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Flax talk

Foto van het zwingelen van vlas - Demuynck (fotograaf) - Provincie West-Vlaanderen - B00006123



Number of interviews: 36

Availability / Accessibility: unknown


A publication was published as a result of the project: 

Vlasparlee. De wonderjaren van een vlasgeneratie (1920-1960)

Author: Brecht Dewaele

Publisher: Provincie West-Vlaanderen. Brugge, 2013




Authors: Brecht Dewaele, Hans Dobbelaere, Carlos Van Craeynest

Publisher: Provincie West-Vlaanderen, Kortrijk, 2009


The “Texas of Flanders” along the “Golden River”. This fancy name is related to the very distinct and typical flax industry that developed along the banks of the Lys and Mandel rivers from the 19th century onwards. This flourishing industry put the Kortrijk region on the world map, radically transformed the landscape and brought unprecedented prosperity to the region. It immediately becomes clear how much flax contributed to the historical identity of this region.


With the Vlasparlee project, we wanted to record the personal memories of the remaining witnesses. These oral memoirs were preserved for posterity through a series of filmed interviews and made accessible through a beautiful DVD compilation A Past in Flax. Flax stories from the Texas of Flanders.


Thus, we learned more about the daily working conditions of the flax workers, the common language, the fat and the lean years, the rituals at the Monday flax fair, the clothing of the boat-buyer and the bustling pub life. In other words, through this search for the oral flax heritage, the wider social history of South-West Flanders was also revived.


These haunting flax stories were then also made accessible to a wide audience in other attractive ways. In April 2009, a travelling exhibition was launched, which visited the various municipalities in the Leie and Mandel region over the following months.


Foto van een familie ‘in het vlas’ – Provincie West-Vlaanderen – B00006124