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Belpop – an oral history of music

Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie
 
Time period: the second half of the 20th century until now
Number of interviews: ≥66
Accessibility: partially online
Period of interviews: 2008-now
Remarks:

Partially available online

Other seasons can be found in the VRT archives

Title: Belpop: de eerste vijftig jaar

Author: Jan Delvaux

Publisher: Borgerhoff & Lamberigts, Ghent, 2011
ISBN: 9789089312495

Belpop is a TV program about the Belgian pop scene on Canvas. It refers to belpop, a collective term for music by Belgian groups. Since 2008, each episode deals with one artist, sometimes several artists get the floor. They talk about the past of belpop. Between 2008 and 2020, Luc Janssen did the interviews and voice-over. As of 2023, Bent van Looy took over this task. Also see a review of this last season here.

 

Jan Delvaux, contributor to the program, also published a book in 2011 entitled Belpop: de eerste vijftig jaar, in which he describes the history of Belgian pop music, from Kili Watch of The Cousins to the present.

 

Also see the following video on belgian music history: Belpop Bonanza #1000 – Een duik in 40 jaar AB geschiedenis

Belga Sport

Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie
 
Time period: from the second half of the 20th century until now
Number of interviews: ≥100
Accessibility: via enquiry
Period of interviews: 2007-now
Remarks:

The episodes can be viewed in the VRT archive.

 

Belga Sport is a Flemish documentary television series depicting turning points in Belgian sports history. The program, made by Woestijnvis and shown on the Flemish public broadcaster Canvas, digs up fragments from the VRT sports archives and sheds new light on “known” facts through testimonies. The subtitle therefore reads Old sports stories in a new light. The first series was broadcast in the spring of 2007. A new series was recently released in 2024. In June 2008, Belga Sport was awarded the Prize of Television Criticism. And in early 2011, the program received a nomination from the Flemish Television Stars in the category “Best Information Program.

 

There is also a podcast with the creators of Belga Sport. Which can be found here.

An oral history of design

Vlaams Architectuurinstituut
 
Time period: 1916-2014
Number of interviews: 7 (8 people)
Accessibility: via application form
Transcripts: short summary
Period of interviews: 18 June 2014 - 19 January 2015
 

The cultural heritage of design does not consist only of sketches, models, photographs or correspondence of designers. With design, there is also a strong interaction between explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge, knowledge that may be passed on but which usually does not receive written expression. That is why the Flemish Architecture Institute conducted interviews with designers, policy makers and craftspeople. As a result, the interviews do not all cover the same topics and time periods. A mix of young and old and of profession was chosen; furniture maker, artist, design connoisseur and director of Design Flanders all have their say.

 

The following people were interviewed:

  • Leonce Dekeijser (1924-2015), interior architect, he explains that in his college days, “interior design” did not actually exist. He took courses with architects and decorative arts and eventually earned a degree in furniture art. He discusses the teaching methods, the subjects and his teachers. He talks about the interaction between design and education

  • José Vanderlinden (1920-?), furniture maker, the emphasis in the conversation with José Vanderlinden is, much more than in the conversation with Leonce Dekeijser, on the technical aspects of furniture making.

  • Luc (1953-now) and Katrien Mestdagh (1980-now), stained glass artists, the conversation includes the neo-Gothic tradition in Ghent in terms of stained glass painting, and how it lives on to this day in atelier Mestdagh. They discuss the need for commissioning.
  • Achiel Pauwels (1932-now), ceramist, he talks about how he learned the craft, how the teachers did not always give away the secrets of the craft just like that, and what the relationship was with the other art craft courses and the sculpture course. The conversation also explores the emphases he placed in his own classes and the importance he attached to drawing in doing so.
  • Moniek Bucquoye (1948-2022), connoisseur and promoter of design, the talk provides an insight into how product development education was shaped in Flanders from a historical perspective. She highlights the difference between product development and industrial design.
  • Lieven Daenens (1948-now), former director of the Design museum Ghent. Daenens discusses the evolution of the museum, its change of name and position with the advent of the museum decree in the 1990s. He discusses the quality of Belgian design culture and education in Belgium.
  • Johan Valcke (1952-now), director of Design Flanders, the conversation with Valcke gives an insight into how art crafts and design were viewed in Belgium and Flanders from an economic point of view and a historical perspective.

