Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley


In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.). The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website.
http://www.blurb.com/user/ruudleeuw

 

 
AMSTERDAM 1900, PHOTOS BY OLIE, BREITNER, EILER & CONTEMPORIES

Amsterdam 1900, foto's van Olie, Breitner, Eiler en tijdgenoten

Amsterdam 1900, foto's van Olie, Breitner, Eiler en tijdgenoten

Amsterdam 1900, foto's van Olie, Breitner, Eiler en tijdgenoten

Amsterdam 1900, foto's van Olie, Breitner, Eiler en tijdgenoten

Amsterdam 1900, foto's van Olie, Breitner, Eiler en tijdgenoten


Around the year 1900 Amsterdam became a bustling, expanding and dynamic town.
At the same time photography developed rapidly to a modern medium.
In 'Amsterdam 1900 – Foto’s van Olie, Breitner, Eilers en tijdgenoten', the catalogue of the exhibition I attended in 2016Q4, both developments come together.

In the centre of town buildings were raised that determined the skyline and surrounding area, such as the Central Railway Station and 'Beurs van Berlage'. The industry and harbours grew rapidly, but at the same time the old town, its infrastructure, houses and living conditions deteriotated.
For the first time it was technically possible to document this adverse development and the photos of around 1900 show the old and the new.
Earlier on photography was limited to an architectural role, showing building and canals. The photo equipment was big and the exposure times lengthy. Around 1900 photo cameras were manufactured by e.g. Leica which were easy to carry around.

Research in photo collections of museums and archives brought about a wealth of unknown and surprising images of Amsterdam and of the lifes of people of this town.
Photographs of well known artists such as George Hendrik Breitner, Jacob Olie and Bernard Eilers are showcased in 'Amsterdam 1900', but also surprising images of unknown or forgotten people, illustrating also the area when photography became a hobby. At the time there were still many ways to print photographs and this is also illuminated in the book.
The photos include a wealth of streetphotos with markets and people going past, royalty visiting Amsterdam (photo journalism!), well known building built, but also house interiors, people in the poor house, World War I fugitives from Belgium receiving relief, factory workers, etc.
A wonderful book with a wealth of historic images.

[21FEB2017]

 
WOMAN WITH BIRTHMARK by HÅKAN NESSER | BOOKS CRIME FICTION NOVEL

Woman with Birthmark by Hakan Nesser

Håkan Nesser (b. 21Feb1950) is a Swedish author and teacher who has written a number of successful novels, mostly but not only, crime fiction.
He has won Best Swedish Crime Novel Award three times, and his novel Carambole won the prestigious Glass Key award in 2000. His books have been translated from Swedish into 20+ languages.

I first came across the Inspector Van Veeteren series on tv and only after that I started reading the novels. This book was among the films, as well as plus another 8 films of 90 minutes (I have 2 dvd boxsets). Sven Wollter played the role of Inspector Van Vleeteren (Wikipedia, he is 87 now).
Van Vleeteren

I probably bought this paperback in 2010 while travelling in Sweden and Norway (the sticker says 138 - Swedish Krona or Norwegian Krone, not sure), so it is obvious that the Håkan Nesser novels are not on the very top of my list. While very well written in my  opinion, quite entertaining, they lack pace and a certain amount of suspense.
Actually, they seem to define the frustrating slow progress of police investigation and the need for a chance opportunity to get to the closing stages.

Last year I read  'Borkmann's Point' and this time I pulled 'Woman with Birthmark', Nesser's 4th Van Veeteren novel (first published 1996), from the bookshelf.

The book opens with the funeral of a woman at which there is a lone mourner - her daughter. The daughter regards her own life as over (although she is only 29); she vows terminal revenge on those she considers responsible for her mother's sad life and lonely death, and sets out on her grim purpose.
Her trauma is her birthmark, as in ' marked for life' .

After this brief mysterious opening, the story shifts to one Ryszard Malik, who finds himself at the receiving end of unsettling phone calls which only feature some music, each time the same song. Then one night he is killed in his house, shot with two shots in the chest and two more in the crotch.
Van Veeteren and his team are mystified for clues and a motive: Malik was a grey mouse, modestly successful in his business and with a rather uneventful life.
Then, a second man is killed in a similar way: two killing shots and two more in the crotch.
They find that these very different men share a history in the distant past, 30 years prior to the events, when they were in the same military unit doing their National Service.
But Van Veeteren is unable to prevent a 3rd victim and find the crimes very well planned and meticulously executed. Finally, with the story detailing a lot of fruitless research and interviews, the police team gets a clue on the murderess and the race starts to prevent a 4th victim. 

While, as stated, I find the book lacking suspense, I am not keen on the imaginative place names. E.g. the police unit is based in Maardam; other place names are Styckergränd, Deijkstraa, Zwille. These names are obviously derived from Scandinavian, Dutch and German origin, but I would rather see them in the same country even if they are fake names. This is of course very subjective.

