Publications

society

The L-Spot
Blake-wisz-634300-unsplash
society Derek Blyth
2 min reading time

Home Sweet Caravan

Derek Blyth takes you on micro adventures to L-Spots, hidden and exciting places in the Low Countries. This week he hits the road in a very Dutch phenomenon, the caravan.

The L-Spot
Echo-grid-216858-unsplash
society Derek Blyth
2 min reading time

The Ghost Village

Derek Blyth takes you on micro adventures to L-Spots, hidden and exciting places in the Low Countries. This week he ends up in a deserted village that refuses to die.

Bas Bogaerts
society Hind Fraihi
11 min reading time

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.

The L-Spot
Rescuehousevlieland
society Derek Blyth
2 min reading time

Not Drowning, but Waving

Derek Blyth takes you on micro adventures to L-Spots, hidden and exciting places in the Low Countries. This week he ends up in the Sahara of the North.

For subscribers
society

Healing in Geel

In Geel, a town of about 35,000 souls in the south-east of Antwerp province, Sint-Dimpna reigns supreme. There is a Sint-Dimpna Hospital, a Sint-Dimpna College and a Sint-Dimpna Church, all located right next to Sint-Dimpnaplein. The local Gasthuis Museum has an entire room dedicated to this Saint. Known as Saint Dymphna in English, the patron saint of the mentally ill has so inspired the residents of Geel that they have built a tradition of caring for these vulnerable members of society on her story. Though many places in Europe can claim innovative facilities for the care and treatment of psychiatric patients, Geel is unique in the world – because it's been doing it since the Middle Ages.

For subscribers
society

From Squalor to ‘Beauty'.' The Dutch Approach to Deprived Areas

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. During the hundred days that the government spent travelling around the country to take the pulse of the Dutch public, it was decided that forty districts would be eligible for a special offensive. The areas selected, which were chosen on the basis of figures relating to income, population transience and unemployment, were designated ‘krachtwijken' (places of power ) or ‘prachtwijken' (places of beauty). Ironically enough, the names do not refer to the actual situation in these areas but to the hoped-for future. At present these areas are burdened with socio-economic deprivation, with unemployment, low educational levels, school dropout rates, vandalism, a sense of insecurity and crime all rubbing shoulders.

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society

‘Pauper Paradise': the Dutch Re-education Laboratory

Journalist Suzanna Jansen's Pauper Paradise (Het pauperparadijs) is a clever and moving description of the attempts to re-educate and integrate ‘the dregs of humanity' in the Netherlands in the period from 1823 to 1973. Her family history leads us through the utopian projects that were intended to combat pauperism in the nineteenth century.

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