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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

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.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




De Magie van het Beeld, door Oek de Jong
Mini-essays about art and artists.

Oek de Jong: De Magie van het Beeld (WBooks, 2021)
Photo by Robert Doisneau of Alberto Giacometti in his workshop (Dec.1957)

Oek de Jong: De Magie van het Beeld (WBooks, 2021)
'Heart of the Dragon' (Socotra, Yemen) by Beth Moon (2010)

Oek de Jong: De Magie van het Beeld (WBooks, 2021)
Le nu provençial, Gordes by Willy Ronis (1949)

Oek de Jong: De Magie van het Beeld (WBooks, 2021)
Red Umbrella by Saul Leiter (ca.1955)

Oebele Klaas Anne (Oek) de Jong (b.Breda,04Oct1952-) is a Dutch writer. He studied art history at the University of Amsterdam.
Oek de Jong made his debut in 1975 with De onbeweeglijke Tze in the literary magazine 'Hollands Maandblad'. In 1977, Massimo's Ascension was published, a collection of short stories for which he was awarded the Reina Prinsen Geerligs prize.
Many awards would follow.

Tere followed followed a quieter period between 1985 and 1995, which De Jong called a 'dark time' in interviews. During this time he was, with Chris Rutenfrans and Yoeri Albrecht, among others, part of the 'Plato club' around the writer Andreas Burnier.
During this period he gave guest lectures at the universities of Amsterdam (1986) and Leiden (1993) and later in Berlin (2000).
The great novel Hokwerda's child brought him back into the spotlight in 2002 and was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize and the Golden Owl.

'De Magie van het Beeld' (EN=The Magic of the Image) was published by WBooks in 2021 and is a compilation of some 40 essays (text and image) he previously had published in 'Museumtijdschrift' over a period of 9 years.
It details a grand variety of subjects, such as an intimate etching by Rembrandt, the famous photo of Marilyn Monroe on the air vent of the subway, the Land Art by Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, photographs by Nan Goldin, Koos Breukel, Weegee, Saul Leiter and Ad Windig,
the demise of Jackson Pollock, Matisse and the light, Picasso and the women, a painting by Co Westerik, Paris, Texas and cameraman Robby Müller, the sign system in the New York subway, the shocking work of Ronald Ophuis and the mountain of Cézanne, which the writer climbed in icy cold and a raging mistral.
These short essays expanded my horizon considerably, and is a highly prized addition to my bookcase.

wbooks.com/- - -/de-magie-van-het-beeld/ (NL)



Walker Evans, Aperture Masters of Photography
Walker Evans, Aperture Masters of Photography

Walker Evans, Aperture Masters of Photography

Walker Evans, Aperture Masters of Photography

Walker Evans, Aperture Masters of Photography

Walker Evans, Aperture Masters of Photography

Walker Evans (b.03Nov1903 – d.10Apr1975) did more to expand the art and language of documentary photography than any other photographer, influencing generations of image-makers; he's often mentioned in the book reviewed below, on Diane Arbus.
Evans created some of the most memorable images of social and photographic history, and is best-known for his direct, descriptive photographs of vernacular scenes—particularly those of rural America, made during the Great Depression while Evans was working for the Farm Security Administration.

Compared to my personal interest in photography subjects I applaud his enduring appreciation for inanimate, seemingly ordinary objects. Such as shop windows, rural churches, billboards and common folks passing by.




Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer by Arthur Lubow (ECCO, 2016)

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer
At the New Documents exhibition in 1967 Diane is watching intently as ex/ husband Allan and
his new girlfriend, Mariclare Costello, chat with Diane's brother, Howard Nemerov.

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer
The catalogue of this 'New Documents'-exhibition is discussed further down (29Jan22)

Lubow's biography on Diane Arbus also contains some pages with photos.
Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer

Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer

Born into considerable wealth, Arbus suffered all her life from the guilt of privilege. Her mother, Gertrude, was the heir to the family business, Russeks, a prestigious department store on 5th Avenue that sold furs. While Gertrude was detached to the point of cold, her husband, David Nemerov, was strict to the point of bullying.
Diane Nemerov married Allan Arbus when she was 18. Allan worked in the company’s advertising department. Soon after they were married Allan gave her a camera as a present.

After pursuing a short, unhappy career as a fashion photographer in collaboration with her husband, she walked off a Vogue shoot, announcing, “I can’t do it any more. I’m not going to do it any more.”
This rebellious incident, which Lubow calls Arbus’s “decisive moment”, is the starting point for his episodic narrative.
It led to another key moment, an apprenticeship with Lisette Model, an older photographer, who later described the young woman who walked into her class for the first time in the late 1950s as looking like “she was just before or just after a nervous breakdown”. Model instructed her to photograph only what excited her.
Diane did not fall back on the family fortune and struggled to make it on her own. But her favourite photos (dwarfs, carnival people, 'freaks', et cetera) were often not published, so for her bread and butter she accepted fashion shoots too and also teached classes on photography though it is said she hated it.

Though Allan and Diane seperated, she did need the occasional handout from him to pay the rent and education of their 2 daughters, Doon and Amy.
Diane also fell back on staff employed by Allan, still working as a fashion photographer, to process her films and get new cameras explained. She wasn't very technical and Allan's move to California inconvenienced her considerably in that sense too.
And when Allan focused on a new career as an actor and moved to California with his girlfriend the gap between him and Diane became wider.

It was the New Documents exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1967 that propelled Arbus into the public eye. It was the biggest and most important show in Diane's lifetime.
Not mentioned in the book is the fact that, allegedly, at the end of every day, gallery staff had to clean the glass covering the photographs because members of the public had spat on them... Much of her work remained controversial.

As Arthur Lubow’s deeply researched biography (2016) of Diane Arbus (b.14Mar1923 – 26Jul1971) notes, we find details of her sex life scattered throughout 'Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer'. It is known through previous biographers – e.g. Patricia Bosworth and the psychoanalytical William Todd Schultz – that Arbus’s transgressive art and life were intertwined to a complex degree: she sometimes had sex with some of the so-called 'freaks' she photographed and once took part in an orgy when shooting a story on swingers.
Lubow digs deeper, but without shedding much more light than either of his predecessors on her art or the deep discontentments that fuelled it.

The book is punctuated by shocking revelations about her private life, e.g. the relationship with painter & graphic designer Marvin Israel (married) and London magazine editor Peter Crookston. Both helped her both professionally as well as in friendship. Perhaps through sex she was drilling for affection, but she seems never to have hit a gusher. She did love her daughters, and it must have been painful that her daughter Doon got into a sexual relation with Marvin Israel, but she hid those feeling if she did feel hate and hurt.
Diane had a network including celebrities (a.o. Gloria Venderbilt) and well-connected friends such as artist Nancy Grossman, photographers Richard Avedon, Lee Friedlander & Garry Winogrand as well as friends Patti Hill & Nancy Christopherson and Alex Elliott, sometimes in complex relationships.
But in spite of all the support she was constantly pressed for money and depressed. She lamented that her work no longer gave her anything back and a photo of her in 1971 shows her gaunt in her Westbeth apartment, the same year she killed herself.

Lubow's book also mentions, based on Daine's psychoanalyst’s notes, that she had a fitful but prolonged incestuous relationship with her beloved older brother, Howard, up until a few months before her death.
She loved him all her life.

