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Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo
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.).
A PLACE OF EXECUTION by VAL McDERMID | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
The investigation has so many dead ends and community hurdles to take Bennett would have found in the anonymity of an inner city.
An excellent book though I had trouble to remain motivated during the trickling investigation into the disappearance of Alison. So many dead ends and few results that the narrative dies down too. But glad I finished it!
Val McDermid (b.Jun1955-) is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of novels featuring clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill in a grim sub-genre that McDermid and others have identified as Tartan Noir.
WHAT REMAINS | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
What Remains is a British television drama series that was first broadcast on BBC One on 25Aug2013.
The occupants of the house are nominally happy: young couple Michael Jenson (Russell Tovey) and the pregnant Vidya Khan (Amber Rose Revah) have just moved in; couple Elaine Markham (Indira Varma) and Peggy Scott (Victoria Hamilton) are designers; journalists Kieron Moss (Steven Mackintosh) and girlfriend Patricia Keenan (Claudie Blakley) are discussing further commitment. Middle-aged maths teacher Joe Sellers (David Bamber) shares his flat with the far younger Liz Fletcher (Denise Gough), who cooks for him domestically but whose relationship with him is otherwise left vague.
But gradually 'the onion gets peeled'... Everybody has issues, some darker than others. The character of Melissa Young has more depth to it than on first impression and the subject of loneliness among other people gets wonderfully worked out.
'CHINA DREAMS' | PHOTOGRAPHY CHINA
Exhibition at the Hilversum Museum, 'China Dreams', photography by Ruben Terlou, Xiaoxiao Xu, and Ruben Lundgren.
The Silk Road is the ancient network of trade routes between East and West, stretching from China to Africa and Europe. The idea of the Renewed Silk Road, the largest infrastructure project in modern history, was retranslated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 and has become a central premise in relations with China and abroad. 'China Dreams' is a trilogy about today's China, a time document through the eyes of contemporary photographers and documentary makers.
I came away with three fantastic photobooks, fantastic visit and equally enjoyable additions to my photobook collection!
AMÉRICAINES SOLITUDES by JEAN-LUC BERTINI | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOKS
Over the course of over a decade (2007-2019), French photographer Jean-Luc Bertini traveled the length and breadth of the US, Bertini photographed his subjects against the vast backdrops of the country, documenting 'isolation', exploring the scale from solitude to loneliness.
In the preface of this book, Richard Ford (author of The Sportswriter, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land and Let Me Be Frank With You) delivers an essay on literary terms versus this Américaines Solitudes. He quotes (the book has the essays in both French and English) Marianne Moore " "..the cure for loneliness is solitude", an apt observation browsing Bertini's photographs in this book.
Photographer Jean-Luc Bertini is a member of the Picturetank agency. He spent 10+ years on the American highways and byways (intermittently on various trips), photographing the US in every season.
I recall a quote by Peggy Guggenheim how Americans work long days and numb their brains by alcohol in the evening (why she moved to Venice, Italy). There seems to be some of that in these photos.
RECORD NO.19 by DAIDO MORIYAMA | PHOTOGRAPHY
I bought this Record No.19 at a recent visit to the MEP: Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.
Moriyama self-published his photography in a journal he labelled 'Record'. Five issues were published before the project was halted in 1972.
MADE IN SCOTLAND: BILLY CONNOLLY | AUTOBIOGRAPHY BOOKS
“You can either break down and complain about how miserable your life is, or you can have a go at it,” says Billy Connolly
There’s something about the way Connolly calmly discusses his demise, which is rather inspiring. “My life is slipping away,” he says. “I’m a damn sight nearer the end than I am the beginning. But it doesn’t frighten me. It’s an adventure.”
As archive footage reminds us, Connolly in his heyday was a physically energetic performer, all wide gestures, wild eyes, and wilder hairdos. He gives frenetic performances on his beloved banjo and exhibits an equally virtuoso approach to swearing (one highlight of the programme is his unpicking of the “poetry” of Glaswegian profanity, in particular the phrase “Jesus suffering f**k”).
