This week's Friday Verses are written by Rob van Essen. We translated his poem ‘Velden’.
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.
Every other Friday we treat you to beautiful verses by a poet from Flanders or the Netherlands. Sometimes an old forgotten poem, but mostly fresh verses by a young or unpublished poet.
Since the original Dutch version of this book came out in January 2019 it has dominated the bestseller lists.
Heleen Debruyne takes female painters out of oblivion and gives them the honour they deserve.
At the largest Jan van Eyck exhibition ever you can discover his refined oil-painting techniques, pointed observations of the world and unique talent for painting light that is almost tangible.
In the Flemish music industry, pop and rock photographer Alex Vanhee has been a household name for more than 25 years now.
Our selection of Dutch-language books that have recently been translated into English.
With her latest publication, the Dutch photographer Awoiska van der Molen continues her own modest search for places of human origin.
Dutch biodesigner Emma van der Leest researches how she can make sustainable materials with bacteria and algae. Her work is part of the group exhibition Polarities, on show at MU in Eindhoven until 1 March 2020.
From dance to circus, his performances show influences from various disciplines and are a constant exploration of the possibilities of the body.
Through collaborations with a wide variety of artists Robbrecht & Daem have managed to develop their own specific voice in which the history of architecture resounds in a most poetic way.
In late medieval Flanders, women played an influential role in wars. Not as soldiers on the battlefield, but as messengers or spies.
Have you ever wondered where those cargo bikes come from?
From architecture to digital art and brass band to circus, the Flemish Community rewarded its creative talent with Ultimas.
Whereas Verhoeven often uses satire and hyperbole, Van Warmerdam is the king of absurdism and understatement.
In Catholic Flanders, the Mother of God was a cherished subject for painters. Not so in Dutch painting.
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.
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.
No fewer than 76 different flowers and plants have already been identified on the Ghent Altarpiece. And all that greenery is rich with significance.
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.
Museum de Fundatie in Zwolle presents the fifty leading works that have been produced in the Netherlands over the past half century.
Four hundred years after his birth, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar is staging the first retrospective of his diverse oeuvre.
Visit any town or city in Belgium and you will find fries. Derek Blyth pays tribute to the humble fritkot.
An overview of the latest museum acquisitions of old Dutch and Flemish Art.
At the beginning of September 1944, 75 years ago, the first allied forces entered Belgium to liberate the country from the German occupier.
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.
No other Middle Dutch text has meant so much to so many as 'Reynard the Fox'. Medievalist Frits van Oostrom examines why this story has remained so popular for centuries.
Britain and Belgium became culturally entangled as a result of their interaction in the period between the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War.
What did the past smell like? And how does scent influence our culture? Biologist and philosopher Geerdt Magiels takes us to the stinking seventeenth century and to the nearly scent-free Low Countries of today.
When it comes to language, Belgium has a complex history. That is beautifully illustrated by the position of French-language literature written at the end of the 19th century by Flemings.
In the science fiction novel 'Concept M' author Aafke Romeijn takes the reader forward to the Netherlands of 2020, where the disease of colourlessness makes for heated, polarizing debate and protest.
At the age of 75, Flemish roots rocker Roland Van Campenhout still plays in the sandpit.
Erasmus was a man with great ambitions and who took orders from no one. But his succes also had its drawbacks, unveils a new biography.
Travel diaries written by Dutch men and women born more than two centuries ago suggest that stress is not a recent phenomenon.
From the Haegse Mercury in 1697 to De Speld in 2022: how daring is Dutch satirical news?
Pinkster came across to the United States with the 17-th century Dutch settlers.
Over the centuries, many Dutch people have contributed to Asian culture and society in various ways.
On a trip to Mechelen, Derek Blyth discovers lost mediaeval rivers, Beethoven’s Flemish roots and the world’s oldest carillon school.
Funeral Museum Tot Zover in Amsterdam knows how to surprise with exhibitions that are informative, thought-provoking, touch a sensitive chord and make you laugh.
Was the Dutch writer really such an anti-colonial rebel? And what about his preference for young girls?
The cultural heritage of the early Dutch settlers in South Africa still plays an important role in the life of this ‘rainbow nation’.
Linguist Marten van der Meulen had the honour to perform one of the rarest and most extraordinary speech acts: the wedding ceremony.
For a long time, the study of the history of Dutch slavery has been dominated by the perspective of the coloniser. More and more researchers are now trying to give enslaved people a voice.
Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, initiated a dynasty that would change the Low Countries forever.
Using pomp, ceremony and patronage of the arts, an image was created of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, as a wise, just and fair ruler; the “Grand Duke of the West”.
The most Belgian of all comic strip cowboys has enjoyed international success since his debut in 1946, with millions of albums sold. Even today, a quarter of a century after the death of his creator.
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.