Four years after the New Documents exhibition, on 26 July 1971, Diane Arbus took her own life by swallowing barbiturates and cutting her wrists with a razor blade.
She was 48 and had perhaps exhausted her appetite for the strange and the sordid. Depression had stalked her throughout her life, draining her of confidence and creativity, so it may have been that she had also grown fatigued with herself and her neurotic demons.
Treatment and/or medication came too late for her... Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mood disorder characterized by periods of depression and periods of abnormally-elevated happiness that last from days to weeks each. So sad someone so actively exploring her talents is unable to find happiness or fulfillment.

www.theguardian.com/- - -/diane-arbus-portrait-of-a-photographer



Vincent Mentzel Foto's
This publication acompanied the exhibition of Mentzel's
photojournalism, national and international, made possible
by coöperation between Rijksmuseum, Museum Hilversum and Nederlands Fotomuseum.

Vincent Mentzel Foto's

Vincent Mentzel Foto's

Vincent Mentzel Foto's

Vincent Mentzel Foto's

Vincent Mentzel Foto's

Vincent Mentzel Foto's

For years, Vincent Mentzel (1945) has been one of the most iconic photographers in the Netherlands. He literally gave shape to the news.
During his career photojournalism has changed: from a less important medium to a powerful and independent one with artistic possibilities.

Born in Hoogkarspel (Netherlands), Mentzel studied at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen (now Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Fine Arts).
Afterward he worked in the late 1960s as an assistant to the distinguished Amsterdam theatre photographer Maria Austria. From her he learned darkroom processing and printing techniques.

Since the early 1970s, Vincent Mentzel has been a staff photographer for the major Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and is now one of the best-known Dutch photojournalists.
As staff photographer he has played a crucial role in shaping the paper's image. He first distinguished himself as a photographer of important Dutch political personalities and then took on important foreign assignments.

For his work, he has been honored many times with the Silver Camera award (Zilveren Camera) of the Dutch Photojournalists Association (Nederlandse Vereniging of Fotojournalisten (NVF)) and the World Press Photo by the World Press Photo Foundation.
Mentzel was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 2007 for his contributions to photography.




Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

Zaltbommel, Brabant

The first outing with my brand-new Leica Q2 Monochrome! And indeed, a first visit to Zaltbommel in the Dutch province of Brabant.

The town of Zaltbommel was first mentioned as 'Bomela' in the year 850.
Zaltbommel received city rights in 1231 and these were renewed in 1316.
In 1599 during the Eighty Years War (the Dutch War of Independece against the Spanish), Zaltbommel was besieged by Spanish forces but was relieved by an Anglo-Dutch force led by Maurice of Orange.

Zaltbommel borders the river Waal in the north, the Maas in the south and the Dammed Maas in the west.
At Zaltbommel there is a statue of 4 meters high in the floodplains of the Waal. It's a little boy in his swimming trunks. He holds up his left hand to indicate how high the river water may come before the Bommelaren get their feet wet.
When the hand is reached, the water is up to the top of the quay wall...
This is 8.87 meters above N.A.P. (Nieuw Amsterdams Peil, standard of Dutch waterlevels).
And sometimes the water gets almost that high... In 1861 the river reached 7.61 meters and also in 1995 there was extremely high water rising, about 7.43 meters above N.A.P.
The sculpture was made by artist Marcel Smink.

In January 1995, the already high water levels rose even further due to persistent heavy rainfall upstream. In Germany, the center of Cologne flooded. At Lobith, on January 25th, the level of the Rhine rose by two meters within a day and at Zaltbommel the Waal rose one meter...
On January 31st, the water at Lobith reached a record high of 16.63 metres above sea level. In the entire river area, the water was almost up to the crown of the dikes.

Zaltbommel is a pleasant historic, fortified town to wander around.




Willem Diepraam: 50 Years of Photography
ISBN 2002000000095

Willem Diepraam: 50 Years of Photography
Lisbon, Portugal (1974) | Nueva Esperanza, Villa Maria del Triumfo, Lima, Peru (1990)

Willem Diepraam: 50 Years of Photography
Sao Vicente, Cabo Verde (1980) | Josif Brodski, Amsterdam (1980)

Willem Diepraam: 50 Years of Photography
Limburg, The Netherlands (1976) | Sannicolas, Aruba (1975)

Willem Diepraam: 50 Years of Photography
Nicaragua (1992)

Due to the Corona lockdown I missed this exhibition in the Rijksmuseum (09Oct2020 - 10Jan2021), but glad I could still order the catalogue from their bookshop!

Photographer Willem Diepraam (b. 1944) has had a huge influence on Dutch photography. A pioneering photo reportage journalist in the 1970s, he went on to take the art of photography to new heights.

In the 1970s and 80s Willem Diepraam captured images of a Netherlands that is almost unrecognisable to modern eyes, and of the former Dutch colony Suriname on the eve of independence.
He also worked in the Caribbean, Africa and South America.
The exhibition presented examples of Diepraam’s photo reportage in the Netherlands and abroad, as well as his later almost abstract work in colour and in black-and-white. Other highlights include the iconic image of the ‘woman of Sahel’, shots of the unrest in Amsterdam on coronation day in 1980, and coastal industrial landscapes.

Willem Diepraam (b. 13Apr1944, Amsterdam) is a Dutch photographer.
After studying medicine for two years, Diepraam switched to non-Western sociology in 1966. In 1968 he started working as photo editor of the magazine Student, after which he decided to work professionally
in photography in 1970.
In 1968 Diepraam started selling his first photographs. And on July 28 of that year, his first photo appeared in the weekly magazine Vrij Nederland. Three years later he joined this newspaper as a freelance photographer.
After the death of his wife, son and newborn child in the Tenerife plane crash on 27Mar1977, Diepraam's photo book The Dutch Caribbean was published in 1978, a selection from the photos taken between 1973 and 1978 during his various trips to Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles.
Diepraam received the Piet Zwart Prize in 2010 for his entire oeuvre.

In 2011, Diepraam began transferring his collection of his photographic work to the Rijksmuseum. His early and recent work was exhibited here for the first time. Pity I missed it, but I did get the book!

www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/- - -/willem-diepraam
www.athenaeum.nl/- diepraam/50-years-of-photography



David Bailey doc: Four Beats to the Bar and no cheating
Documentary by Jérôme de Missolz (2010)

David Bailey doc: Four Beats to the Bar and no cheating

The famous British artist David Bailey, from the London working class, established his name in the 1960s as an ultra-hip fashion photographer for Vogue magazine.
During the early 1970s he was a well established name and became a hero of mine, one of the first iconic photographers I followed in magazines such as Practical Photographer.
Legendary were the advertisements 'Bailey who..? for Olympus cameras!

Bailey befriended celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Charlotte Rampling, Roman Polanski and Mick Jagger, he married his muses, including actress Catherine Deneuve and actress and model Jean Shrimpton. David Bailey thus became a cultural icon.
During those early 1970s I bought several books by him, including 'Trouble & Strife', featuring photos of his American wife at the time, fashion model and writer Marie Helvin.

This documentary, which dates from 2010, features interviews with art critic Martin Harrison, Bailey's ex-wife Catherine Deneuve, his current wife Catherine Dyer, and his close friend Jerry Hall.
The film sketches a fascinating portrait of the man who has exposed the soul of the wild sixties and seventies with his photographs and films.

Bailey developed a love of natural history, and this led him into photography. As well as dyslexia he was also diagnosed with the motor skill disorder dyspraxia (developmental coordination disorder).
He left school on his 15th birthday, to become a copy boy at the Fleet Street offices of the Yorkshire Post.

