Dutch Crossing

Dutch Crossing Volume 37 number 3

The new issue of Dutch Crossing Journal for Low Countries Studies contains the following articles:

Frans Post’s Brazil: Fractures in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Colonial Landscape Paintings
Liza Oliver

The inter-relationship between the foreground of Frans Post’s landscape paintings, containing representations of Brazil’s fora and fauna, previously considered a decorative afterthought, and the middle/background, showing broader mapped terrains with sugar mills and slave labour, is explored. An argument is presented that shows that Post was attempting to negotiate between several different layers of meaning: namely, how to represent Holland as having succeeded in gaining colonial control over a foreign country while still indicating the dangers and instability of such an endeavour in an exotic and
unforgiving terrain.

Early Dutch Travel Writing on Africa
Christine Levecq

The unexpected stance of humility is explored in accounts written by Dutch travellers to Africa in the early modern period, showing that the emphasis is on trade, on a rational exchange of goods between equal partners, rather than on exploitation or conquest. This focus is considered to be the sign of a new identity the Dutch were creating for themselves as an honest, virtuous, Calvinist people trying to repel Roman-Catholic corruption and tyranny. The travel accounts of Pieter de Marees and Pieter van den Broecke are given as examples of this mix of biased and egalitarian attitudes, and their distinctive contribution to European Africanist writing is explored in order to show how early Dutch attitudes toward the other combined a sense of superiority with a discourse of openness, fairness and innocence.

Connecting City and Countryside? Faces of Cycling Mobility in Belgium, 1890-1914
Stijn Knuts; Pascal Delheye

Focusing on Belle Époque Belgium, this paper analyses the changes the advent of cycling and its new mobility engendered in the socio-cultural dialectics between city and countryside. By studying the interwoven, often contradictory motivations behind and representations of bicycle use, an attempt is made to determine the factors leading to cyclists’ cultural imagining of both city and countryside, how this was shaped in discourse and practice and how this evolved under the influence of the bicycle’s shifting social connotations after 1900. We focus especially on organized forms of Belgian cycling such as urban cycling clubs and national cycling associations.

A World-Wise Case of Dutchness: Cosmopolitanism and National Identity in the Work of the ‘Nits’ Pop Band
Geert Buelens

As part of the debate in the Netherlands centering on national identity in the wake of the assassination of Pim Fortuyn (2002) and Theo van Gogh (2004), an attempt is made to tackle the topic of unworldly cosmopolitanism versus reemerging nationalism. The focus is on the way the arty yet popular Dutch rock band ‘Nits’ (1974‐present) dealt with these issues in their song lyrics, how Nits construct both their international and Dutch identity, and how their evolution in this respect mirrors or nuances current debates about the elite’s
position vis-à-vis national character.

Localizing Design/Designing Location: Creative Cities in the Low Countries
Javier Gimeno Martínez; Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz; Katarina Serulus

Through a constructivist approach, the formative processes creating an association between location and creativity are analysed, focusing on the establishment of three narratives of urban creativity: Antwerp, Brussels and Eindhoven. Each case study positions the city in its cultural and economic contexts, such as the globalization of trade in the context of the European Economic Community and the importance of tourism in post-industrial societies. An exploration is then made of the role of these creative cities in the cultural valorization of design and fashion, transforming them into effective calling cards for European cities.

More information about his issue of Dutch Crossing