But Connolly has a total lack of self-pity: "It’s as if I’m being prepared for something, some other adventure, which is over the hill,” he says. “I’ve got all this stuff to lose first, and then I’ll be at the shadowy side of the hill, doing the next episode in the spirit world." While the physical limitations of Parksinson’s clearly frustrate him, there’s also a sort of philosophic peace made with the inevitable end.
HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH LIKE [ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHERS] by FREDERIK TROVATTEN
www.youtube.com/ (on Joel Meyerowitz)
FROM BEIJING TO PARIS, PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELLEN THORBECKE | PHOTOBOOK
The monograph 'From Beijing to Paris' tells the story of Ellen Thorbecke, a free-spirited woman whose photographic work has long been forgotten, but is currently gaining renewed interest. Her photographs give a unique insight into the China under Chiang Kai-shek nationalist government in the 1930s.
Ellen Thorbecke (born Ellen Kolban, 1902-1973) worked as a journalist and photographer to provide for herself and that of her daughter after her first marriage broke down.
Ellen Thorbecke had bought a Rolleiflex camera before leaving for China, but it was only in China that she started to engage seriously in photography. Initially to illustrate the articles she wrote as a correspondent for the Berliner Tageblatt.
The two characters drawn by Schiff, the English Mr. Pim and his hospitable guide Mr. Wu., add humour and nuance to Thorbecke's photos. In her 2nd book, 'Peking Studies' (1934) they reappear, to show the viewer around and to get acquainted with the inhabitants of Beijing.
In her 3rd book, 'People in China', Ellen Thorbecke's talent for portraying the people who lived in China at the time comes out equally well.
The observations she made with her photographs and as a journalist have resulted in important documentation.
The purpose of these publications was to refute the negative image that existed in western China in a period that China was opening up to Western influences.
'From Beijing to Paris' comprises the 6 photo books that Ellen Thorbecke made in China. Photographs of Paris were added, taken when she stayed there for a year after her marriage to Willem Thorbecke.
Ellen Thorbecke's work was forgotten for years, but was entrusted to the Nederlands Fotomuseum by her family in 2008. Curator and author of the book, Ruben Lundgren, blames the current revaluation of her work on increasing appreciation for photography as an artistic expression in the Netherlands, increased attention for female photographers and above all the position of China in today's world that "has become turned upside down".
Her work will also remain relevant in 2021. This new edition of her combined work thus achieves the goal she had 90 years ago! It shows China detached from politics and prejudice – something that is desperately needed in times of increasing international tensions and polarisation.
'From Beijing to Paris', authors Ruben Lundgren and Rik Suermondt, photography Ellen Thorbecke.
SEAN LOCK 1963-2021 (R.I.P.) | COMEDIAN ACTOR BRITISH COMEDY
I am a fan of British comedy and consequently follow many comedy (panel) shows such as Have I Got New For You, QI-Quite Interesting and
8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. Sean Lock featured many times on these over the years.
Lock was diagnosed with skin cancer in 1990, attributing the condition to overexposure to the sun while working as a builder in the early 1980s. After seeing his doctor, he was referred to a dermatologist at Guy's Hospital, London, and made a full recovery.
AAN ZEE by MARTIN HENDRIKSMA | BOOKS HISTORY JOURNALISM
From feared to loved: that is the history of the Dutch coast which Martin Hendriksma draws in the sand in his book 'Aan zee' (EN-Along the seaboard). He describes 5 centuries of coastal experience in the Netherlands.
In the 17th century people feared the sea, and rightly so...
'Aan zee' is a chronicle of the coast, of how the Dutch (and a growing flow of visiting foreigners) discovered the sea and the accompanying coastal strip as a place to relax and to love.
However, the book is not purely a historical argument. Hendriksma is not a historian, but a journalist and writer.