He was called for his National Service in 1956, served it with the Royal Air Force in Singapore (1957). The appropriation of his trumpet forced him to consider other creative outlets, and he bought a Rolleiflex camera.
Determined to pursue a career in photography, he bought a Canon rangefinder camera. He became a second assistant to David Ollins, in Charlotte Mews.
In 1959, Bailey became a photographic assistant at the John French studio, and in May 1960, he was a photographer for John Cole's Studio Five, before being contracted as a fashion photographer for British Vogue magazine later that year.He also worked freelance.

Along with Terence Donovan and Brian Duffy, Bailey captured and helped create the 'Swinging London' of the 1960s: a culture of fashion and celebrity chic. The three photographers socialised with actors, musicians and royalty, and found themselves elevated to celebrity status.
Together, they were the first real celebrity photographers, named by Norman Parkinson 'the Black Trinity'
The film Blowup (1966), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, depicts the life of a London fashion photographer who is played by David Hemmings, whose character was inspired by Bailey.

Although Bailey has now passed the age of 70, he is still active as a photographer.
Both in the fashion world and in art photography. Bailey emerges as an artist who is averse to pretension and making a fuss about his art. In his photographs, this leads to the transparent style with which he became famous.

cinemien.nl/product/david-bailey-four-beats-to-the-bar-and-no-cheating/ (NL)
www.idfa.nl/en/film/- - -/david-bailey-four-beats-to-the-bar-and-no-cheating





Attended this afternoon a demonstration in support of Ukraine.
The mayor opened, 2 Ukrainian-born Dutch residents told about their feelings & emotions ("we never thought it would come to this") for Ukranians hiding in bomb shelters or on flight. And two artists concluded with 2 songs.




Zilveren Camera 2021 (Hilversum)

Zilveren Camera 2021 (Hilversum)

Zilveren Camera 2021 (Hilversum)

Zilveren Camera 2021 (Hilversum)

Zilveren Camera 2021 (Hilversum)

Visited the 'Zilveren Camera photojournalism 2021' exhibition in Hilversum yesterday. Alway impressive and inspiring.
The Silver Camera is a Dutch photography competition. Since 1949, the associated prize has been awarded to the photographer who has taken the best press photo of the year.
It is an initiative of the Dutch Association of Photojournalists (NVF), a section of the Dutch Association of Journalists.

Winners ZC 2021



Allart van Everdingen (Dutch 17th century painter)
Allart van Everdingen (Dutch 17th century painter)

Allart van Everdingen (Dutch 17th century painter)
Exhibition 'The Rugged Landscape' in Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar

Allart van Everdingen (Dutch 17th century painter)

Allart van Everdingen (Dutch 17th century painter)

Allart van Everdingen (Dutch 17th century painter)

The Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar is one of the Netherlands’ oldest museums.
The museum presents a collection of fine and applied art and fascinating temporary exhibitions.
In the basement one can experience the seven weeks of the Siege of Alkmaar (1573) day by day, based on the surviving eye-witness report by the city councillor Nanning van Foreest. Alkmaar was under siege by the Spanish in the 80 Years War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648).
There's also an exhibition of the Dutch Golden Age in relation to Alkmaar.

The temporary exhibition of paintings by Allart (Allaert) van Everdingen initiated my visit, it blew me away!
Allart van Everdingen (1621-1675) | The Rugged Landscape

In 1644 a young Alkmaar artist, Allart van Everdingen, spent a few months travelling around Norway. Back in Holland, he worked up his impressions of the Scandinavian landscape in paintings, drawings and prints.
These scenes of log cabins and waterfalls in rugged regions had never been seen before in the Dutch art market and became Allart’s trademark. But he had more to offer: dramatic seascapes and river views, typical Dutch landscapes and prints illustrating the tale of Reynard the Fox.
In his 400th anniversary year, Stedelijk Museum Alkmaar presents the first retrospective of this multifaceted artist. Join him on his travels and admire his landscapes.
Simply wonderful!

More photos of on Flickr.com
en.wikipedia.org:_Eighty_Years' War



China 85/07 - Koen Wessing photography
Dali 1986

China 85/07 - Koen Wessing photography
Beijing 1985 | Beijing 1985

China 85/07 - Koen Wessing photography
Yangshuo 1986 | Chongqing 2007

China 85/07 - Koen Wessing photography
Dali 1986 | Kashgar 2007

China 85/07 - Koen Wessing photography
Chongqing 1986 | Beijing 1985

China 85/07 - Koen Wessing photography
Tibet 1986 | Lhasa 1986

I was very pleased to be able to obtain this photobook on China, it's out of print and hard to get a copy.
Its excellent photography, my first photobook by Koen Wessing, is an excellent photobook on my growing collection of (photo)books on China.
Beautifully produced too, the quality of paper is remarkable. An excellent product by Voetnoot publishers in Antwerp (BE).
'China 85/07' is introduced by an informative essay (in Dutch and English) by Catherine Vuylsteke and includes an up-to-date biography of Wessing.

Dutch photographer Koen Wessing has visited China on 4 different occasions, firstly in 1985, and more recently in 2007 when he visited Chongqing, Tibet and Kashgar.
During these visits the photographer turned his camera primarily on the less affluent parts of the population and on rural migrants.
His expressive and emphatic black and white photography, that has been compiled in this monograph, offers an intriguing look at the reality of China as it was then, as well as now.

Koen Wessing (b.Amsterdam, 26Jan1942 – d.Amsterdam, 02Feb2011) was a Dutch photographer. Wessing was born in Amsterdam, the son of the interior designer Han Wessing and sculptor Eva Eisenloeffel. In elementary school, it turned out that he was word blind (famous British photographer David Bailey suffers from dyslexia too).
Around 1957 Wessing met the photographer Ed van der Elsken. Wessing decided to become a photographer, and in 1961 followed the first year of the Institute for Applied Arts Education in Amsterdam, the later Rietveld Academy, where his mother was a teacher. He then became van der Elsken's assistant. From 1963 he was a freelance photographer.

www.walgenbach.nl/ - /photo-books/ - - - /wessingkoen-china-8507/



Fort Bourtange (museum)

Fort Bourtange (museum)

Fort Bourtange (museum)

Fort Bourtange (museum)

Fort Bourtange (Dutch: Vesting Bourtange) is a fort in the village of Bourtange, Groningen, Netherlands.
It was built under orders of William the Silent and completed in 1593. Its original purpose was to control the only road between Germany and the city of Groningen, which was controlled by the Spaniards during the time of the Eighty Years' War.

It was built on a sand ridge, surrounded by marshland. And indeed the agricultural area we drove through often showed standing water on the pastures left and right besides the road.

After experiencing its final battle in 1672, Fort Bourtange continued to serve in the defensive network on the German border until it was finally given up in 1851 and converted into a village.
Fort Bourtange currently serves as a historical museum.

It wasn't very busy, plus not terribly much to see and quite chilly upon our visit yesterday, so most people quickly went into the restaurant (as did we!)




Slava Ukraini!

Slava Ukraini!

Stop Putin!

Slava Ukraini!

Slava Ukraini!
Stop Putin's war

Slava Ukraini!
Support Ukraine, Protest against Russian 2022 invasion

Other protests joined in, protesting against other repressions

Save Uyghur

Free Palestine, Boycott Israel

"Glory to Ukraine!" is a Ukrainian national salute. It is often accompanied by the response "Glory to the heroes!"
The phrase first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century in different variations, when it became wildly popular among ethnic Ukrainians during the Ukrainian War of Independence from 1917 to 1921.
In 2018 it became the official salute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
It has gained worldwide prominence as a symbol of resistance during the ongoing 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, and was set to music by Norwegian composer Marcus Paus.

