigrated compatriots do.
At Saint Petersburg State University, translation studies and interpreting are important subjects within the study of Dutch language and culture.
Despite being so young, the work of Bendt Eyckermans is sought after by collectors all over the world.
The proverbial rivalry between the two football teams from Bruges dates back to the end of the 19th century.
A still life with cheese, that’s all Sanne Pieters needs to dissect gender roles. ‘I watch you a lot: you and that favourite cow of yours.'
Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys converted the Belgian Pavilion into a folk museum that spotlights humankind.
When Dutch children's literature deals with taboos, some books are too unconventional for the anglophone market.
Imaginative content, physical extremes and remarkable links and contrasts have made De Warme Winkel a favourite among theatre critics and audiences alike
Our selection of recent university press publications in English on the Low Countries.
An exploration of Dutch-language music export between Belgium and the Netherlands.
Our best literature stories of 2020, handpicked by the editor.
The cultural heritage of the early Dutch settlers in South Africa still plays an important role in the life of this ‘rainbow nation’.
On a trip to Geel, Derek Blyth discovers a murdered Irish saint, a community that cares for strangers, and a mellow city that is simply crazy about reggae.
The Belgian-Bolivian artist translates form and material into sound, building objects in clay and playing them to produce atmospheric soundscapes.
The work of the Antwerp-based duo raises questions about public space and society.
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.
At the beginning of September 1944, 75 years ago, the first allied forces entered Belgium to liberate the country from the German occupier.
Discover the ‘TraumA’-inspired creations by thirteen artists and architects. Until 24 October 2021.
Research institute Huygens ING will set up a new website to access and study medieval manuscripts in Dutch collections.
The Cathedral crypt has been extensively adapted for visitors to experience the artwork’s history, via new visual technology.
'Angels of Amsterdam' is a virtual reality experience based on the true stories of four 17th century women fighting for their rights.
Young people make up a large proportion of society, and yet they very rarely feature in the media. That's why youth news agency StampMedia was founded.
We join Dagmar Bosma as she questions a cabinet made by Charles-Guillaume Diehl in c. 1867 – c. 1880.
Nine youngsters from the Low Countries created poetic films based on their favourite Dutch-language poem.
Since the original Dutch version of this book came out in January 2019 it has dominated the bestseller lists.
The Antwerp-based artist paints colourful ideal worlds, building an ever-expanding dream universe that combines personal mythology with a close reading of art history.
The world-famous Dutch private library will be made more accessible for scientific research.
A leading American genre painter of the nineteenth century jump-started his career in Germany and Holland.