Hendriksma does not only dwell in the past. The author treats us to a mix of historiography and literary reportage, past and present. He explored the archives in Middelburg, The Hague and Naaldwijk. Hendriksma also wandered through the dunes and seaside resorts.
It is only in the last chapter, before the conclusion, that seven pages are devoted to sea level rise. The coastline of the future, Hendriksma also writes, could well be further inland..
LE BUREAU DES LÉGENDES (THE BUREAU), S.4 | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION
Le Bureau des légendes, or BDL is a French tv-series, broadcast since April 27, 2015 on Canal and since November 19, 2017 on La Une, in Belgium.
Within the Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE), a department called the Bureau des légendes (BDL) trains and directs remotely so-called clandestine agents, immersed in foreign countries, who have the task of identifying persons likely to be recruited as sources of information.
Guillaume Debailly, alias Paul Lefebvre, alias Malotru, has just returned from a six-year clandestine mission in Syria, but in contravention of security rules, he does not seem to have abandoned his 'legend' (alias) and the identity under which he lived in Damascus. His love affair with the Syrian Nadia El Mansour will seriously complicate things and lead him to play a double game between the DGSE and the CIA.
The narrative of series 4:
Abandoned by the DGSE, Malotru comes out of hiding (found a job as a chef in a foodtruck) and is spotted by the Russian secret services. He gets romantically involved with Samara, a single mother who accepts Paul ('Pascha') as a man without a past to share. A very nice role she has.
Arrested for espionage by the Russian services, Malotru was thrown among the inmates of a prison to force him to coöperate; he is badly beaten in the crowded cel.
While under pressure from the FSB, Malotru gets an assignment from the DGSE to prove his loyalty: to turn a Russian cyber officer but he finds it impossible as he has no such connections.
Faced with Karlov losing patience, Malotru offered to recruit Ellenstein at DGSE HQ.
Under the control of a suspicious Karlov, Malotru begins recruiting Ellenstein, but his place has been taken by Caesar with a 'légendes'.
In Moscow, Malotru welcomes Caesar who has taken the identity of Ellenstein. Their encounter is filmed and analyzed by Karlov plus a psychologist; they try to detect the true from the false.
Karlov proposes to Malotru to work for the FSB, in Moscow. But it seems Malotry has to commit treason to France yet again.
Sisteron warns Marina that she is a pawn in a chess game between France and Russia: the DGSE gets closer to Russian's AI research with Caesar's infiltration than hers.
In Ukraine, Malotru (deemed expendable by the DGSE) goes to the place of exchange to collect Marina who has been arrested by the FSB.
FOTOFESTIVAL NAARDEN (FFN) 2021 | PHOTOGRAPY EXHIBITION
Today I visited 2 remote sites, out of Naarden-Vesting, part of Fotofestival Naarden (FFN) 2021. In a former garden centre (brilliant!) and outside on a country estate.
CANON ZILVEREN CAMERA 2020 | NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
PROTEUS by DEON MEYER | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
'Proteus' (EN: 'Heart of the Hunter'), which I have just read, dates from 2002 and so it is one of earlier ones by Deon Meyer. Most of the other ones I've read had Benny Griessel as the protagonist, except the brilliant 'Fever'.
The main character of this book is Tobela Mpayipheli, a black, tall and modest man. He lives with his girlfriend Miriam Nzekelwazi and her son Pakamile from a previous relationship.
The people in Lusaka are not the only ones who are interested in the information on the hard disk.
The various police- and intelligence services in South Africa is a complex network; both on the side of the ANC (and others) plus the former Apartheid rulers. Their coöperation is a reluctant game.
While Tobela struggles to maintain control of the hefty BMW GS (a much bigger and more powerful motorbike than his own decrepid Honda 200 Benly), gradually increasing his speed on his long road north, the Secret Service has intercepted information on the meeting of Kleintjes daughter and Tobela.