On 24Feb2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, one of its neighbours to the southwest. Early reports declared it the largest conventional warfare operation in Europe since World War II.
It marks a major escalation between the countries that had been in a state of conflict since 2014.

The invasion was preceded by a Russian military build-up that started in early 2021, during which Russian president Vladimir Putin criticised the post-1997 enlargement of NATO as a threat to his country's security and demanded that Ukraine be legally prohibited from joining the military alliance;
he also expressed irredentist views.
Despite the Russian military build-ups, Russian officials from 12Nov21 to 20Feb22 repeatedly denied that Russia had plans to invade Ukraine.
On 21Feb22, Russia officially recognised the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic, two self-proclaimed states in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, and sent troops to the territories. The following day, the Russian Federation Council unanimously authorised Putin to use military force outside Russia's borders.

Around 05:00 EET (UTC+2) on Feb.24th, Putin announced a "special military operation" in eastern Ukraine; minutes later, missiles began to hit locations across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv.
The Ukrainian Border Service said that its border posts with Russia and Belarus were attacked.
Two hours later, Russian ground forces entered the country.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded by enacting martial law, severing diplomatic ties with Russia, and ordering general mobilisation.

The invasion received widespread international condemnation, including new sanctions imposed on Russia. Global protests took place against the invasion, while protests in Russia were met with mass arrests.
Both prior to and during the invasion, some of the 30 member states of NATO have been providing Ukraine with arms and other materiel support.

More photos of the protest @Amsterdam 27Feb22 on Flickr.com



Transient Desires by Donna Leon

Last week spent a week in Venice (for Il Carnevale) and thought it fitting to read another Commissario Brunetti novel (#30) by Donna Leon. Enjoyed it too.

In 'Transient Desires' we see Commissario Guido Brunetti following new paths to bring a criminal to justice. The experienced commisario intuitively knows how to navigate the various pathways in his native city, Venice, but here he has to resort to coöperation with other police forces he never before has acquainted while they are also based in Venice and easily reached by vaporetto (except perhaps for the hierarchy).
Perhaps this is one of the covered criticisms in the author's books, the lack of coöperation between policing forces. But we also learn (again) of distrust, also in official matters, of people originating from other origins than Venice in Italy, e.g. Naples and Sicily. This on top of the discourse and varying (political) priorities of leaders high in the governmental institutions.

Brunetti faces in 'Transient Desires' a crime of two young American girls left at night at the hospital, one severely wounded, the other bruised and a broken arm. They are found by accident when an orderly went outside for a smoke, as the two young men in a boat had fled the scene.
The thirtieth novel in Donna Leon’s masterful series, slowly leads up to the mystery why the two young men, soon indentified and apprehended, fled the scene in such a panic.
If the injuries were the result of an accident at night in the Laguna, why did they want so desperately avoid association with it?

As Brunetti and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, investigate the incident, they discover that one of the young men works for a man rumored to be involved in more sinister nighttime activities in the Laguna. Brunetti needs to enlist the help of both the Carabinieri and the Guardia di Costiera as the investigation leads him to sea, outside his jurisdiction.

We see Brunetti musing about his children's future, comparing them (only slight younger than the two Italian men) with Marcello and Duso, both from a very different background and facing very different prospects. Italy is still a country where one needs relatives and/or powerful connections to get a job or to succeed in anything.

Donna Leon (b. 29Sep1942-, @Montclair, New Jersey) is an American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional protagonist Commissario Guido Brunetti.
See also for other Brunetti books by D.Leon on MyBlog-2015Q2 - MyBlog-2016Q1 - MyBlog-2018Q2 - MyBlog-2018Q3 - MyBlog-2019Q1 - MyBlog-2020Q2.

www.goodreads.com/ - / -transient-desires



America in Passing, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

America in Passing, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

America in Passing, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

America in Passing, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

America in Passing, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

America in Passing, by Henri Cartier-Bresson

This photobook brings together the images from Cartier-Bresson's various assignments in the United States, which he first visited in the mid-1930s. Spanning several decades, these works show the rich social diversity of American society.
Gilles Mora has travelled to many of the places featured in these photographs and provides an introduction to the images. The foreword discusses Cartier-Bresson's ability to capture the reality and essence of American life.

Henri Carrier-Bresson studied painting in the 1920s & committed himself to photography in the early 1930s. In 1940 he was captured & imprisoned by the Germans before escaping to join the Paris underground. In 1947 he was one of the founders of the photography agency Magnum. His work is featured in the collections of several of the world's most prominent museums.

You'll find several items on MyBlog on Henri Cartier's work, both on his books I've purchased over the years as well as exhibitions of his work I've visited abroad: 2016Q3, 2018Q1, 2018Q2, 2021Q3, Venice 2020, Paris 2021.



Vincent Mentzel, photo journalist

Vincent Mentzel, photo journalist

Vincent Mentzel, photo journalist

For years, Vincent Mentzel (1945) has been one of the most iconic photographers in the Netherlands. He literally gave shape to the news.
During his career photojournalism has changed: from a less important medium to a powerful and independent one with artistic possibilities.

Born in Hoogkarspel (Netherlands), Mentzel studied at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen (now Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Fine Arts).
Afterward he worked in the late 1960s as an assistant to the distinguished Amsterdam theatre photographer Maria Austria. From her he learned darkroom processing and printing techniques.

Since the early 1970s, Vincent Mentzel has been a staff photographer for the major Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and is now one of the best-known Dutch photojournalists.
As staff photographer he has played a crucial role in shaping the paper's image. He first distinguished himself as a photographer of important Dutch political personalities and then took on important foreign assignments.

For his work, he has been honored many times with the Silver Camera award (Zilveren Camera) of the Dutch Photojournalists Association (Nederlandse Vereniging of Fotojournalisten (NVF)) and the World Press Photo by the World Press Photo Foundation.
Mentzel was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 2007 for his contributions to photography.




Tokyo, photography by Shomei Tomatsu & Daido Moriyama
Tokyo, photography by Shomei Tomatsu & Daido Moriyama

Tokyo, photography by Shomei Tomatsu & Daido Moriyama

Tokyo, photography by Shomei Tomatsu & Daido Moriyama

Daido Moriyama is a Japanese photographer I admire. He has a unique signature to his photography.
On a visit to Paris last year (my Paris 2021 travelogue) I noticed Mr Moriyama had an exhibition in the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), named 'Tokyo' and shared with Mr Shomei Tomatsu of whom I knew nothing.

Shōmei Tōmatsu (b.16Jan1930 – d.14Dec2012) was a Japanese photographer. He is known primarily for his images that depict the impact of World War II on Japan and the subsequent occupation of U.S. forces.
As one of the leading postwar photographers, Tōmatsu is attributed with influencing the younger generations of photographers including those associated with the magazine 'Provoke' (Takuma Nakahira and Daido Moriyama).

Daidō Moriyama (b.10Oct1938-) received the 'Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement' from the International Center of Photography in New York, in 2004; and the Hasselblad Award in 2019.
Born in Ikeda, Osaka, Moriyama studied photography under Takeji Iwamiya (based in Osaka), before moving to Tokyo in 1961 to work as an assistant to the photographer Eikoh Hosoe for three years. He produced a collection of photographs, Nippon gekijō shashinchō, which showed the darker sides of urban life and the less-seen parts of cities.
Moriyama's style is synonymous with that of 'Provoke' magazine, which he was involved with in 1969, namely 'grainy / rough, blurry, and out-of-focus'.