Håkan Nesser has written 10 Van Veeteren novels and I think I have a few still waiting to be read and in due course I will, for in spite of my somewhat unspirited account the books are easy to read and quite entertaining.

He has also written at least 5 Inspector Barbarotti novels, of which I am not sure if any of these were translated into English or Dutch, I haven't yet come across them. Mr Nesser has also written a considerable number of other novels see for a list the Wikipedia link below).

 www.eurocrime.co.uk/reviews/Woman_With_Birthmark.html
en.wikipedia.org:_Håkan_Nesser


[20FEB2017]

 
STAAT VAN NEDERLAND by BAS HEIJNE | JOURNALISM PHILOSOPHY WORLD

Bas Heijne: Staat van Nederland


Bastiaan Johan 'Bas' Heijne (b. 09Jan1960) is a Dutch writer, journalist and columnist. He has a valued critical eye on Dutch society, even moved to Paris (France) to create distance and enhance his view on the going ons in the Dutch Lowlands.
Last year I read 'Discontent' (NL:Onbehagen) and greatly enjoyed it.
This book was published this year, The State of the Netherlands, which had a little less impact on me.

Developments in Dutch society is not much different from international changes in society: the populist vote seems to be winning terrain and brought Donald J. Trump to surpreme power. We have to fear a similar result in the Netherlands and other European countries, e.g. France.
The general message in this book seems to be that while there is a lot of exchanging of ideas, opinions, it proceeds no further than shouting rather than a meaningful discussion. A restored sensible debate is what we need, with a fair exchange and a willing ear, that is what can be concluded from this essay.
But the book does not provide a roadmap how we, the Western world, proceed from 'discontent' to a sensible debate.

en.wikipedia.org:_Bas_Heijne

[15FEB2017]

 
ZILVEREN CAMERA 2016 | PHOTOJOURNALISM PRIZEWINNERS

Zilveren Camera 2016
Cigdem Yuksel won first prize in 'Zilveren Camera 2016', for best international photojournalism

Zilveren Camera 2016

Zilveren Camera 2016
Eddy van Wessel was again among the prize winners

Zilveren Camera 2016

Zilveren Camera 2016
Jeroen Oerlemans, in remembrance (1976 - 2016); killed by a sniper while doing his work.


Today I visited the Fotomuseum in Hilversum, for the prize winners of the Canon Zilveren Camera competition, a photography competition for news photography in various categories.
Always a very high standard to be enjoyed here.

The #1 Silver Camera prize went to Cigdem Yuksel, for her series of Syrian refugee kids who cannot go to school in Turkey for they have to make money to help their families and these kids are forced to work 12-hour shifts six days a week. Dickensian days have returned in Turkey...

Also a fine tribute here, in a seperate exhibition, to Jeroen Oerlemans (1976-2016) who was killed by a sniper while doing his work.

www.zilverencamera.nl/
More of my images on Flickr.com


[08FEB2017]

 
NEW DEAL PHOTOGRAPHY, USA 1935 - 1943 | PHOTOGRAPHY REPORTING

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)

New Deal Photography, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series)


New Deal Photography - USA 1935 - 1943, by Taschen (Bibliotheca Unversalis series). With an essay by Peter Walther on the Farm Security Administration.
Captions and text in this book is in 3 languages: English, German and French.

I came recently upon this delightful publication by Taschen. It is modest in size, only 15x20cm, but not in number of pages (600) and the wealth of images published in it.
Ever since I 'discovered' the photography of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, I have been fascinated by the documentary photography in general and the period 1930s - 1940s in the United States in particular.

Initially created as the Resettlement Administration (RA) in 1935 as part of 'the New Deal' in the United States, the Farm Security Administration (FSA) was an effort during the Depression to combat American rural poverty.
The FSA stressed 'rural rehabilitation' efforts to improve the lifestyle of sharecroppers, tenants, very poor landowning farmers, and a program to purchase submarginal land owned by poor farmers and resettle them in group farms on land more suitable for efficient farming.
The FSA is famous for its small but highly influential photography program, 1935–44, that portrayed the challenges of rural poverty.