 

The four interviewers were art historians and artists: Katarina Serulu, Marieke Pauwels, Eva Van Regenmortel and Aletta Rambaut

Interviews with former employees of the Zuiderzee Museum

Zuiderzeecollectie
 
Time period: the second half of the 20th century
Number of interviews: 10 (10 people)
Accessibility: 8 fully accessible
Transcripts: partially
Period of interviews: 2022
Medium: audio files
 

To celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen, the Netherlands, in 2023. This was accompanied by a special exhibition, which was celebrated both by employees as well as former employees and volunteers. A start was made the year before to speak with former employees. Femke van Drongelen had tracked down several people who had helped build the outdoor museum, and ten former employees were also interviewed. Here you may find a video about the importance of these former employees.

 

Their stories illuminated the history of the museum and the history of Enkhuizen. All kinds of beautiful stories emerged as a result. These were incorporated into the exhibit.

 

The following people were interviewed:

  • Bert Kruissink
  • Erik Walsmit
  • Pieter Jutte
  • Siemen de Boer
  • Johan Jesterhout
  • Victor Kersten
  • Thedo Fruithof
  • Ferry Walberg
  • Sjaak Dangermond
  • Sjaak Tromp

Oral history of the Dutch Broadcasting Company

Collection of the Broadcasting Museum and the Institute for Sound and Vision
 
Time period: 1930-1980 and 1940-2012
Number of interviews: 170
Accessibility: For research purposes
Period of interviews: 1982-1993 and 2010-2012
Remarks:

The items can be found in DAAN, the digital archive of Sound & Vision, by the metadata creatorname “Vossen” of the terms “Oral history van de omroep” 

 

In the 1980s, the Broadcasting Museum, the predecessor of the Institute for Sound and Vision, realised that the time was ripe to record the stories of the pioneers of the National Broadcasting Corporation. The programme makers were now well into their old age. The Broadcasting Museum took this opportunity to record their life stories for posterity. These interviews – initiated by Harrie Vossen – contain valuable information about the early years of broadcasting and the further lives of the pioneers. After thirty years new interviews were held. 

 

This collection therefore consists of two parts that differ in character: the first set of 31 audio interviews with broadcasting pioneers dates from 1982-1993 and were conducted by Harrie Vossen. They therefore fall under the Harrie Vossen collection and can be found via DAAN, the digital archive of Sound & Vision with the metadata creator name: “Vossen”. These interviews cover the period 1930-1980 and highlight the early years of the National Broadcasting Company. Also see the following two overviews on the wiki of Sound & Vision concerning the collection Harrie Vossen and broadcasting pioneers: first, an overview of the interviewees of these interviews. Second, an overview of these interviews themselves with parts of the transcripts. The collection Harrie Vossen is a treasure trove for information regarding broadcasting pioneers.

 

The second series of 139 interviews is from 2010-2012 and deals with employees’ experiences of working for broadcasting. These interviews cover the period 1940-2012. Both young and old participated in these interviews so the content varies widely. These interviews can be found in the archive of Sound and Vision under the series Oral History of Broadcasting.

 

Also see our article on this collection “De verborgen schat van Beeld & Geluid” (The hidden treasure of Beeld & Geluid)

We, women

 
Time period: 1960-present
Number of interviews: 18
Accessibility: by appointment via vrtarchief@vrt.be
Period of interviews: 2022
 

The struggle for equal status and representation of women and men in Flanders is more than a century old. Great strides have been made, but we are not there yet. Using testimonies and archive footage, the four-part series ‘We, women’ outlines the evolution of the position of women in our society, both privately and in public life.