I already had several books by Mr Moriyama, one bought in Tokyo; one more book (the catalogue) could not hurt and am very pleased with the catalogue by Mr Tomatsu. In fact this fine catalogue of this dual exhibition, published by the MEP and Akio Nagasawa Publishing, has a 3rd booklet with texts (English & French) and biographies. A joy to browse and read.




Het ergste moet nog komen, door Alfons Lammers

The ancient art of letter writing..
The Dutch title translates as 'The worst is yet to come', referring to this collection of letters by the former Dutch professor of American history Alfons Lammers; it more or less reflects his life motto.
Especially with retirement, life doesn't necessarily get any more fun. If you also give up a more or less public existence, including appearances in the media, for a life as a pensioner in Otterloo, well then you also choose the worst.

In letters to friends, acquaintances and former colleagues, he comments on world events for a time span of ten years, with special attention to his beloved America.
Otterloo is not paradise on the Veluwe. Lammers writes slightly mockingly about it with the possible arrival of 600 asylum seekers as the highlight, creating a lot of local unret and protest.
The idyllic Veluwe does not sufficiently compensate for the loss of life before his retirement.

The style of writing is pleasantly meandering, the reader sails on the author's flow of musings and watchful irony. Pleasant reading!

deleesclubvanalles.nl/recensie/het-ergste-moet-nog-komen (NL)



Alexine Tinne - exhibition in Haags Historisch Museum
Alexine Tinne, an amazing woman.

Alexine Tinne - exhibition in Haags Historisch Museum

Alexine Tinne - exhibition in Haags Historisch Museum

Alexine Tinne - exhibition in Haags Historisch Museum
Tinne learned her photography in 3½ years, helped and inspired by internationaly renowned photographers. She worked with different cameras and had to handle heavy, large glass plates which
she had to prepare with chemicals. She received her schooling by private tutors but found her appetite for the world abroad from the many books she brought home from the Royal Library next door!

Alexine Tinne - exhibition in Haags Historisch Museum
Dagmar van Weeghel produced a series of portraits with model Neeltje de Vries portraying Alexine.
And in the serie 'Diaspora', part this exhibition, African immigrants dressed proudly, almost royally
(as Tinne would have wanted it). I loved versatility of this exhibition!

Alexine Tinne was a remarkable woman, in so many ways! As a young aristocrat she moved in fine circles, at home and abroad, and was often proposed but she thought life had more to offer than marriage.. Imagine that attitude, in the 19th century!

Tinne was the daughter of Philip Frederik Tinne and his 2nd wife, Baroness Henriette van Capellen. Philip Tinne was a Dutch merchant who settled in England during the Napoleonic Wars and later returned to his native land, marrying Henriette, daughter of a Dutch Vice-Admiral, Theodorus Frederik van Capellen, and Petronella de Lange, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Sofia.
Tinne was born when Philip was 63.
Tinne was tutored at home and showed proficiency at piano. Her wealthy father died when she was 10 years old, leaving her the richest woman in the Netherlands.
Her father had made his wealth in the African trading coffee, tea and African slaves, but upon her travels Alexine began to oppose slavery and human trafficking.

Alexandrine 'Alexine' Pieternella Françoise Tinne (b.17Oct1835 – d01Aug1869) was a Dutch explorer in Africa and she was the first European woman to attempt to cross the Sahara.

She was an early photographer, which was no mean feat in those early days of photography. To prepare the heavy glass plates for her camera took 20-30 minutes and then it took minutes to expose. For one photograph!
Tinne started experimenting with photography in her home town of The Hague and its harbour Scheveningen. She worked with several commercial photographers: Robert Jefferson Bingham (who visited The Hague), Francis Frith (whom she met in Egypt) and the J. Geiser photostudio in Algiers.

On 02Jan1867 Alexine was living in Algiers and an earthquake occurred. She helped where she could, but also asked a photographer from the Geiser family to photograph the damages. She made a report of the consequences of the earthquake and compiled it with the photographs. Thus she was the first Dutch person partaking in photojournalism!

Accompanied by her mother and her aunt, Tinne left Europe in the summer of 1861 for the White Nile region. After a short stay at Khartoum, the party traveled up the White Nile and became the first European women to reach Gondokoro. Tinne fell ill and they were forced to return.
Directly after their return to Khartoum, Theodor von Heuglin and Hermann Steudner met the Tinnes and the four of them planned to travel to the Bahr-el-Ghazal, a tributary of the White Nile, in order to reach the countries of the 'Niam-Niam' (Azande).
Ascending the Bahr-el-Ghazal, the limit of navigation was reached. From Mishra-er-Rek, a journey was made overland, across the Bahr Jur and south-west by the Bahr Kosango to Jebel Kosango, on the borders of the Niam-Niam country.
During the journey, all of the travellers suffered severely from fever. A student died in April and Tinne's mother in July, followed by two Dutch maids.
After much travel and dangers, the remainder of the party reached Khartoum at the end of March 1864, when Tinne's aunt, who had stayed in Khartoum, died.
Tinne buried her aunt and one maid and brought the corpse of her mother and the other maid back to Cairo.

John Tinne, her half-brother from Liverpool, visited in Jan.–Feb.1865, with the intention of persuading her to return home with him. But Tinne was not to be persuaded and John left with the two corpses
and a large part of her ethnographic collection.
Her mother's body later was buried at the Oud Eik en Duinen Cemetery in The Hague.
Tinne's ethnographic collection was donated by John to the Public Museum (now the Liverpool World Museum). Some of it was destroyed in a bomb raid during WW2.

At Cairo, Tinne lived in Oriental style during the next 4 years, visiting Algeria, Tunisia, and other parts of the Mediterranean. An attempt to reach the Touaregs in 1868 from Algiers failed.

In Jan.1869, she again made an attempt to reach the Touaregs.
She started from Tripoli with a caravan. In Murzuq, she met the German explorer Gustav Nachtigal, with whom she intended to cross the desert. As Nachtigal wanted to go to the Tibesti Mountains first, she set out for the South on her own. Due to her diseases (attacks of gout and inflammation of her eyes), she was not able to maintain order in her group.
In the early morning of 1 August, on the route from Murzuk to Ghat, she was murdered together with
two Dutch sailors in her party, allegedly by Tuareg people in league with her escort.
According to 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... The perpetrators were never brought to justice.

www.haagshistorischmuseum.nl/NL/- - -/alexine_tinne_fotograaf
www.haagshistorischmuseum.nl/EN/- - -/alexine-tinne-photographer
More photos on Flickr.com



Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)
Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Noordwijkerhout, Zuid-Holland)
& 'De Spiegelvijver' ('mirror pond'). The house and these grounds
were part of the estate Dyckenburch.

Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)
Fortifications, part of the Atlantic Wall. This one was flooded.

Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)
Fortifications, part of the Atlantic Wall. This one offered play time!

Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)

Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)

Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)

Landgoed Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (Zuid-Holland)
A hide to watch the birds on the water, which was dug as a tank ditch.

This estate Nieuw Leeuwenhorst (in the province of Zuid-Holland) dates from the 17th century. It's located quite close to the famous Dutch bulb fields, but that's for another time of year.
During the WW2 this estate was made a part of the German defense works, a.k.a. the Atlantic Wall, to stop an invasion by the Allied Forces. The Germans cut down the old forest during the construction work to get a clear field of fire.
For that reason, they also demolished the old country house that stood here.
A large water feature (with a hide to watch birds; I saw a lot of cormorants) is a remnant of the tank ditch from that time.
The bare plain and the 'tank ditch' have now been taken over by young forests with forest vegetation such as blackberry, honeysuckle and mountain ash. An eldorado for birds and small mammals.