The photography in this book is simply fabulous and at the back of the book is a brief biography of the photographers depicted.
These photographers are: Esther Bubley - Paul Carter - John Collier - Marjorie Collins - Jack Delano - Walker Evans - Charles Fenno Jacobs - Theodor Jung - Dorothea Lange - Russel Lee - Carl Mydans - Alfred T. Palmer - Gordon Parks - Louise & Edwin Rosskam - Arthur Rothstein - Ben Shahn - Roy Emerson Stryker - John Vachon - Marion Post Wolcott.

en.wikipedia.org:_Farm_Security_Administration

[07FEB2017]

 
MAIGRET | ITV CRIME TV SERIES

Rowan Atkinson at Inspector Maigret

Rowan Atkinson at Inspector Maigret

I stumbled, while channel zapping, on this series, Maigret, and since it had just started I stayed on that channel. It took me a few minutes to recognize Rowan Atkinson as Inspector Maigret and he quite won me over!
While I found that I had watched episode 2 in this first series, this was not a problem to understand the story. About a month later I was able to watch the first episode (90 minutes); the entire first series consists of these two films and I am glad a 2nd series of apparently 2 episodes seem to be in the making.

Pipe clamped in his jaws, raincoat draped nonchalantly over his shoulders, Rowan Atkinson takes to cleaning up the infested streets of Paris. He does so in a stirling performance and so much different than his Mr Bean chracater (of whom I soon tired).
Allegedly Atkinson shied away from Maigret when the part was first offered... Only when ITV came back to him many months later did he relent; he did find it hard to play such an ordinary man (doing an extraordinary job!), a man without strange quirks or interests; his role does not even require a French accent!
He does, however, have a pipe which proved a godsend. In the studio Atkinson wasn't allowed to smoke a real pipe, but outside he was determined to smoke real tobacco.

The opening frame of Maigret Sets a Trap is filled by one of the Notre Dame's gargoyles gazing over panoramic Paris from its lofty position. In fact, the action was shot entirely in Budapest!
Since Paris resembles so little of the 1950s, it was found that Budapest made for a remarkable and suitable double.
The winding lanes of Buda, with tufts of grass poking between cobbles, stand in for Montmartre and the grand boulevards of Pest for the formal beat of the prefecture and the judiciary.
The period interiors are beautifully realised, too. The British know how to set up a film décor, every shot is like a painting!

More Maigret films are in the pipeline and Atkinson seems keen continuing in the role.Which is an excellent outlook!

www.stuff.co.nz/.../Rowan-Atkinson---detective Maigret
en.wikipedia.org:_Maigret_(2016_TV_series)
Imdb.com
www.manners.nl/jaren-50-detective-maigret-met-rowan-atkinson:_must see/ (NL)

[05FEB2017]

 
NORSKOV | DVD CRIME DRAMA FICTION

Norskov, crime drama series

Norskov, crime drama series

Norskov, crime drama series

Police investigator Tom Noack returns home, after 20 years, to Norskov; his task is to clean up the town's drug crime, but quickly becomes personally involved. He reunites with his buddies Martin (also his brother-in-law) and Casper.
Martin has become the mayor of Norskov and Casper ('Bondy') is owner of a building firm.

When Tom happens on the trail of a major smuggling operation, Tom is torn between his professional and his personal commitments.
Tom's sister Jackie is the director of a family business and a childhood friend Bondy.
Bondy is the brother of Tom's teenage sweetheart, Diana.
Diana is killed in a drugs related car accident.
The mayor is ambitious in redeveloping the harbor including a futuristic schoolproject, but needs all his dealmaking skills to set up a budget and establish political support from Copenhagen.
Bondy is also involved in dealmaking, but Tom finds evidence Bondy may be involved in drug trafficking.

In the middle of the intrigues is Diana's young son, Oliver, who is a talented ice hockey player trying to find a foothold and both Tom, Martin and Bondy offer support to him, each in different ways.
Ice hockey is off great imprtance to small town Norskov and the storyline of Oliver, as talented ice hockey player but also as a victim of his mother's reputation in Norskov and the region, is powerful stuff.

Tom Noack is a somewhat different leading character in Norskov, compared to other crime drama series. He isn't arrogant, agressive nor is he a loner. He is introvert, honest and studious.
Tom does struggle with his feelings for Diana, is he still in love or does he feel guilty about leaving her 20 years ago? Tom also feels himself not quite at home, his roots tie him to Norskov but he remains a bit of an outsider.

Everything was filmed on location, as the budget would not allow to build a policestation, ice hockey stadium, city hall nor of course an entire industrial harbor with cranes and other huge installations.

Ten episodes of 45 minutes with plenty of drama and evolving storylines, written by Dunja Gry Jensen with roles by Thomas Levin (Tom), Claus Riis Østergaard (Martin), Jacob Ulrik Lohmann (Bondy) and Anne Sofie Espersen (Jackie; she also had a role in Borgen and The Killing 2) and Mathias Käki Jørgensen (Oliver).

www.Imdb.com
www.vpro.nl/.../Norskov (NL)

[04FEB2017]

 
TELL NO ONE by HARLAN COBEN | BOOKS CRIME FICTION NOVEL

Tell nu One, by Harlan Coben (personal review)


This book sat in my backlog for quite a while, because it was bought new with Borders and for years I haven't bought crime novels of American authors new.
Anyway, I came to the same conclusion as with previous books by Harlan Coben: they are not for me.