 

How have wrong expectations, upbringing, glass ceilings, discrimination, pressure, prejudice or other obstacles made it difficult for women to develop to their full potential in recent decades? For example, in the areas of upbringing, education, marriage, family, sexuality, work and politics. How have they dealt with this? What have action groups, politicians and individual women been able to change? And how do women experience all these obstacles today?

 

In ‘We, women’, women of all ages and walks of life tell their stories, together with politicians, figureheads of the women’s movement and former ‘Dolle Mina’s’. Their testimonies are illustrated with punishing archive footage. These are at times disconcerting and at other times funny stories about being brought up as a housekeeper, fighting to be allowed to study, the conquest of men’s professions, sexual taboos and men who still think they know better. The four episodes focus successively on sexuality, marriage and family, professional life and politics.

 

We, women’ uses the tried and tested formula of Children of…: the entire historical and current story is told by committed witnesses who look the viewer straight in the eye.

A surprising look behind the scenes of the struggle for women’s rights. Often stunning archive material that not least puts the sexism of our own public broadcaster on display. And eighteen women who draw you into their stories and leave you with deep respect.

The episodes

Videos can be viewed if you are logged in and have confirmed your Belgian residence or identity

 

S1 | Afl.1

In charge of your own body

Battle for sexual freedom, from taboo on monthlies to Metoo

 

S1 | Afl.2

Women must know their place

For decades, women have been brought up to be obedient to men.

 

S1 | Afl.3

Welcome to the world of men

For a long time, education prepared girls mainly for the household.

 

 

S1 | Afl.4

Women in power

Women organised, resisted and conquered their place

Below is an overview of the 18 witnesses – or participants in Canvas’ documentary We, Women – arranged by age.

 

  • Victoire Van Nuffel (1937): cycling champion and bar owner, openly lesbian at a time when that was anything but obvious.
  • Nelly Maes (1941): politician who fought against sexism in politics and campaigned for women’s rights.
  • Gerlinda Swillen (1942): Dutch teacher and VUB researcher, militant for equal pay for equal work.
  • Ida Dequeeker (1943): emancipation official at VDAB, co-founded the Dolle Mina movement in Flanders and participated in the influential Vrouwen Overleg Komitee.
  • Lieve Flour (1944): administrative assistant in the construction sector, grew up in a stifling traditional environment and overcame a humiliating marriage.
  • Josette Franckson (1946): worker FN Herstal, involved in the legendary women’s strike at that factory in 1966.
  • Margot Roggen (1948): administrative assistant in the insurance sector, often had to fight against male privilege and even overt discrimination as a child and later during her studies and at work.
  • Marie Jeanne Declerq (1950): police commissioner, made a career in the male bastion of the Judicial Police.
  • Liliane Versluys (1951): lawyer and visual artist, engaged in the Leuven refuge and published the controversial book Your Rights as a Woman (1987).
  • Moniek Darge (1952): composer, was active in Dolle Mina and founded Vrouwen Tegen Verkrachting.
  • Kati Couck (1954): ABVV staff member, active with Dolle Mina, founded abortion centre Kollektief Anticonceptie, started Vluchthuis Gent and organised self-defence courses for women.
  • Linda Van Crombruggen (1960): former complaints coordinator VRT, testifies about sexism and sexual harassment in her own home.
  • Khadija Zamouri (1967): politician, distanced herself from her conservative Moroccan Islamic milieu, became politically active with Open VLD, went to work on cabinets and became a Brussels MP.
  • Leyla Yüksel (1971): became a gynaecologist with the full support of her parents and, in her own words, was more bothered by sexism among white doctors than Turkish patriarchs.
  • Wendy Van den Heuvel (1978): administrative clerk and author, her mother was abused by her father. Recently, two male colleagues ambushed her on a dating site and shared her intimate photos. She left the company, but her experience inspired her to write a book.
  • Pinar Akbas (1980): has mixed feelings about her Turkish upbringing, went to college and temporarily entered politics, is currently a nurse and published her autobiography Niran and me this year.
  • Heleen Struyven (1988): worked as a lawyer at reputable firms, but noticed that sexism still exists there too. Yet she kept going for it… until she crashed.
  • Romy Schlimbach (1995): was bullied for her looks in childhood, experienced an eating disorder, an admission and severe depression, but today she is a plus-size model and influencer: body positivity is the alternative she promotes to the stifling beauty ideal.