Some early history:
The preacher Willibrord founded a church here in the neighborhood around 700 that had grown into the Abbey of Leeuwenhorst in 1261.
After the destruction in the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648; Dutch: Tachtigjarige Oorlog, or Dutch War of Independence), this became a 'country estate' for wealthy people who fled the unhealthy city (sewage went into the stinking canals, polluting industries, et cetera) in the summer.
Of course the common people were not allowed to come here then, a good thing those times
have changed!

www.zuidhollandslandschap.nl/gebieden/landgoed-nieuw-leeuwenhorst (NL)



New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand

Catalogue of early work by Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander & Garry Winogrand,
published by MoMA 2017, 'New Documents, 1967'.

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Diane Arbus (her biography by Arthur Lubow is discussed further above)

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Triplets, New Jersey | Girls with a cigar, Washington Square Park, N.Y..C.

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Lee Friedlander

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Street scene | Street scene

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Garry Winogrand

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Los Angeles Airport | Girl swimming with a pig

Garry Winogrand

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
The vernissage, with Patricia Walker, Szarkowski, Diane Arbus and her daughter Doon.

New Documents 1967, MoMA exhib of Arbus, Friedlander, Winogrand
Diane Arbus (née Nemerov) and her husband, Allan Arbus

This modestly scaled exhibition, featuring work by three (then) young and relatively unknown photographers named Diane Arbus (b.14Mar1923 – d.26Jul1971), Lee Friedlander (b.14Jul1934), and Garry Winogrand (b.14Jan1928 – d.19Mar1984), had a lasting influence on modern photography.

Even though this catalgue is in German, which I can read a little (but would have preferred the English edition), I am glad I could buy it as I have too little of these fantastic photographers. Some of the text in the back is in English.

As curator John Szarkowski explained in his introduction to this exhibition, the three represented a new generation of photographers with markedly different aims than those of their hortatory predecessors of the 1930s and 1940s: they had “redirected the technique and aesthetic of documentary photography to more personal ends.
Their aim has been not to reform life but to know it.” The exhibition established all three photographers as important voices in American art; their achievements continue to encourage more nuanced understandings of the medium. To this day, I would add.

Arbus's imagery helped to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people.
She photographed a wide range of subjects including strippers, carnival performers, nudists, people with dwarfism, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families. She photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park.

Friedlander's mother Kaari died of cancer when he was seven years old. Already earning pocket-money as a photographer since he was 14, he went on at the age of 18, to study photography at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
In 1956, he moved to New York City, where he photographed jazz musicians for record covers.
His early work was influenced by Eugène Atget, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans.
In 1960, Friedlander was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to focus on his art, and was awarded subsequent grants in 1962 and 1977.
It has been claimed that Friedlander is "notoriously media shy"!

Garry Winogrand was an American street photographer, known for his portrayal of U.S. life and its social issues, in the mid-20th century.
Photography curator, historian, and critic John Szarkowski called Winogrand the central photographer of his generation.




North South East West by Richard Benson (08Nov1943 – 22Jun2017)
North South East West by Richard Benson (08Nov1943 – 22Jun2017)

North South East West by Richard Benson (08Nov1943 – 22Jun2017)

North South East West by Richard Benson (08Nov1943 – 22Jun2017)

North South East West by Richard Benson (08Nov1943 – 22Jun2017)

North South East West by Richard Benson (08Nov1943 – 22Jun2017)

When I held this book, considerings its purchase, I was attracted to the type of photography, a lot of them objects or details. Having read the essays, by Peter Galassi and Richard Benson himself, how these photos are about printing, the book took on a whole new dimension.
Altough I must admit when Benson explains how the prints were made, some of the technical details went over my head.
But as the photos show, the photography is as much about the distinct range of colours as about the subjects. Since people don't add to the range of colour, indeed they would distract from the photographer's purpose, there are no people in this photobook.

Richard Benson (b.08Nov1943 – d.22Jun2017), former dean of the Yale School of Art and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, has been a photographer for more than 4 decades but his art often took a back seat to his prodigious achievements as a renowned printer and teacher.
'Richard Benson: North South East West' is a collection of 104 color photographs taken over 6 years on road trips throughout the United States, Bermuda, and eastern Canada.

Vivid and full of good humor, Benson's photographs evoke never-ending cycles of creation and destruction. He must be praised for the unique properties of his prints as well as for his innovative techniques for reproducing 'the plates' for publication.
Benson's technical wizardry has yielded unusually vibrant and intriguing color prints.




Killing The Shadow by Val McDermid (2000)

Though McDermid skillfully alternates point of view and creates memorable scenes and complex characters, I think the author overdid things here.
Psychology professor Fiona Campbell, a consultant with London's Metropolitan Police, specializes in crime linkage and geographical profiling using sophisticated computer technology.
We find the competitive, self-confident Fiona recently replaced on a case of the Hampstead Heath murder of Susan Blanchard by another expert, Andrew Horsforth (a clinical psychologist), who ended up misleading the police. Their suspect, one Francis Blake whom Fiona had thought innocent, was eventually released.
Upon which Fiona severes her ties with the Met, even though she has a special relationship with the Met's DSI Steve Preston since their undergraduate days.
Fiona is still smarting about the loss of her sister, murdered years ago with the killer never apprehended. This event made her become a geographic profiler.
She lives with Kit Martin, a successfull crime writer.

A bit bored with her teaching job, Fiona decides to accept an invitation by the Spanish police to catch a vicious murderer in Toledo.
This is where I think the author is overdoing things because the plot in Spain has no meat on it, except describing the way Fiona works as a geographic profiler versus a psychlogical profiler.

So we have a few details about Fiona's sister being killed and its effect on Fiona, a murder on Hampstead Heath and a serial killer in Toledo - now to which we add a serial killer of crime writers...
Though it must be said that the police, as well as Fiona, steer away from the theory of a serial killer here. The emphasis on the differences of the killings and disappearances don't make it easier to follow though we learn from the shared perspective of the killer it is indeed a serial killer we follow.

We come to a point where DSI Steve Preston needs Fiona's help in yet another investigation (but the reader knows it is part of a series of killings), but initially she refuses to resume working with the police. Lots of mental considerations, then the personal dimensions draw her in. She accepts an invitation by the City Police to do a research, first in Edinburgh.
After much misdirection, the cases mesh. McDermid builds suspense by inserting passages from the thriller novels, e-mails, crime Web sites and the killer's journal. Adding Fiona's anguish for Kit's fate, my conclusion was there can be too much (paperback, 605 pages) of a good thing.

McDermid won Britain's Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel in 1995.




Leuven, Belgium

The 'Oude Markt' is a rectangular square in the center of Leuven that largely consists of catering establishments. This is why it owes its nickname "the longest bar in the world".
As the residence of the counts of Leuven, the square received market rights in 1150, when the first stone ramparts were built, through which economic activities were developed. There was a market held up to three times a week here.

The earliest mention of Leuven (Loven) dates from 891, when a Viking army was defeated by the Frankish king Arnulf of Carinthia. According to a legend, the city's red and white arms depict the blood-stained shores of the river Dyle after this battle, similarly to the flag of Austria.

Leuven, Belgium
Obviously the low season here (and cold..)