This is not a Myron Bolitar novel.
Will Klein saw his childhood sweetheart murdered years ago and since his older brother Ken, whom he worshipped, fled the scene Ken is thought to be her murderer. Will believes in his innocence, but Ken has disappeared.
The whole affair still weighs heavily on his mind but since about a year Will is very much in love with Sheila and they live together.
Then Sheila disappears for no apparent reason, except that she seems to have gone voluntarily. Then the police visits Will Klein for the fingerprints of Sheila have been found on a murder scene in New Mexico..
On top of it all, Will is informed that Sheila has been found killed and dumped on a roadside; he attends the funeral but it isn't his Sheila who is in the coffin.
This leaves Will toen and bewildered.

Will lives and works in New Jersey, but his job with a firm giving shelter to streetkids does not seem to take much of his time for there is not a singele reference of him doing a working day.
Squares, a well-known yoga master, is also very much involved in providing help to the streetkids; he comes from a troubled background and the 'squares' nickname is derived from a tattoo on his forehead: a swastika was made into squares instead of trying to remove it.
Another person of Will's youth appears on the scene: the Ghost.

The Ghost has made a career as a hired killer and he seems implicated in the killing of Will's sweetheart, Julie Miller. Actually Will had stopped seeing Julie when she was murdered but as the story develops Julie, John 'the Ghost' Asselta and Ken seems to have been involved in crime.

I have several objections to this novel. First Coben takes great pain in making Will a moaning cry-baby: he is sooooo in love with Sheila, then heart broken, easily afraid of threats made to him and without the help of Squares wouldn't know where to start looking for Sheila.
Then there is the American way: making things larger than life (e.g. the character of the Ghost, the attitude by Pistillo the police chief, the local crime lord Philip McGuane).
But I can see the attraction of of Coben's writing too (I did finish reading it), with a moving plot with unexpected changes in the end game.
But I have to conclude that the 'larger than life' aspects in Coben's writing (and many American crime authors) throws me off.

[02FEB2017]

 
SOVIET GHOSTS by REBECCA LITCHFIELD | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS URBEX

Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield, urbex photography photobook

Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield, urbex photography photobook

Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield, urbex photography photobook

Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield, urbex photography photobook

Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield, urbex photography photobook

Soviet Ghosts by Rebecca Litchfield, urbex photography photobook


I like 'Urbex Photography' a lot, alas my age and lack of adventurism does not allow 'reckless abandon', exloring derelict structures and such like. This book Soviet Ghosts, published in 2013, certainly hits the spot with me.

Photographer Rebecca Litchfield captures many abandoned location's, which were either part of the Soviet Union or occupied satellite states during this period of history, including forgotten towns, factories, prisons, schools, monuments, hospitals, theatres, military complexes, asylums & death camps across the former communist states.
These photographs document in a fascinating way moral bankruptcy and flawed ideology.
She explored with help of friends and contacts during a road-trip through the old USSR, renewing objects, buildings of post-apocalyptic decay into art.
I value the eExtended essays by Tristi Brownett, Neill Cockwill and Professor Owen Evans, they offer considerable insight in the background of these photographs which otherwise would have remained mere objects of wonder.
One day I hope to visit Chernobyl as she did. An essay in the books he book explains while the photos explores how and why once thriving communities became abandoned, whether by natural disaster, man-made catastrophe or simply through the march of time.
A marvellous photobook which I value in my book collection.

I gather Rebecca Litchfield has become Rebecca Bathory since publishing this book.

www.rebeccabathoryblog.com with links to her stunning Urbex photos; check it out!

[27JAN2017]

 
MET DE FOTOGRAAF OP REIS - ELWIN HENDRIKSE, ANNA KRUYSWIJK | PHOTOBOOKS

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA
Alexandrine Petronella Francina Tinne (alternative spellings: Pieternella, Françoise, Tinné;
17Oct1835 – 01Aug1869) was a Dutch explorer in Africa and the first European woman to
attempt to cross the Sahara. She often went by the first name Alexine.