Indonesia in your Soul

Stichting Oorlogsverhalen, Pia Media
 
Time period: 1930-heden
Number of interviews: 14
Accessibility: beperkt openbaar
Transcripts: samenvattingen beschikbaar
Period of interviews: 2021-2022
Remarks:

Op aanvraag en bij hoge uitzondering kan het ruwe materiaal bekeken worden.

 

Indië in je Ziel are the personal stories of those who lived through the time of the Japanese occupation, and those who know its consequences as spouses, children, grandchildren and, yes, even great-grandchildren. How did the war and the East Indies affect their lives? From then till now. How does this make you feel? And what do you do with it?

 

Reason for the documentary project Indië in je Ziel was the expected great attention to the Indonesian war of independence in connection with the research results of the research programme Independence, decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945 – 1950 of the Royal Institute of Language, Land and Ethnology (KITLV), the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH) and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The War Stories Foundation wanted to start a project in which the violence of that time is given a place in personal testimonies. Main questions are: How did the war and the East Indies affect your life? How does it make you feel? And what do you do with it?

 

War Stories Foundation is still collecting stories to be recorded under the same project name.

 

Themes include World War II, Japanese occupation, Indonesian revolution, reoccupation, internment camps, prisoners of war, migration, trauma.

 

Pia Media produced five TV broadcasts for Omroep MAX Indië in je Ziel in 2022 (in the final phase of the project) in which (some of) these interviews were used.

 

Indië in je Ziel

 

Five short documentaries by the War Stories Foundation portraying both Dutch East Indies and Indies veterans. It also shows how their experiences continue to have an impact on the second, third and sometimes even fourth generation: they too have the Dutch East Indies in their souls today.

Black under Orange

Stichting Nusantara Amsterdam
 
Time period: 1980-2017
Number of interviews: 17
Accessibility: restricted public
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 2016 - 2017
Remarks:

If interested, please contact Stichting Nusantara Amsterdam via: info@nusantara-amsterdam.nl.

 

The Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation conducted 17 interviews with young people whose family histories lie in former Dutch colonies as part of the Black under Orange project. After 13 interviews were conducted, a meeting was organised in which their stories were shared. Four more young people were then interviewed. A number of young people then embraced this initiative. Under the name Black x Orange, they organise various activities in which they link the colonial past to contemporary social themes such as remembrance, freedom and racism.

 

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1980 – 2017.
They mainly talk about the Netherlands. Themes include colonial history and influence
of family history on one’s own life.

 

Website Nusantara Amsterdam: https://nusantara-amsterdam.nl/

Storytelling project Antara Nusa

Aankomst Indonesische immigranten op Centraal Station, Amsterdam (foto: R.W. Wettstein)
Stichting Nusantara Amsterdam
 
Time period: 1930-2017
Number of interviews: 11
Accessibility: restricted public
Period of interviews: 2016-2017
Remarks:

If interested, please contact Stichting Nusantara Amsterdam via: info@nusantara-amsterdam.nl

 

When Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation was established in 2006, it was decided to work with Zieraad Foundation to record the life stories of visitors to the session afternoons organised by Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation. Within this storytelling project, 11 interviews were conducted. Video and audio recordings of the interviews were made by Ben and Ineke Vink. 10 of the interviews formed the basis for the book Antara Nusa, life stories of elderly people from the East Indies/Indonesia (2018) compiled by Yvette Kopijn (Zieraad foundation) with the cooperation of Hanoch Nahumury, secretary of Nusantara Amsterdam Foundation and Armando Ello, photographer. During the writing process, several follow-up interview sessions were held of which no recordings are available.