Leuven, Belgium
Yes, indeed, we could be back later in spring as we kept our walkabout brief.

Leuven, Belgium
Edward Hopper inspired

Leuven yesterday. Cold & grey, so we took our time for a pleasant lunch, bought some photography books at DeSlegte (an excellent books discounter) and was pleased with the pictures after we returned home.

Leuven is the capital and largest city of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region of Belgium.
It is located about 25 kilometres east of Brussels.
The municipality itself comprises the historic city and the former neighbouring municipalities of Heverlee, Kessel-Lo, a part of Korbeek-Lo, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. It is the 8th largest city in Belgium.

More photos @Keuven on Flickr.com
See also my streetphotography



Is China nog te stoppen? door Henk Schulte Nordholt
'Hoe een virus de wereldorde verandert'
(EN=How a virus changes the world order)

In books providing insights into China, CCP's way of thinking, the Chinese perspective Henk Schulte Nordholt is my favourite author and authority ('sinologist') on all things Chinese.
He should not be confused by others of that same name: Henk Schulte Nordholt (Dutch art historian & professor, 1909-1998) and Henk Schulte Nordholt (Dutch professor on orientalism specializing on former Dutch colony Indonesia, 1953).
I treasure Schulte Nordholt's book 'China & the barbarians', subtitles 'the resistance against western world order' (2015).

In 'Can China still be stopped?' Henk Schulte Nordholt outlines the current state of China, and he paints a not very cheerful picture in global relations.
The sinologist was associated with the Ministry of Economic Affairs for several years, where he was engaged in promoting the economic relationship with China. In 1985 he was appointed as the first director of the AMRO bank in the then still closed Chinese empire and in 1990 he started the trading company 'Hofung Technology'.

Schulte Nordholt knows the country inside out and understands the Chinese mindset, in which speaking the truth is not always necessary and putting the opponent on the wrong foot is a standard operating procedure.

Initially, China was the center of the corona crisis, but not for long. The country was soon corona-free and the economy is now growing strongly again. The Communist Party (CCP) seized on the crisis to accelerate the 'Great Rebirth of the Chinese Nation.'
By mid-21st century, China aims to be a perfectly functioning one-party state that has no equal in the world economically, militarily and above all technologically.
This fundamental threat to the democratic world is not well recognised – especially not by Europe, Schulte Nordholt warns.
The recent anti-democratic development in Hong Kong is discussed, as well as reuniting Taiwan with mainland China: it could be imminent.

Esspecially Europe, the fragmented EU to be precise, should step up its efforts to face the reality of China's ambitions.
The author frequently refers to Sun Tzu, the Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China (he died 496 BC while aged 47–48) and whose strategic thinking is still very much present in our days.
Schulte Nordholt describes the differences in identity of both the USA and China in their goal for world domination. Esspecially in recent years China failed in its efforts to apply soft powers (instead its economic net stretches around world, its claws deep in those countries who can't repay their loans) and while the USA have Europe as an ally, China has only North Korea..

The book concludes hopefully, explaining the pitfalls for the CCP in its aim to remain the single governing party and how Xi Jinping will fail in permanently bending the country to his will.

Greatly recommended reading!




Streetphotography during Covid lockdown



Winter in Amsterdam, photography by Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier
Winter in Amsterdam, photography by Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier

Winter in Amsterdam, photography by Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier

Winter in Amsterdam, photography by Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier

Winter in Amsterdam, photography by Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier

Winter in Amsterdam, photography by Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier

Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier was born in 1953 and lives in Amsterdam. With many exhibitions at galleries and art fairs, she specialises in city views in winter, portraits and interiors.

Winter in Amsterdam: in over 90 black-and-white images, photographer Marie-Jeanne has portrayed Amsterdam over the years frozen by cold, snow, fog and ice.
A unique and long-term photo project that stretched over the years 1991-2021 with the highlight being the harsh winter of 2021.
The winter scenes captured with an analogue Hasselblad camera give a surprising and new look at the cityscapes of Amsterdam that are so familiar to us.

The book is introduced by novelist Oek de Jong who places the photography of Marie-Jeanne from Hövell to Westerflier in the tradition of the painter and photographer George Hendrik Breitner.
In addition, he discusses her photography, which occupies a striking and distinctive place in contemporary Dutch photography.

Due to the virtual absence of people and traffic, Van Hövell's cityscapes have an atmosphere of timelessness. The houses with their history will therefore speak to the reader more strongly: the individuality of each house, the many architectural styles, details of the facades, the arches of the bridges over the Amsterdam canals.
Her photography oozes a contemplative atmosphere.

Marie-Jeanne van Hövell tot Westerflier (b. 26Jul1953- ) is a Dutch photographer.
After years of working as a medical social worker in (a.o.) an academic hospital (1992-2011), she followed her real passion from 2006: art photography; in that year she had her first exhibition in Museum van Loon in Amsterdam. In 2019 she had a much-visited exhibition 'The White Blouse' in the Singer Museum in Laren.
She photographs with both an analogue and digital back Hasselblad camera and creates series with tranquil cityscapes of Amsterdam in the winter, portraits, interiors and still lifes with titles such as 'The White Blouse', 'Contemplation Still Life' and 'At the Window'.
Her work, in b&w and colour, refers to 19th-century photographers such as George Hendrik Breitner and Bernard F. Eilers, but also to the old masters in painting.

Essay in NL + EN
144 pages, size 24 x 29 cm
ISBN 9789462623651



The Bookseller of Florence, a nonfiction book about Vespasiano da Bisticci
'The Bookseller of Florence' by Ross King

Ross King (b.16Jul1962- ) is a Canadian novelist and non-fiction writer. He began his career by writing two works of historical fiction in the 1990s, later turning to non-fiction, and has since written several critically acclaimed and best-selling historical works.

In 2021 Ross King had 'The Bookseller of Florence' published, a nonfiction book about Vespasiano da Bisticci. For my interest in books and history, little could come closer to my interest!
It's about the Renaisance, distribution and appreciation of manuscripts, recognition of philosophers, developement ofmaterial used for manuscripts and books, how books were produced, from writings on animal skins and pressed papyrus material leading up to the printing of books on paper, the role Florence, Italy and Vespasiano played in all of this.

The author does not come down to 'streetlevel' of the Vespasiano, the protagonist, as in a biography. Which is understandable, because in spite of the astounding amount of research for this book, there is no information on the very details of his day-to-day life.
It does describe his love for producing high quality books, the growth of his bookshop, the rise of his status in society, his network including the influential people who appreciated his work (e.g. Cosimo and Lorenzo d'Medici, esspecially among the rulers in 15th century Italy.

The renaissance produced a massive amount of new thoughts and discussion, development of manuscripts, books and printed material played a role in the distribution of this.
I loved details as how a nunnery in Florence (Firenze) played an important role in producing a massive amount of printed books, how influential people differed in their liking for libraries and collecting books, how raging battles destroyed collections while others taken away.

'The Bookseller of Florence' is a torch shining into the 15th century, illuminating the vital role writing and books played as a starting role to 'The Age of Enlightenment'.
A.k.a. 'the Age of Reason' or simply 'the Enlightenment', it was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries...
The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on the value of human happiness, the pursuit of knowledge obtained by means of reason and the evidence of the senses, and ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.
In other words the Renaissance and its development of books, led to modern society in a straight line!
As a sobering thought one must consider the lack of faith in science, division in society, lack of toleration, often inward attitude of socalled millennials, in current day and age: the end of Enlightenment?