During her years of exploring in Africa she lost her mother and aunt as well as a servant.
The hardship must have been hardly bearable. In the early morning of 01Aug1869,
on the route from Murzuk to Ghat, she was murdered. Murdered, allegedly, by Tuareg
people in league with her escort; together with two Dutch sailors in her party. According to
the statements at the trial in Tripoli in Dec.1869/Jan.1870, two blows of a sword (one in her
neck, one on one of her hands) made her collapse. They left her to bleed to death.
Her body was never found... [Wikipedia]

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA
Eduard 'Ed' van der Elsken (b.10Mar1925 – d.28Dec1990) was a Dutch photographer and filmmaker.
More on him can be found on my Blog 4014Q3

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA
Photoreport by Henri Cartier-Bresson from Moscow, Russia (1955) in a Dutch publication

Met de Fotograaf op Reis - NA
Henri Cartier-Bresson again, this time from Ulan Bator (1958).
en.wikipedia.org:_Henri_Cartier-Bresson


The title of this translates to something such as 'On the Road - Photographer travelling'.
I must have missed the exhibition 'Onderweg - Met de fotograaf op reis' in the National Archive during 2016 , but am glad I came across the catalogue recently.
The exhibition & book is looking back on how travel and photography went hand in hand since the 19th century.
Photographers were part of the explorers who went the world over, documenting a changing world and recording exotic communities and lifestyles.

The turbulent times in Sudetenland shortly before the Second World War, the unknow China and Russia in the 1950s as well as many locations in mysterious Latin-America.
The 'Nationaal Archief' shows photos by (a.o.) Ed van der Elsken, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Luc Timmers, Herbert Ponting, Cas Oorthuys, Sem Presser and Willem van de Poll.

From a collection totalling millions of photographs, a selection of 235 original prints of famous but also unknown photographers were selecting covering the past 125 years!
The majority concern B&W images.

The Nationaal Archief (Dutch National Archives) is the ‘national memory’ of the Netherlands. The Archive holds 125 kilometres of documents, photos and maps both from the central government, as well as from organizations and persons of national importance (past and present).

http://en.nationaalarchief.nl/

[25JAN2017]

 
Donald J TRUMP'S INAUGURATION 20JAN2017 | POLITICS MEDIA SATIRE

Cartoon by Collignon, Volkskrant 21Jan2017

Cartoon by Joep Bertram,  DeGroeneAmsterdamm #141 2017

I suspect many will follow, but fear there is a dark side here..
[22JAN2017]

 
THE SANDHAMN MURDERS, SERIES 2 | DVD CRIME FICTION

The Sandhamn Murders (2)

Sanhamn Murders - series 2

Sanhamn Murders - series 2

Sanhamn Murders - series 2

Sanhamn Murders - series 2

 


Sandhamn (EN= 'Sand Harbour') is a small settlement in the central-peripheral part of the Stockholm Archipelago in central-eastern Sweden, approximately 50 km (30 mi) east of Stockholm.
It has been popular for pleasure boating since the late 19th century. It is known for its tavern, its clubhouse, and its harbour.
While the settlement only has a hundred permanent inhabitants, the number of residents increases to 2-3,000 during the summer. Sandhamn receives an additional 100,000 visitors annually.
Mikael Blomkvist, a central character in the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson has a cabin in Sandhamn. In the books comprising the Millennium Trilogy, he uses the cabin as a place to relax and write.
This crime drama series The Sandhamn Murders are shot on location and based on books by Viveca Sten.

This Series 2 comprise 6 episodes of 45 minutes, 2 murder mysteries.
Like in Series 1 the main roles are by Jakob Cedergren (as police detective Thomas) and Alexandra Rapaport (as Sandhamn resident Nora).
Thomas is assisted by Mia,a role by Sandra Andreiss, a character of whom we learn more in these series.

The 2 stories in this Series 2 are about a serial killer targeting a military group and a murder victim on the island during Midsummer night.
Thomas has struck up a relation with Pernilla again, after their relation had run aground in the sad aftermath of their young child death. In the 2nd story Pernilla and Thomas have become parents again.
So anyone who had hoped or thought that Thomas and the delightful Nora would become an item: nothing had sparked to take it further.
But not everything is fine between Thomas and Pernilla, as the latter is bored on Thomas' isolated island and moves back, with their child, to the city while Thomas is reluctant to follow there...
Meanwhile Nora becomes involved with a summer tenant, Jonas, but he is not yet separated from his wife and has a daughter with him in a difficult age (15 or so). She sees Nora as another factor why her parents would separate.

So again plenty of drama and crime solving, but on a very humane scale and not so black ('Scandi Noir') as many other Scandinavian thrillers (e.g. The Killing or The Bridge), so very pleasant to watch.
Superb entertainment. It also makes you want to visit Sandhamn some day!

en.wikipedia.org:_Sandhamn
www.imdb.com

[21JAN2017]

 
GREG TROOPER R.I.P. | MUSICIAN SINGERSONGWRITER

Greg Trooper died 15JAN2017 - rip
Greg Trooper performing in Aalsmeer, in 2012


Greg Trooper (b.13Jan1956 – d.15Jan2017) was an American singer-songwriter, whose songs have been recorded by many artists, including Steve Earle, Billy Bragg, and Vince Gill.
Liked his music, liked his humor.
Saw him perform in 2012, in Aalsmeer, Netherlands. His music is a fine legacy, but he left way too early.
R.I.P.

www.flickr.com/photos/
en.wikipedia.org:_Greg_Trooper

[17JAN2017]

 
SNOECKS 2017 | BOOKS PHOTOGRAPHY LITERATURE PHOTOJOURNALISM

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017
Please note that my flatbed scanner could not cover the entire pages and this effected the reproduction.
However, the above illustrations are merely meant as examples of the range of subjects and high quality!