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the years 1930 – 2017. They mainly discuss Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, Ambon and New Guinea and the Netherlands.
Themes include colonisation, struggle for independence, Japanese occupation, World War II, Indonesian revolution, migration, RMS, upbringing, childhood, identity, class society, loss, displacement, uprooting, resilience, courage, racism.

 

Relevant links: Website Nusantara Amsterdam: https://nusantara-amsterdam.nl/
Facebook page Zieraad Foundation: https://www.facebook.com/StichtingZieraad/

Antara Nusa. Levensverhalen van ouderen uit Indië/Indonesië.

Kopijn, Y.

LM Publishers, 2018

Over the years, a lot has been written about settling and processing the end of the Dutch East Indies. The voice of the totoks (white Dutchmen) has been strikingly dominant in this. This book wants to offer the reader an alternative, multi-voiced perspective. It features elderly people of Indonesian, Moluccan, Timorese, Indonesian-Chinese and Surinamese descent.

Selamat Sjabbat

Tekening van Anne-Ruth Wertheim in het jappenkamp voor Joden op West-Java.
Joods Cultureel Kwartier (JCK) / Hetty Berg
 
Time period: 1930-2014
Number of interviews: 5
Accessibility: Restricted public
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 2010, 2014
Remarks:

DVD transferred to digital audio files (MP4)

 

The collection is of limited public use. Visitors to the Knowledge Centre can view/listen to the interviews. Conditions for use vary for each interview.

Medium: MP4
 

The number of Jews in the former colony of the Dutch East Indies has always been limited. The Jews came from different countries. Dutch Jews, the largest group, lived scattered throughout the Indian archipelago, especially on Java, Sumatra and Celebes (Sulawesi). Jews from Iraq, also called ‘Baghdad Jews’, lived mainly in Surabaya and formed a close-knit community there. Jews from central and eastern Europe also settled in the East Indies. They were later joined by several hundred refugees, from Germany, Austria and Palestine, among others. The reason for going to the East Indies was often the same for both Jews and non-Jews: the career opportunities offered by the colony at a time when jobs were scarce in Europe.

 

The interviews focus on events and experiences in the 1930s – 2014.
They mainly discuss Indonesia, Bandung, Jakarta, Surabaya, Israel/Palestine and Jerusalem, Italy, Genoa, Austria, Vienna and the Netherlands, Rotterdam. Themes include World War II, Japanese occupation, liberation, Anschluss, alia, Jews in the Indonesian archipelago, Zionist League, children, Camp Adek.

 

List of names and brief description via online database JCK

  • Tamar Wams-Polak
  • Huibrecht Andries Mogendorff
  • Jacques Lisser
    • Mr Lisser (1925) talks about his childhood in Surabaya, the Japanese occupation and the camps he stayed in during the occupation.
  • Lenny van Dam-van Someren
  • Suzanne Dorith Lehrer
    • She recounts her early years in Vienna. The flight from Austria, after the Anschluss, to the Dutch East Indies. The Japanese occupation and staying in several camps. Her stay in the Netherlands after the war and her alia to Israel in 1982.

The Jewish Historical Museum presented the exhibition Selamat Shabbat from 13 October 2014 to 8 March 2015. This exhibition tells the underexposed story of Jews in the Dutch East Indies. The exhibition takes visitors to the late 19th century, the colonial era, the war in the Pacific and the post-war situation. Unique historical objects, photographs and interviews reveal moving stories. Contemporary Jewish life in Indonesia was photographed by Pauline Prior in early 2014. This is the first time an exhibition has focused on Jewish life in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia, a relatively unknown part of Dutch and Jewish history.