De Keyser was a celebrity in Britain and in his native Belgium. He once owned the biggest hotel in London.
'Angels of Amsterdam' is a virtual reality experience based on the true stories of four 17th century women fighting for their rights.
What makes you a mother? Fen Verstappen looks for answers in her touching debut novel ‘Moeder af’.
The proverbial rivalry between the two football teams from Bruges dates back to the end of the 19th century.
Our selection of recent university press publications from all over the world that deal with the Low Countries.
Four leading Dutch historians call for insights from the past to be used to defeat today's pandemic.
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.”
Thanks to the many exhibitions, events and conferences organised in 2019, we gained new insights about Rembrandt.
In 1302, an unexpected victory of an untrained Flemish infantry militia over a professional force of French cavalry ended the French annexation of the County of Flanders.
The author was known for his collections of short stories written while he was interred in psychiatric institutions.
Few Flemish women have played such a major role in political history and are nearly forgotten today as Matilda of Flanders.
How can we counteract the decline in reading, especially among young people? Former publisher Henk Pröpper has a message for politicians.
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.
Flanders and the Netherlands are fertile ground for the collaborative economy because they are densely populated and very connected. But is it a success?
Every month, a translator of Dutch into English gives literary tips by answering two questions: which translated book by a Flemish or Dutch author should everyone read? And, which book absolutely deserves an English translation?
Confronted with challenging societal, historical and ethical questions, many museums are trying to redefine their role. MSK Director Manfred Sellink makes some proposals.
Since the 1980s improvisational theatre has seen an impressive uptake, in the Netherlands and Belgium. The competitive nature ensures improv’s lasting popularity.
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?
Luc Devoldere states that we have no choice in Europe, but to become as multilingual as possible.
Where are the official apologies for the sufferings the Dutch and Belgians caused in their former colonies?
Artificial Intelligence opens new ways for language research. You can programme a bot to write sonnets like Shakespeare, and one day we might be able to converse with someone from the 16th century.
With the Congo Commission, Belgium took a different path from the Netherlands, which had its colonial past in Indonesia investigated by three institutes. What does this mean for dealing with a fraught history?
In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Great Britain in 'Reynard the Fox', a masterpiece of medieval Dutch literature.
In this interview, the Surinamese writer talks about her texts, her language, and her homeland.
Remembrance has replaced history as the dominant way of working through our feelings about the Second World War.
Linguist and Professor of Dutch Marc van Oostendorp debunks the consensus that Dutch would be a pluricentric language.
Should we consider the increasing anglicization of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders a good or bad evolution?
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?
The return of the wolf in the Low Countries is accompanied by a blaze of controversy. But one group is an unconditional fan: the far right.
Jacoba of Bavaria, Countess of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland, was a strong leader but went down with power-hungry men, even from her own family.
According to historian Benjamin Kaplan, the new English translation of the most read Dutch history book will attract new generations of readers.
Philip the Bold set the tone for a dynasty that was going to contribute so much to the emergence of a lowland culture and identity.
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.
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.
In the 19th century, a very particular kind of tourist came to Flanders: foreigners looking for a quiet place to fight.
Dutch athlete Foekje Dillema was suspended for life because she was supposedly not really a woman.
Regardless of how long NATO remains standing, strengthening military cooperation between European countries is essential.
The new director of Ons Erfdeel regrets that the debate about Flemish self-awareness has degenerated into a polarisation between the populist right and the tendentious left.
The third stage of our cycling trip on the Via Belgica takes us from Liberchies to Heerlen.
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.
Stromae expresses and depicts the diversity of Belgian society through the collision of his Belgian-ness and Brussels patriotism with a multitude of diverse perspectives.
A new exhibition and publication zoom in on the wartime memories of the internationally award-winning Belgian filmmaker and animator Raoul Servais (1928-2023).
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?
The Low Countries are the only area in the world where nearly every city and most large towns are home to a carillon.
Jan Renkema provides a clear analysis of the Dutch identity in his pamphlet ‘The DNA of the Netherlands’. He starts with a conversation on a flight to Schiphol.
Forty years after his death, the novels of Louis Paul Boon, Flanders' most anti-authoritarian writer, are still worth reading.
British poet Will Stone explores the importance of Stefan Zweig's early friendship with the oft-overlooked Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren.
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 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'.
When natural processes and the laws of physics lead to compelling, lyrical artefacts.
Flanders' most colourful and most cosmopolitan rocker turned 70.
This Dutch theatre company prepares young people for art, beauty and consolation.
In the early 1400s, an English army with longbows, a mad dog and a treacherous bridge would once again make the future of the Low Countries uncertain.
From his celebrated self-portraits to dreamlike scenes of the North Sea coast, a major exhibition in London will introduce UK audiences to the visionary work of Flemish artist Léon Spilliaert.