High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Publications

High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Article

Oeroeg and the Dutch-East Indian Trauma

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

Article

Jan Tinbergen, Economist and Visionary

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 ...

Article

A Traveller through Time. The Work of Marcel Möring

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...

Article

Flemish Film Beyond the Borders of Flanders?

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...

Article

A Sea Change in Ostend

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.

Article

Where Rubens Laid His Head to Rest

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.

Article

Virtual Dutch

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...

Series

Moving Verses

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 ...

Article

The Other Languages of the Netherlands

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...

Article

Unnecessary Words Don’t Exist

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.

Article

Managing Climate Change. Adopting a Macho or a Modest Approach?

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...

Article

Tropical Medicine in Antwerp

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...

Article

Bring on the Language Police!

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?

Article

Long Live the Crisis of Democracy?

Just going by today’s headlines, the end of Western democracy seems imminent. However, is a crisis not the essence of a democracy?

Article

I Am Lonely, Therefore I Exist

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'.

Article

Chronicle of a Crisis Foretold. The Judicial System in Belgium

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...

Article

In Search of a Language Utopia

‘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?

Article

A Stranger on His Own Land

Right-wing extremism and Muslim extremism penetrate deeper into society, even into institutions. Meanwhile a much larger problem is overshadowed: inequality.

Article

A Total Eclipse of the Heart. About Dirk van Bastelaere

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...

Article

Striving for a World Without Bars

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.

Article

Belgium Is Europe in Miniature

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?

Article

Belgian Welfare Reform

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...

Article

Rebel with a Cause: Father Damien on Molokai

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.

Article

How the World Views Dutch and Dutch Speakers

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?

Article

Farewell to the Serial. About Comic Strips and Graphic Novels

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...

Article

Yes, But. Rembrandt as an Unstable Medium

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 ...

Article

Who Gave the Most Royal Corona Speech?

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...

Article

Tourists, Go Home!

Tourism is increasingly becoming more of a curse than a blessing in Amsterdam, Bruges, Maastricht and numerous other places in the Low Countries.

Article

Oh America, Where Art Thou?

The Low Countries' view of the United States has gradually changed from admiration to sadness and frustration.

Article

Solidarity Is the Highest Form of Culture

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...

Article

The Best at Being Alone

Author Daniel Rovers thinks there is something wrong with the way loneliness is often written about.

Article

The Noble Beauty of the Terraced House

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.

Article

A Black Lion of Flanders

Roland Gunst – half Flemish, half Congolese – uses installations, performances, film and video to explore the search for his own identity.

Article

The Fishy History of Dutch Herring

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.

Article

The Future of Historical Dutch Is International

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.

Article

The Malleable Rembrandt

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'.

Column

The L-Spot

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.

Article

How Missing Soldiers Regain Their Identity

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.

Article

In Motion. Animated Film in Flanders

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...

Article

The World According to Gerardus

Derek Blyth pays tribute to the man who has shown us the way for more than four hundred years: the Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator.

Article

Don’t Worry, Be Hasselt

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.

Article

Ode to Mechelen

On a trip to Mechelen, Derek Blyth discovers lost mediaeval rivers, Beethoven’s Flemish roots and the world’s oldest carillon school.

Article

Utrecht Is More Than the Birthplace of a Cute Rabbit

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.

Article

Sanne Pieters: Milked Out

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.'

Article

Mad about Geel

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.

Sign in

Register or sign in to read or purchase an article.

Sorry

You are visiting this website through a public account.
This allows you to read all articles, but not buy any products.

Important to know


When you subscribe, you give permission for an automatic re-subscription. You can stop this at any time by contacting philippe.vanwalleghem@onserfdeel.be.