So this Service is on the move to intercept Tobela during his journey north. The media gets hold of the 'big, bad, black Xhosa-biker'. Allison Healy of the Cape Times digs a little deeper and gets under the skin of the minister responsible of the Secret Services.
I have to admit that I consider 'Proteus' a less successful book by Deon Meyer, but maybe I should blame myself: too many details and the plot too complicated?
SCRAPBOOK - HENRY CARTIER-BRESSON | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
Although Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908––2004) is widely considered one of the world's greatest photographers, much about his early work remains unknown. For this reason, Cartier-Bresson's personal scrapbook of his best work from his rich early period (1932––46) provides an extraordinary window onto his process and artistic development, documenting both his travels to Spain and Mexico and his encounters with Surrealism and modern art.
I held this book in my hands, considered its purchase while in the bookstore of Palazzo Grassi in Venice (for HCB's exhibition 'Le Grand Jeu') last year, but I had already selected 2 books and these books don't come cheap and are also quite heavy! So I left it for another day and recently that day had come..
At the beginning of WWII, Cartier-Bresson was captured and held in a German prisoner of war camp for three years before he escaped in 1943.
HEUSDEN, FORTIFIED TOWN | HISTORY
A few days ago I visited Heusden, a restored fortified town in Noord-Brabant, located on the Bergsche Maas (extension of the river the Meuse / Maas.
The first mention of Heusden dates from 722, as Hunsata Super fluvium Mosam.
There have been several disasters in Heusden.
HOLLANDSE WATERLINIE - BUNKER 599 | PHOTO-OP HISTORY
There is a closed up bunker near to it. Many bunkers dot the landscape along the dyke.
The (Old) Dutch Water Line (NL: (Oude) Hollandse Waterlinie) was a series of water-based defences conceived by Maurice of Nassau in the early 17th century, and realised by his half brother Frederick Henry. Combined with natural bodies of water, the Water Line could be used to transform Holland, the westernmost region of the Netherlands and adjacent to the North Sea, almost into an island.
The (New) Dutch Water Line (NL: (Nieuwe) Hollandse Waterlinie a.k.a. NHW) is an important line of defence in Dutch history.
On 26 July 2021, the Nieuwe Hollandse Waterlinie was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List as an extension of the Stelling van Amsterdam.
NEW YORK NEW YORK by RICHARD KOEK | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOBOOK
Dutch-Argentinean photographer Richard Koek is a visual storyteller. He shares his love of New York City and the anonymous people that live and work there on a day to day base.
Alas, van Ostende objected to my blog, having not asked permission before publishing (as stipulated in the book, as in most if not all photobooks).
FOTO FESTIVAL NAARDEN(-VESTING) (FFN 2021) | PHOTOGRAPHY
For many years I came away with enthusiasm for the Foto Festival in Naarden-Vesting. For FFN 2021
From the FFN website:
FROM PEKING TO PARIS by ELLEN THORBECKE | PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
As of June 2021, the Nederlands Fotomuseum presents the exhibition Ellen Thorbecke’s China, showcasing photographs and photo books made in China in the 1930s by collection photographer Ellen Thorbecke.
In 1931, Ellen Thorbecke (b.1902-d.1973) left Berlin for China to be reunited with her husband Willem Thorbecke, who had been appointed as an envoy in China on behalf of the Netherlands.
Being a journalist from origin, Thorbecke gradually developed into a compelling photographer.
The exhibition Ellen Thorbecke’s China presents photographs that capture the changing identity of the young Chinese Republic between centuries-old traditions and Western modernisation.
Ellen Thorbecke (b. Ellen Kolban, in Wilmersdorf, near Berlin), was an interesting artist in many ways.
Both the exhibition and the book shows rare images of daily life in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris and the Middle East in the 1930s and 1940s.
From Peking to Paris
The monograph Ellen Thorbecke - From Peking to Paris is compiled by Ruben Lundgren in
collaboration with Rik Suermondt, art historian and discoverer of Thorbecke’s archive.