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

Snoecks 2017

I thought the 2017 edition of Snoecks of excellent value, with a wide range of subjects, very well balanced selection of photography and other articles, short stories, recommended literature published in 2016 and of course, the closing pages, authors who passed away in 2016.

Besides two short stories (by Helen Simpson and Thomas Pierce) there are articles on a variety of subjects: Albino's (in Africa a particular hardship), painted pigeons in Spain, the legacy of Mammoths in Siberia, high sensitivity for chemicals (above photo of a man who worked with chemicals and over the years his nose 'disappeared', his employer withheld health warnings), a report from Xinjiang, the river Rhine and about the Global Seed Vault on Svalbard / Spitsbergen).

Art by Mu Pan and archtecture by Kengo Kuma. Humor by Clo'e Floirat.

Photography by Jenny Boot, Henk van Renbergen, Tomas Dezso, Ben Skinner, Bruno Barbey, Thierry Bouët, Oliver Rath, Søren Rønholt, Alain Laboile, Sol Neelman, Kirill Golovchenko, Katarina Belkina, Christian Saint, Marie Cécile Thijs, Lois Greenfield, Richard Egli, Marco Grob and George Pitts.

Illustrated reports of the Everglades, using robots on safari and scenes from the deep sea.

Thoroughly enjoyed browing this edition over the past few weeks!

[16JAN2017]

 
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by RUTH RENDELL | BOOKS CRIME FICTION

The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell


Through Ruth Rendell's books I feel I visit and enjoy England again. Over the past 40+ years I have visited Great-Britain frequently and thoroughly enjoyed it (though the last 2 times I became frustrated by the British idiosyncrasies and cut my visit short by a few days).
I am sure this novel is very likely not for every one because all the major characters are elderly people.

Shortly before WWII, a young man murders his wife and his wife's lover; he cuts off the couple's hands and buries them, in a cookie jar, in tunnels that the local children play in. The story is about those kids, 70 years later, when those hands are discovered and brought to the police.
Due to the age of the crime and likelyhood the murder(s) being dead by now, the investigation comes to a virtual standstill.
The disappearance of a man and a woman at the time had been not much of an issue, lost in the general confusion of the war. The police office which started initial inquiries, without immediate suspect of foul play, was bombed.

But those hands bring that group of people together again that once played in the tunnels, which they had dubbed 'qanats'. Memories are shared, friendships renewed and there is even a new love affair when a man leaves his wife and falls in love al over with his first love. With the girl that lived next door to the murderer.
Then we find that the murderer is not dead at all, though fast approaching his 100th birthday anniversary.

In all her golden career as a crime writer, Ruth Rendell has always produced solid, well-crafted narratives of suburban life. I particularly liked those 'her' Inspector Wexford whodunnits.
Apperently a search for a darker world has been evident in her work under the pseudonym of Barbara Vine, of which I have yet to read a book, where studies of apparently normal suburban inhabitants were probed to reveal frightening glimpses of psychopaths.
In this book 'A Girl Next Door' the story is not about psychopath 'Woody', but rather on a group of elderly people and their attitudes towards changes in fashion, food, as well as to relations, sex and family.

"The Girl" of the title is Daphne, also once a member of an Essex children's gang that played in tunnels which actually were digs for foundations of a disrupted building project, stopped because of the onslaught of the Second World War.
Daphne is a key figure and the author brings some very dark issues in her character.

I had to get used to this novel but soon started to enjoy it. That book published after this one (published in 2014), 'Dark Corners', is I believe her last one; she died in 2015.

www.theguardian.com/books/2014/.../girl-next-door
www.independent.co.uk/
en.wikipedia.org:_Ruth_Rendell

[10JAN2017]

 
AMSTERDAM LIGHTFESTIVAL - WATERCOLOURS CANAL TOUR | ART

Watercolours canalcruise Amsterdam, jan.2017

Watercolours canalcruise Amsterdam, jan.2017

Watercolours canalcruise Amsterdam, jan.2017


During the period 01Dec2016 - 22Jan2017 the 5th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival was held.
Over 35 art creations and installations of international artists, designers and architects light up the center of Amsterdam.
Mind the installations for the walking tour expire earlier, this time on Jan.8th.
With family I enjoyed a canalboat cruise on Sunday 8th, after I had walked the other part of the Lightfestival earlier that week.

amsterdamlightfestival.com

[10JAN2017]

 
THE GREAT PLAGUE by EVELYN LORD | BOOKS HISTORY

The Great Plague by Evelyn Lord
The Great Plague - a people's history (Yale University Press, 2014)


During Medieval times, the Black Death wiped out one-fifth of the world’s population. Four centuries later, in 1665, the plague returned with a vengeance.
This book zooms in on Cambridge, not London (with 100.000 casualties during that same period) or Colchester (2.000 dead by the plague), but rather this university town with only 920 burials. However, in those two years, 1665 - 1666, that meant a decimation of 12% of this town's population. And it meant that almost everyone knew some who had died or lived nearby a house visited by the plague.

