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The Low Countries
This English-language blog, which is linked to the yearbook, The Low Countries, offers news about language, culture and society in the Low Countries for a broad foreign public.
At the start of July the ANDAM Fashion Award was presented for the 25th time in Paris, this time to Dutch top designer Iris van Herpen, who was nominated for the second time in a row. The prize gives young, promising designers the chance to show their work and to get a foot in the door in the fashion world. An article about Van Herpen’s work will appear in the 23rd edition of The Low Countries yearbook.
Migration is timeless. Flanders, Belgium and the Netherlands now attract many immigrants, but between 1850 and 1930 many people left Flanders in the hope of a better life, driven to it by economic circumstances which were far from rose-tinted, and often dire, especially in the countryside. The crisis of the home textiles industry and failed harvests of the 1840s triggered the migration, making Arm Vlaanderen ("poor Flanders") a harsh reality.
The exhibition and associated book Farmer finds land document those days.
The Mauritshuis in The Hague has reopened to the public after several years of renovations. This relatively small museum near the Binnenhof, the beating heart of Dutch politics, is a treasure-trove of masterpieces of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The collection of around 800 works was largely formed in the eighteenth century by stadtholder William V.
You probably haven’t missed the fact that the FIFA World Cup started in Brazil last week. For the first time since 1998 both of the Low Countries, Belgium and the Netherlands, are in. Yesterday the Belgian Red Devils won their first match against Algeria, the Netherlands succesfully clashed swords with Spain last Friday and is up against Australia this evening. We’re not going to speculate here about who has the best chances. Only the football gods can decide that. But did you know that exotic Brazil shares a piece of its past with the Netherlands and Flanders?
The Dutch Foundation for Literature presents Wanderlust, a new programme for developing literary talent, running from 2014 to 2016. Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science, Jet Bussemaker, has provided €100,000 annually to enable talented writers and intermediaries to collaborate with artists abroad or attend international events.
Volume 38 of Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies is a special issue on Dutch and Flemish ‘Strangers’, Protestant refugees from the Low Countries who fled to Norfolk in the sixteenth century.
Saturday 7th June saw the opening of the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. Curator Rem Koolhaas gave this edition the title Fundamentals, presenting himself and all 65 participating countries with a complex issue. What are the key moments of the past century of modernisation? Has that modernisation led to the same architecture everywhere? This makes for a radical biennale, different from all past events. No ‘best of contemporary architecture’ this time: instead we have an intensive, critical study of one theme.
Wooded Landscape with Merrymakers in a Cart (ca. 1665) is a masterpiece by Meindert Hobbema, one of the famous Golden Age landscape painters. It has now been donated to the Dutch Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. What do you see on this exceptionally well-preserved landscape?
Since tropical storm Sandy flooded the southern tip of Manhattan in 2012, New York has known that it needs to arm itself against storms and rising sea levels. Dutch people were involved in four of the six winning projects in a competition to come up with the best plans.