2014 was a year dominated as no other by commemorations of the First World War. Ravaged. Art and Culture in Times of Conflict, the catalogue for the eponymous exhibition that was organised in 2014 at M museum in Leuven, analyses the ambivalent relationship between art and conflict.
The Low Countries
Deze Engelstalige blog, gelinkt aan het jaarboek The Low Countries, brengt nieuws over taal, cultuur en maatschappij in de Lage Landen voor een breed buitenlands publiek.
A sad anniversary. 1915 was the year of the first gas attack and of the Second Battle of Ypres, but it was also the year that John McCrae wrote his poem ‘In Flanders Fields'. However, the Great War was about more than gas attacks and the despair of the poet-soldiers in the muddy trenches. During the first weeks after the German invasion of Belgium, it was largely a mobile war. In ‘The Rape of Belgium' Larry Zuckerman wants to expose the wartime suffering of the Belgians, with no fewer than two million Belgians fleeing the country. In 1916, there was even a sizeable Belgian industrial zone in Birtley, with a Belgian town-within-a-town for the employees of the National Projectile Factory: Elisabethville, where even the streets had ‘Belgian' names.
Ons Erfdeel vzw asked seven actors to perform poetry and prose from 1914-1918 in Paris and Brussels. They represented seven languages, seven soldiers and seven nations or powers. Two MCs recounted the war in Dutch and French. What went on beforehand? What followed? This multilingual, multimedia performance presented the Great War in word, image and music.
The history of the Adornes Domain is impressive: for six centuries it remained in the hands of the same family, even surviving the French revolution. Today the seventeenth generation is subject to Duke and Duchess Maximilien and Véronique of Limburg Stirum, patrons of the Jerusalem foundation and managers of the domain since 2000. Their motto is ‘Sharing to bring to life – bringing to life to preserve.’ They have also opened the domain to visitors, socio-cultural projects and exhibitions. A living heritage.
In spring 2019 the Flemish-Dutch cultural institution Ons Erfdeel vzw will begin an ambitious English-language web platform: www.thelowcountries.eu.
This platform will provide information, commentary and reflection on culture and society in the Low Countries.
Tom Christiaens will take up position as the platform’s coordinator and editor on 1 September 2018.
Tom Christiaens (1971) studied journalism in Ghent and Utrecht. He has worked as an editor for various media organisations, from magazines and newspapers (De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad) to television (Focus-WTV). He has written various contributions to Ons Erfdeel’s publications. At Howest (Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen, a college in West-Flanders) he was the founder and coordinator of youth radio and media lab Quindo. He currently works as a cross-media editor at De Morgen.
Talks set the Low Countries in an international context, touching on connections with Syria, Iran, Poland and the UK and Ireland, and involving discussion of literature by a wide range of authors including Harry Mulisch, Kader Abdolah, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Herman Koch and Erwin Mortier, as well as linguistic issues such as the status of Belgian Dutch (‘Flemish’) in broadcasting and Italian translation of Dutch-language literature.
The ALCS conference is an international event, with speakers from 4 continents and 11 different nations. This year, it also celebrates 70 years of Dutch at Sheffield University.
The Plantin Polyglot Bible, produced by the Plantin Printing workshop in Antwerp almost 450 years ago for King Philip II, is a monument of biblical scholarship. On 11 July, a copy will be auctioned by Christie's - London.
But before it is being auctioned, this monumental masterpiece will be on public view for two days (21 and 22 June 2018) at the very place it originated from, at the presses that printed it: the Plantin Museum.
The Museum is being relaunched as a museum devoted to the Burgundian and early Habsburg culture in the Netherlands. It is housed in the former home of the important jurist and member of the Burgundian Great Council, Hieronymus van Busleyden. Erasmus and Thomas Morus were guests at this house.
Call for Justice explores the rich and fascinating interaction between art, judicial practice and the idea of justice in the Netherlands between the middle of the fifteenth and the middle of the seventeenth century.
Discover work by artists such as Quinten Massys, Maarten van Heemskerck, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens and Antony van Dyck.
The Museum Hof van Busleyden reopens officially on 17 June 2018. Call for Justice runs until 24 June 2018.
Americans in Belgium witnessed the German invasion, occupation and retreat. Their writings are a unique record of the country during this seminal event of the twentieth century.
What do Stein, Heidegger, Levinas, Sartre, Ricoeur and Derrida have in common? The Jewish German philosopher Edmund Husserl (1859-1938), whose archive was rescued by a Flemish Franciscan, Herman Leo Van Breda. Journalist and author Toon Horsten reconstructed the life of his distant family member and with it wrote an unexpected shadow history of the continental philosophy of the twentieth century.
_by Luc Devoldere