Lord’s fascinating reconstruction of life during plague times presents the personal experiences of a wide range of individuals, from historical notables Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton to common folk who tilled the land and ran the shops.

The Black Death as it later became known was first seen in England in July 1348, when a ship carrying infected sailors docked at Melcombe Regis in Dorset. By April 1349 the plague was in Cambridge. But by 1350 plague deaths ceased, and the country breathed a collective sigh of relief.

In Cambridge work started on three new colleges to train men for priesthood and replace those who had died in the plague. Bishop Bateman of Norwich founded Trinity Hall and completed Gonville Hall, and in 1352 Corpus Christi College was founded by the town’s gilds and their patron John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.
For a time there was full employment in the town, more scholars arrived at the university, there was prosperity to be enjoyed.
But the plague returned to the town in 1361. It was to reappear in every century of the millennium.

The Great Plague

When plague appeared in the town, the university suspended lectures and sent the students away. Stourbridge Fair, held on the outskirts of Cambridge and vital for the town's businesses, was cancelled by royal proclamation; also all entertainment was banned and the social and economic life of the town was severely disrupted.
In the 17th century if rumours of plague in London reached Cambridge, the town tried to isolated itself and forbade all contact with the capital. But those efforts were in vain.
People did not know what caused the epidemic, wild theories and potions went around but the massive amount of dead rats in stinking canals and ditches were not identified as the cause.
Medical diagnosis was still in its infancy.

By researching records of deaths in the parish registers, baptisms and burials, records on trade, books available from the Colleges and corporation on leases and taxes, etc the raw data became available to the author. Diaries of people such as Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton were consulted too, of course.

Evelyn Lord provides a fascinating read by painting the full picture of life in Cambridge and surrounding communities. I found it shocking to read that families, when a death-by plague was found in the house, they were locked inside their house with guards on 12 hour shifts put in front of the house.
I always thought they were put outside the town's gates, in pest houses.
Trade and life came to a standstill and people became isolated and business ran aground because money ran out to buy materials or the provider died.
Familiar faces were found missing when people left their houses, thinking prematurely there was hope the sickness has passed.
Thousands of the survivors survived on poor relief, which was a heavy burden on the town's finances, already struggling with its loss of income.
The only relief was that pressgangs to man the naval fleet at war with the Dutch (the noise of cannon fire reached as far inland as Cambridge!) avoided towns isolated because of the plague, for obvious reasons.

The Great Plague of 1665

Evelyn Lord is Emeritus Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge. Her previous books include The Hellfire Clubs (Yale, 2008), The Knights Templar in Britain (2001) and The Stuart Secret Army (2004).
She lives in Cambridge.

yalebooksblog.co.uk/2014/05/02/the-great-plague-a-peoples-history/

[08JAN2017]

 
LES HALLES by ROBERT DOISNEAU | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS

Les Halles by Robert Doisneau, photography

Les Halles by Robert Doisneau, photography

Les Halles by Robert Doisneau, photography

Les Halles by Robert Doisneau, photography

Les Halles by Robert Doisneau, photography


While in Paris,France a few months ago I was impressed by the photography of Robert Doisneau. And more recently I stumbled upon this book in a sale, discounted probably because the essay by Vladimir Vased is in French.
But I thought the images speak for themselves.

Les Halles de Paris, usually simply Les Halles (The Halls), was Paris's central fresh food market.
Located in the heart of the city, it was demolished in 1971 and replaced with the Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall built largely underground and directly connected to the massive RER and métro transit hub of Châtelet-Les-Halles.

Les Halles was the traditional central market of Paris. In 1183, King Philippe II Auguste enlarged the marketplace in Paris and built a shelter for the merchants, who came from all over to sell their wares.
The circular Halle aux Blés ('Corn Exchange') was built between 1763 and 1769 at the west end of Les Halles. Its circular central court was later covered with a dome, and it was converted into the Bourse de Commerce in 1889.
In the 1850s, Victor Baltard designed the famous glass and iron buildings, Les Halles, which would last until the 1970s.

