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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 29th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Flanders At A Glance.

Flanders lies to the north of France, the east of Britain and the west of Germany. It is the northern part of Belgium. The most important cities and population centers of Europe – London, Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt – are all situated within a radius of less than 200 miles around Flanders’ capital, the multilingual and international city of Brussels. Other main cities are Antwerp known for its diamond polishing industry, Bruges, Ghent, Louvain.

Ever since the Middle Ages, Flanders has been at the crossroads of the great European trade routes. Flemish merchants swarmed out to every corner of the then known world. Foreign merchants, bankers and artists came to Flanders endowing the magnificent Flemish cities with even more prosperity and cultural vitality. Flemings speak Dutch (NOT Flemish, which is not a language) and can look back on an illustrious past with culture, art, world famous painters and rebellious citizens. Flanders is the first region that saw citizens reclaiming individual rights from their kings and lords, thus reintroducing democracy to the West after Rome’s fall. With many of its citizens (back then considered to be Southern Dutch) involved in the establishment of New Amsterdam, Flanders’ core values of entrepreneurship, vocal citizenry and hard work strongly influenced the settlement of the US. Although at the heart of Europe and Europe’s most globalized region, Flanders with its capital Brussels, is still a well kept secret. It is home to top contemporary & historical art, architecture (Art Nouveau), fashion designers, scientists, performers and to some of the most popular beers and foods…

Population

Flanders accounts for 60% of the total Belgian population. Its people and companies produce 70% of the Gross Domestic product of Belgium (and thus of its tax income) and 80% of all exports from Belgium. Flanders, and thus Belgium, is an open economy, well integrated into the world’s global trade system. Flemings want to go forward in life. Their aim is prosperity and well-being for everyone. They are hardworking entrepreneurs, highly educated researchers and multilingual employees. Whatever they do, they always want to do it in the best possible way. Flemings strive for quality and attach great importance to efficiency and result orientation, though not at the expense of others.

The people of Flanders also like to enjoy life: they are often referred to as ‘loving the Burgundian life’ (in memory of Flanders heyday as Burgundy’s main stay of power), with great foods, beers, comfortable homes, and Flemish masters hanging in their museums. On the other hand, they are accustomed to affordable medical care for everyone and to one of the highest level of education in the Western world.

 www.flandershouse.org/flanders_at…

Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception Exhibition at MoMA.

05/05/2011 – 08/01/2011

Flanders House is a proud sponsor of the exhibition Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, which runs through August 1. Alÿs (born in 1959, Antwerp, Belgium).

Frances Alys uses poetic and allegorical methods to address political and social realities, such as national borders, localism and globalism, areas of conflict and community, and the benefits and detriments of progress.

Alÿs’s personal, ambulatory explorations of cities form the basis for his practice, through which he compiles extensive and varied documentation that reflects his ideas and process. As one of the foremost artists of his generation, the artist has produced a complex and diverse body of work that includes video, painting, performance, drawing, and photography. This exhibition draws on the Museum’s unique and important collection of Alÿs’s work, highlighting three recent major acquisitions—Re-enactments (2001), When Faith Moves Mountains (2002), and Rehearsal I (Ensayo I) (1999–2001)—which include video installations, paintings, drawings, collages, photographs, and newspaper clippings. These works present an investigation of methods of social action, from rehearsals and re-enactments in urban environments that address the politics of public space to large-scale communal participation where the culmination of many small acts achieves mythic proportions. The exhibition, which is conceptually grouped around these three thematic bodies of work, also includes additional artworks that the artist has developed around the idea of rehearsal and re-enactment in relation to progress in art and everyday life. The exhibition continues at MoMA PS1 with an in-depth look at Modern Procession (2002), a piece commissioned by MoMA to mark its temporary relocation to Queens during the Museum’s 2002–04 expansion project.

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Kris Dierckx is Representative of the Flemish Government in the USA.

Word of Welcome by Kris Dierckx.

Dear Reader,

Last week, President Barack Obama travelled to Europe to reaffirm the core alliances between the United States and its European allies. It was an opportunity for the White House to coordinate and align their approaches on a number of issues, as well as an opportunity to underscore the ties between the United States and Europe that are grounded in interests and values.

As the President finishes up his weeklong tour of Europe, I am proud to announce that H.E. Kris Peeters, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders will be visiting the United States, touring Washington D.C., Boston, and New York in the context of a Belgian Economic Mission to the US lead by H.R.H. Prince Philippe of Belgium. The targeted sectors are the bio and pharmaceutical sector, healthcare, and ICT. On this occasion Flanders House will be hosting the Transatlantic Friendship Concert at TheTimesCenter in New York, which will be performed by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, lead by Flemish Musical Director Dirk Brossé.

On Wednesday, June 8th, Flanders House will be hosting the book launch of Jan De Volder’s The Spirit of Father Damien, which tells the story of the exceptional achievements in Hawai’i by a missionary priest who was named Belgium’s greatest personality, according to a nationwide televised poll.

On a final note, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Flanders House Soccer Team on a great Spring league performance, and wish all our readers an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend and a great start of the Summer.

Please take the time to read on and I hope to see you at one of our future events.

All the best,

Kris Dierckx
Representative of the Flemish Government

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