The exhibition has been curated by Ruben Lundgren.
GALLERY OF HONOUR OF DUTCH PHOTOGRAPHY | PHOTO EXHIBITION
Yesterday visited Nederlands Fotomuseum @Rotterdam, for 2 exhibitions.
The Gallery of Honour starts off by showing the earliest examples of photographs, known as daguerreotypes, and showcases work by dozens of photographers who explored boundaries, developed new techniques, and brought about innovation – from black and white images to colour photography and the digital age.
Excellent series, very well displayed too.
GIRLFRIEND @HYDE PARK, LONDON 1961 | PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo by Neville Webb, London 1961
One of the things I enjoy a lot these days is corresponding with a few remaining contributors for my aviation website. One is Neville Webb (his plane pix is on my Aviation Photos & History from Neville Webb gallery), but the subjects we discuss and share photos with have gone beyond aviation.
But there's more to Neville's photography, here are some portraits by his hand:
WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2021 | PHOTOJOURNALISM WPP
The annual WPP contests recognize and celebrate the best visual journalism produced over the previous year. On display in 'De Nieuwe Kerk' are the winners of our 64th annual Photo Contest and 11th annual Digital Storytelling Contest!
The jury of the 2021 Photo Contest selected Mads Nissen’s photograph The First Embrace as the World Press Photo of the Year, and Habibi by Antonio Faccilongo as the World Press Photo Story of the Year.
GOUDEN KOETS @AMSTERDAM MUSEUM | HISTORY ARTIFACTS
Visit yesterday afternoon to the Amsterdam Museum, for The Golden Coach (Dutch: Gouden Koets).
THE FACE OF WAR by MARTHA GELLHORN | BOOKS JOURNALISM
Martha Ellis Gellhorn (b.08Nov1908 - d.15Feb1998) was an American novelist, travel writer, and journalist who is considered one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century.
Martha Gellhorn was born in St. Louis and attended Bryn Mawr, but left in 1927 to begin a career as a writer. Her first articles appeared in the New Republic, but determined to become a foreign correspondent, she moved to France to work for the United Press bureau in Paris.
While in Europe she became active in the pacifist movement and wrote about her experiences in the book, What Mad Pursuit (1934).
In 1937 Gellhorn was employed by Collier's Weekly to report the Spanish Civil War. While there she started an affair with Ernest Hemingwayand the couple married in 1940.
Gellhorn worked for Collier's Weekly throughout World War II and later recalled how she "followed the war wherever I could reach it." This included reporting from Finland, Hong Kong, Burma, Singapore and Britain. She even impersonated a stretcher bearer in order to witness the D-Day landings...
After the war Gellhorn worked for Atlantic Monthly. This included all the major world conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Six-Day War in the Middle East and the wars in Central America.
Gellhorn published a large number of books including a collection of articles on war, The Face of War (1959), a novel about McCarthyism, The Lowest Trees Have Tops (1967), an account of her life with Ernest Hemingway, Travels With Myself and Another (1978) plus a collection of her peacetime journalism, The View From the Ground (1988).
The Face of War was published in 1959 and was frequently reprinted, while wars kept raging.
Journalism at its best and most effective is education. Apperently people would not learn for themselves, nor from others. If the agnony of the Second World War did not teach them, whatever would? Surely the post-war world is a mockery of hope and an insult to all those who died so that we would survive.
My articles on the Vietnam War are a model of self-censorship. They were published in The Guardian, London; unsuitable for American readers. In 1966, the official American version of the war was accepted as truth. Opposing views were Communist propaganda and dismissed as such.
We must always remember that we are not the servants of the state. As the British Attorney General said in his final speech at the Neremberg Trial, 'The state and the law are made for man that through themhe may achieve a fuller life, a higher purpose and a greater dignity,' The state has fallen down on its job: instead of a fuller life, the state has led man to a haunted life.