Robert Doisneau (b.14April1912 – d.01Apr1994) was a French photographer.
In the 1930s he used a Leica on the streets of Paris. He was a champion of humanist photography and with Henri Cartier-Bresson a pioneer of photojournalism.

en.wikipedia.org:_Robert_Doisneau
en.wikipedia.org:_Les_Halles

[07JAN2017]

 
THE SCENT OF A DREAM by SEBASTIAO SALGADO | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography

Sebastiao Salgado, The Scent of a Dream - photography


Salgado was born on 08Feb1944 in Aimorés, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
He initially trained as an economist, earning a master’s degree in economics from the University of São Paulo in Brazil.
He began work as an economist for the International Coffee Organization, often traveling to Africa on missions for the World Bank, when he first started seriously taking photographs.
He chose to abandon a career as an economist and switched to photography in 1973, at first focussing on news assignments before veering more towards documentary-type work.
After having worked for the photo agency Sygma and the Paris-based Gamma, he joined in 1979 Magnum Photos.
He left Magnum in 1994 and with his wife Lélia Wanick Salgado formed his own agency, Amazonas Images, to represent his work.
Salgado is particularly noted for his social documentary photography of workers in less developed nations.

I came across the exhibition a few years ago in Venice,Italy and bought the book; unfortunately they only had the edition in Italian but the images speak for themselves and the index in the back of the book are not hard to understand when one is looking for the location.
The book is produced for the famous coffee company, Illy.

Started in 2002, when Sebastião Salgado and Illy met, Scent of a dream (subtitled Travels in the World of Coffee) is a photographic journey through coffee growing countries: the greatest  artistic reference ever produced on the coffee world.
It is of course a matter of taste, but I liked it more than the book produced by Steve McCurry. The books are very different: McCurry shoots in colour, while Sebastião Salgado shoots in Black & White; the books differ in size, the Salgado book is massive (truly a coffee table book - pun intended) and has a great many more images.

Salgado celebrates the daily lives of those on the plantations and the beauty of the terroir from which the precious bean is grown and harvested.
The images stem from ten of the countries from which illy buys coffee: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Colombia, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Tanzania.

Very, very impressive.

en.wikipedia.org:_Sebastião_Salgado
www.illy.com/wps/wcm/connect/en/art/sebastiao-salgado

[07JAN2017]

 
AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL 2016

iLLUMINADE Amsterdam 2016/2017

iLLUMINADE Amsterdam 2016/2017

iLLUMINADE Amsterdam 2016/2017


The Amsterdam Light Festival has a (free) walking tour ('Illuminade') as well as a tour through the canals. The walking tour ends Jan. 8th this year (the canal tours last 2 more weeks) and I had to do the Illuminade before it would end.
A good opportunity to try my new Canon 24-105/f4 L IS USM lens...
Yesterday evening was a cold one; stupidly I did not bring gloves nor wore any warm headgear, which soon brought on various inconveniences.
Also, I had trouble getting my bearings, as I found the walking by smartphone not much of an option, had to warm my hands between photography. So I followed the flow of people and think I saw most.
I did not bring a tripod, that was intentional, am too lazy in general to use a tripod and was too rushed this evening for the cold.

More imagese on flickr.com

[05JAN2017]
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TESTAMENT VAN DE PERS by KLAAS SALVERDA | BOOKS PRINTED MEDIA PRESS

Klaas Salverda - Testament van de Pers

Klaas Salverda - Testament van de Pers

Klaas Salverda - Testament van de Pers

'Testament of the (printed) Press' would be the translation of the Dutch title, Testament van de Pers, by Klaas Salverda.

Klaas Salverda (b.1960) started on his 16th with the regional press in Friesland and completed studies at the University of Amsterdam, on politics and mass communications. Hij also completed studies on professional journalistic ethics.
He worked for a number of publications: De Journalist (publication of 'Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten - NVJ), het Noordhollands Dagblad and Gemeenschappelijke Pers Dienst (later de Geassocieerde Pers Diensten - GPD).
In 1998 he started out as an independent journalist and copywriter.

As a matter of routine he started collecting relevant and/or remarkable newspaper clippings and other articles. A selection of his archive, spanning some 40 years, have found a way by selection and subject into this book (published in 2016 with funding from Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten).
While a testament may be as yet a bit premature for the printed press, it is certainly a valuable historic document providing fascinating insights in recent world- and national affairs.

Chapters include The Manufacturers of the News, Countries & States: Europe, Countries & States: Outside Europe, Politics & Government, The Old Netherlands, The New Century, The Demise of Religion, Upon Conclusion & Epilogue.
The book is published in Dutch, by Eburon (Delft), and a hefty volume it is: 596 pages.
A wonderful read and a fine addition for the bookcase, to browse upon occasion.

www.testamentvandepers.nl (Dutch)

[04JAN2017]

 

 

 
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Created: 04-Jan-2017