Anyway, for me this is one of those 5-star books I only come across once or twice a year!

ww.kirkusreviews.com/- - -/bookseller-of-florence



Leicaflex SL (1970s)

While doing some 'attic cleaning' I came across this photo of the Leicaflex SL, which I used during my service time as a photographer with the Dutch Air Force (1975-1977).
I probably printed it at the time, and after c.44 years I scanned and shared it here.
My service time lasted 16 months and gradually I gained trust and was allowed to use it occasionally for privat use as well.
Only a few years ago I could afford myself a Leica camera, a secondhand Leica Q.

In 1964 Leitz introduced its first single-lens reflex camera, the Leicaflex also known as the Leicaflex Standard. This was a response, albeit reluctantly, to the rising popularity of the SLR format. Ludwig Leitz, head of the company was urged to begin development by photographer Walther Benser back in 1955.

Beginning with the introduction of the Asahi Pentax in 1957, the Nikon F and the Canonflex in 1959, all from Japan. However Leitz did not have the expertise the Japanese had in this format. To that date its leading product; was the Leica M mount series, a rangefinder camera; a format long abandoned by its competitors in the Far East.

The Leicaflex series of single-lens reflex 35 mm format film cameras were introduced by Leitz Camera in 1964. The first camera body was paired with the new R bayonet series of lenses.
Three model of the cameras were sold by Leitz; the Leicaflex Standard, the Leicaflex SL and the Leicaflex SL2.

Late into the market with high prices and limited range of lenses and accessories, Leicaflex sales were below expectations and production ended in 1976. However the production of the R mount lenses continued and were paired with the new Leica R3 that was developed in cooperation with Minolta, together with the Minolta XE bodies.

As a photographer I was also allowed to wander in most areas of Soesterberg AB, which was exceptional for me for in the school days leading up to my service I was a 'Soesterg plane spotter'!
Check my Remember Soesterberg AB on this website.




Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer
She was into my 'Look'-series long before I took it on!

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

Martine Franck, photographer

While visiting the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris last year I acquired some truly excellent photobooks, including this wonderful 'retrospective' of Martine Franck. I am a great fan of her 'friendly gaze'.

Martine Franck (b.02Apr1938 – d.16Aug2012) was a British-Belgian documentary and portrait photographer. She was a member of Magnum Photos for over 32 years. Franck was the second wife of Henri Cartier-Bresson and co-founder and president of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation.

Franck was born in Antwerp to the Belgian banker Louis Franck and his British wife, Evelyn. After her birth the family moved almost immediately to London. A year later, her father joined the British army, and the rest of the family were evacuated to the United States.
Franck's father was an amateur art collector who often took his daughter to galleries and museums. Franck was in boarding school from the age of six onwards.

Franck studied art history at the University of Madrid and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, but turned at some point to photography instead.
In 1963, Franck's photography career started following trips to the Far East, having taken pictures with her cousin’s Leica camera.
Returning to France in 1964, now possessing a camera of her own), Franck became an assistant to photographers Eliot Elisofon and Gjon Mili at Time-Life.
Franck was often described as elegant, dignified and shy.

In 1966, she met Henri Cartier-Bresson, 30 years her senior, when she was photographing Paris fashion shows for The New York Times.
In 2010, she was quoted "..his opening line was, "Martine, I want to come and see your contact sheets".'
HCB encouraged Martine to develop her own style of photography.
They married in 1970, had one child, and remained together until his death in 2004.

By 1969 she was a busy freelance photographer for magazines such as Vogue, Life and Sports Illustrated, and the official photographer of the Théâtre du Soleil (a position she held for 48 years).

In 1980, Franck joined the Magnum Photos cooperative agency as a 'nominee', and in 1983 she became a full member. She was one of a very small number of women to be accepted into the agency.

In 1993, she first traveled to the Irish island of Tory where she documented the tiny Gaelic community living there. She also traveled to Tibet and Nepal, and with the help of Marilyn Silverstone photographed the education system of the Tibetan Tulkus monks.

Franck was well known for her documentary-style photographs of important cultural figures such as the painter Marc Chagall, philosopher Michel Foucault and poet Seamus Heaney, and of remote or marginalized communities such as Tibetan Buddhist monks, elderly French people, et cetera.
Her images were always empathetic with her subject.
She cited as influences the portraits of British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron, the work of American photojournalist Dorothea Lange and American documentary photographer Margaret Bourke-White.
She worked outside the studio, using a 35 mm Leica camera (a Leica M3, as I understand from the book), and preferred B&W film.

Nine books of Franck's photographs have been published.
Franck continued working even after she was diagnosed with bone cancer (leukemia) in 2010 and died in 2012, aged 74. Her last exhibition was in October 2011 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP, Paris).

She must have been a warm, wonderful person and she left a great legacy in photography!




Colleagues had spread this photo for my last shift (nightshift, Dec.30/31st).
Not many, if any, could make themselves comfortable like this for a brief moment of rest.
'The hazards of lost sleep can range from on-the-job errors to chronic disease.
People all around the world experience disruptions in circadian rhythm, or the body’s natural regulator for sleep and wake cycles based on a 24-hour schedule, every day.
This instinctual process can be disrupted by abnormal work schedules, extensive traveling, et cetera.' [¬www.nasa.gov]

After having worked 45 years at Schiphol IAP, always in rotating shifts, I am glad to embrace retirement.
Esspecially in later years it was a hard grind, but I was never 9-5 material and rather stayed working in the frontline of airline operations.
Working for Martinair (since 1977), both at Schiphol-Centre and -East, Martinair was taken over by Airfrance-KLM and in due course I ended up in KLM's Operational Control Centre (seen above).

Martinair's MD11s stored
Photo from: www.upinthesky.nl/2022/01/08/vliegtuigstalplaats-victorville/

Effective 01Jan14 I was among the staff integrated into KLM, but I never warmed to KLM. Martinair Cargo was reduced to 4 747s, when 7 MD-11Fs were done away with by KLM - inspite initial promises the 11 cargo planes (socalled 'full freighters') would remain a valuable service tool besides the cargo transported in the bellies through the passenger network.
Don't trust politicians, don't trust higher management of large coöperations.

The 'power snooze' captured above should not be misunderstood for lack of motivation, but MP's
reduced relevance did not enhance my motivation, also because the charter spirit of Martinair had totally evaporated. I had witnessed 20 years of growth, then followed 20 years of decline.
I left the company noting it had very little perpective (by KLM) on its future, a continued status of the last 2-3 years at least.

With Martinair (de facto KLM, Martinair management was often a delaying factor for the decisions had to come from KLM) everything went through process and protocol common to KLM's procedural molasses (only one of my gripes with KLM).
For those working in a control center of any sort, the regularly occurring crisis in schedules and production are what it's all about. E.g. disruptions by tropical storms, strikes, terrorism, volcanoes, floods, and (if referring to airline ops) airport operations & facilities, air traffic control malfunctions, diversions, the Covid-19 pandemic, crew sickness and the ever present technical issues of aircraft) became far and few between in my work.
Boredom loomed.
After 2.000+ (aprox. 50 a year) nighshifts I have no trouble to close this chapter and open another.

I thank those with whom I coöperated in crisis, I value those more than 'Management' (there were a few exceptions, those who could be contacted) and nine-to-fivers who had little appreciation for the people working 24/7 shifts, often overloaded in crisis, with deadlines looming made decisions when they had to based on what they gathered data on and bypassed those who felt they needed to be informed purely for their status in the company.





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Created: 02-JUL-2021