Last week, Dimitri Bontinck from Antwerp was in Syria looking for his 16-year-old son, Jejoen, while another father from Vilvoorde was reported to have departed on the same mission. As Flanders Today went to press, neither had made contact with his son.
Alfacam was founded by Gabriel Fehervari, the child of Hungarian refugees, in 1985. It provided technical services such as cameras and outside-broadcast studios to TV producers. The company quickly established a strong reputation and won important contracts at home – beginning with the Night of the Proms – and abroad, picking up the contract in 2005 to provide services for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
That was the goal of Aguirre, who curated the show himself. “We decided not to make it a historical, retrospective kind of show because I thought I was too young for that,” the 52-year-old tells me from his home in the Borgerhout district of Antwerp. “Instead of chronological or thematic, it’s more like a poetic landscape. Every visitor can make their own story from it.”
Brussels and Flanders have teamed up for this year’s Erfgoeddag, or Heritage Day, so they are both on the same day. The slogan of this 13th edition is Stop de tijd!, or Stop Time!, which is “more than ever an invitation,” according to Flemish culture minister Joke Schauvliege. “It’s an invitation to step outside the daily race against time, stand still and enjoy the work of the many thousands of heritage workers, both volunteers and professionals, who fight that fight against time day after day,” she says.
Last week, a major construction project began in Kruibeke, East Flanders. The intention, however, is not to construct new roads or buildings, but new nature: reed fields, small islands and spawning grounds for fish.
The works are part of the Flemish government’s Sigma plan, which aims to create space for new bodies of water along the river Scheldt and its tributaries. The plan will not only aid nature, it will protect against flooding.
Peeters signed a memorandum of understanding between the governments of Flanders and Malawi, including a pledge for funding worth €25 million in support of Malawi’s agriculture over the next five years. “We believe that president Joyce Banda is making the right decisions, and we have agreed that this money should be used in agriculture, which is the top priority area in our agreement,” Peeters told the country’s Daily Times.
No specific names were revealed by Le Soir journalist Alain Lallemand, but there were “hundreds” of Belgians involved, he said. He has been in touch with some of those whose names appear in the documents, and they have admitted involvement. “I think Antwerp diamond traders are among the most prominent names,” on the list, he said.
On a tour of the RivierPark Maasvallei (Maas Valley River Park), project leader Lambert Schoenmaekers points out how the area has been redeveloped in the last five years. Negotiations with farmers and gravel companies have already led to a park of 650 hectares in Flanders, and the goal is to return an area of about 1,100 hectares on this side of the border to nature.
If you have five minutes spare, take a look at the Woordentest, or Words Test, a language game designed by researchers at Ghent University. The concept is simple: You’re shown word after word and asked whether it’s a real Dutch word or not. If you’re not happy with your score, just play again. There are 75,000 test words available.
The most remarkable difference between Stay Gold and Ozark Henry’s previous outings is the presence of second singer Amaryllis Uitterlinden. In the past, Goddaer has regularly added an extra voice to his songs. This time around, it’s different. “Some of the new songs gravitated towards duets. For that I didn’t just need a good singer, but someone whose voice fits with mine. Compare it with a film: It’s not enough to have two great actors; there needs to be chemistry between them.”