Martha Gellhorn is truly an icon and the book stands in the records of war reporting in all its gruesome aspects.
NEW YORK by THOMAS HOEPKER | PHOTOGRAPHY
Thomas Hoepker (German: Thomas Höpker; b.10Jun1936) is a German photographer and member of Magnum Photos.
Hoepker was born in Munich, Germany. He first began taking pictures when he was 16 and received an old 9x12 glass plate camera from his grandfather. He developed his prints in his family's kitchen and bathroom, and began to earn a little money by selling pictures to friends and classmates.
From 1960 to 1963 he worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall, reporting from around the world. Then in 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern.
For much of his career Hoepker used Leica cameras. In the 1970s he began to also use single-lens reflex cameras alongside his Leica, using Leicas for wide angle shots and Nikon or Canon cameras with zoom lenses. In 2002 he began using digital SLRs.
EKSTERS HOUDEN VAN BLING BLING | BOOKS SCIENCE
HELMOND ('HELMONT') CASTLE | HISTORY
Maria was the eldest daughter of Duke Henry I of Brabant and his consort Maud of Boulogne.
Maria survived her 2nd husband by 38 years, but never remarried.
CLAUDIO ETHOS | ART URBAN MURALS
TAHNÉ KLEIJN - STILTE HEEFT HET LAATSTE WOORD| PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOGRAPHER
Corona divides. It divides people between 'debauched young people' and 'selfish elderly', 'nagging entrepreneurs' and 'wage slaves', 'conspiracy theorists' and 'gullible'.
A steward walked with me to enforce the restriction. I was the only visitor, he had to open it up for me, kept a close eye on me when I walked past the photographs, so maybe the lack of promotion is not helping to attract visitors. I hope so, what an asshole.
HET VALKHOF MUSEUM AND CASTLE REMAINS
The remains of the Valkenburcht
Because Charlemagne is said to have built a palace near Nijmegen, the city of Nijmegen is sometimes referred to as 'the imperial city'. Charlemagne was there on Easter in 777 and several times between 804 and 814. He probably even lived there then.
In 911 the Carolingian family house died out, but the emperors who subsequently ruled the German Empire (Otto I, Otto III, Conrad II, Henry III) continued to visit the Kaiserpfalz repeatedly for acts of government, until in 1047 during a revolt against Emperor Henry III, it was burned down by Godfrey with the Beard.
When Frederick II and his son Conrad were deposed from the throne by Pope Gregory IX, Count Otto II of Guelders ('Gelre', Gelderland) took advantage of this opportunity and took possession of the imperial castle.
From the 13th century, the counts of Gelre further expanded the fortification of the Valkhofburcht. This is how the castle complex was created from 1450-1500, as can be seen on many maps and prints.
As late as 1769, new rooms for the Prince-Stadtholder were built on the 2nd floor.
What followed was the road to decline and oblivion.
Thus, on 09Feb1796, the complex was sold for Dutch florins (dfl) 90.400 and traders were able to reuse the precious tuff stone, with which it had been erected, for buildings in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the country.
After the demolition, the vacant site was raised, so that the remaining archaeological treasures were well preserved, and it was converted into a walking place.
THE PLAGUE in DE VALKHOF MUSEUM | EXHIBITION HISTORY
For four centuries, Europe was in the grip of plague.
PUBLIC PRIDE PHOTO EXPOSITION @AMSTERDAM-ZUIDOOST
The Pride Photo exhibition shows the winning photos of the 2020 competition, and a selection of other photos specially selected by the foundation's curator.
SMOTHER | CRIME FICTION DRAMA TV-SERIES
Smother is an Irish thriller drama series written by Kate O'Riordan and directed by Dathaí Keane.
Set in a small town on the wild and rugged coast of County Clare, Val Ahern (Dervla Kirwan) is a devoted mother and is determined to protect her family against suspicion of an accidental (?) death. And particularly her three daughters Jenny, Anna and Grace.