Ik had al eerder aangekondigd dat er veel beweegt achter de schermen… En eindelijk kan ik al ietsje tonen! Namelijk een wereldwijde publicatie van de iconische groene kevertaxi’s door Volkswagen “Das Auto. Magazine”.
Je kan het artikel en de foto’s hier bekijken. Maar als je nu toevallig in Mexico bent, of Zwitserland spring dan eens binnen bij een VW dealer. Daar liggen de gedrukte versies!
En nee, zo’n dingen komen niet vanzelf en zeker niet snel. Aan de reeks Vocho Verde begon ik in 2008. Tijdens een taxirit van 2 uur door Mexico Stad genoot ik van het panoramisch uitzicht. De volgende dag hoorde ik van vrienden dat de kevertaxi’s snel uit het straatbeeld moesten verdwijnen van de Mexicaanse overheid.
In 2009 vertrok ik gepakt en gezakt met mijn Pentax67 en een hoop rolletjes Fuji Pro160S 120mm. Ik schuimde de straten af, sprong in tientallen taxi’s, ging tussen de straatverkopers staan aan het rode licht in gure buurten,… Met een warm hart keerde ik na dit avontuur met al mijn materiaal, zonder schrammetje, terug naar België.
Uitgeput en opgelucht stapte ik van de Thalys in Antwerp-Centraal, de laatste halte van mijn reis. Het spannendste moment maakte ik mee op dat moment. Mijn valies met mijn fototoestellen en al mijn filmrolletjes viel tussen de trein en het perron… In mijn hoofd zag ik alle filmrolletjes al rondslingeren, metershoog boven de sporen terwijl de trein in volle snelheid wegrijdt. Toen is een jongen razendsnel op zijn buik gaan liggen en heeft snel mijn valies gered. Hij was verdwenen vooraleer ik bedankt kon zeggen. Ik stond daar maar een beetje te schuifelen, vol ontlading en jetlag in mijn hoofd…
Mexicanen zouden direct een kruisje slaan en hun patroonheilige Guadalupe eeuwig dankbaar zijn. Na mijn 11 bezoeken aan Mexico ben ik wel warmbloedig geworden, maar nog niet zo heftig. Na het voorval in Antwerpen-Centraal heb ik me voorgenomen om de fotoreeks en de VW kevers te koesteren. En om door te zetten om het verhaal van de Vocho Verde wereldwijd te delen. Misschien is het daarom dat Pablo de Kever vandaag zo’n belangrijkere rol speelt in mijn leven…
Voorbije zondag had de 5e Love Bugs Parade plaats in Brussel. Honderden broertjes en zusjes waren aanwezig. En de pers was ook nieuwsgierig naar de kever met een naam… Mijn liefde voor Pablo de Kever kun je hier nog eens bekijken:
De Love Bugs Parade stond dit jaar in het teken van de Mexicaanse kever, naar aanleiding van de “Vochol” die geëxposeerd wordt in Bozar. Deze vocho gemaakt in huichol kunst werd gemaakt door miljoenen parels en wordt binnenkort geveild.
Sommigen hebben mijn fotoreeks “Vocho Verde”, over de groene kevertaxi’s in Mexico Stad, al bewonderd in Autoworld in 2010.
Voor diegene die toen de kans niet kregen is er goed nieuws. De reeks kun je nu gratis bewonderen op de knalgroene muur van het koffiehuis De Dikke Kat, Kasteelpleinstraat 26 in Antwerpen. De foto’s hangen nog omhoog tem 26 januari. En voor wie ook verbonden is met een beetje nostalgie met deze groene kevers, de foto’s zijn ook te koop!
Als je meer wil weten over de fotoreeks, dan kun je een kijkje nemen op de website over de Vocho Verde. En voor diegenen die al een déjà-vu voeldenopkomen… Ja, natuurlijk lijkt Pablo de Kever op deze taxi’s! Ik heb hem speciaal in het leven geroepen om deze verdwenen iconische taxi in ere te houden!
De voorbije weken was het hier nogal stil op de blog. Maar mijn hoofd en leven waren overladen!
Achter de schermen werk ik hard aan de laatste voorbereidingen van de expo Vlaamse Interieurs in september. Maar met mijn gedachten zit ik al in een grotere expo. In het echte leven heb ik afspraken met partners, aanvragen voor subsidies, etc. Alles krijgt vorm, beetje bij beetje.
Ook Pablo de Kever domineert mijn leven. We zitten nog altijd in de homologatiefase. Misschien is er deze week een kans dat we verder geraken… Mijn handen heb ik vol met het voorbereiden van de workshops. En voorbije weekend stond er een lang artikel in De Morgen! Nu nog achter de schermen verder werken aan dat nieuwe project…
Today I visited Pablo again. The top completely wrapped in plastic, covering the nice light gray colour. He was ready for the next step, turning grass-in-spring green on the lower part!
(Click on the picture for a serie on flickr)
I felt really excited to see him becoming real, until now he was just a drawing on the blog.
He needs a few more days to dry and polish. On Saturday I should have him on my side. He will only need some small replacements to get totally ready for the trip. For sure I’ll post some more pictures soon!
But excuse me, I have to pick up my boyfriend at the airport and get some quality time I want him to show the Angel de la Independencia by night on Reforma, the Zocalo, Templo Mayor and Museum of Antropology. Busy schedule for 1 day!
Binnenkort vind je hier enkel nog in het Engels allerlei wilde verhalen over mijn avonturen in Mexico! Maar eerst nog een aankondiging voor mijn ander project, Vlaamse interieurs.
Iedereen die me graag aan het werk wilt zien, zap op woensdag 7 juli om 19u35 naar 1000 Zonnen & Garnalen op EEN. Voor de techneuten… ik huppel in de aflevering rond met een Pentax67 en verstop me achter mijn technische camera!
Hieronder één van de beelden die ik nam… eind 2011 in een expo te bewonderen in Vlaanderen!
Preparing the roadtrip in Mexico is just one of the many projects I work on. thanks to Stichting Roeping I can expose a serie of pictures of the Flemish Interiors in the train stations next year, as mentioned in the newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen. Any tips of Flemish Interiors are still welcome!
Besides my roadtrip, I still work on the Flemish Interiors. I thank Stichting Roeping for giving me the fund that allows me to continue photographing the interiors (any suggestions are still welcome!) and expose them next year in a public space! Yesterday the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad published a short article about the fund and my project. Check out the article here.
Big picture with a small text, perfect to tease the people reading the Weekend Knack!
I used my Canon 5DII most of the time to take pictures. But from time to time I switched to video. You can check out some impressions in this small video. Another video will be available later.
I was asthonised to see Mexico City last week withou the green beetle taxi’s… Yes, they are all gone, all thousands of them… Here and there you can find a few ones left: “taxi” whiped out with green paint, covered with dust, “for sale”,… Amazing how suddenl, just a few weeks, y a cityscape can change. You can still find some beetle taxi’s, but only painted in the new colors… without colored gas lids, stickers or other flashy decorations. It’s not the same…
And I can only think about “gringo”, which means “green go”. The Mexicans yelled this at the Americans in green army uniform during the war…
The last weeks I had call ups in some magazines to find more typical Flemish interiors. And I am very satistfied with the response. I am putting more and more dots on my map to gather the addresses! So, I am ready for more action on the field!
It took me some time to process the high amount of films… But here are the first pictures scanned and retouched! I also took these chapels on digital (see previous posts), so you can compare and let me know which one you like the best (WordPress does flat the bright colors I had…). More will follow!
Last Friday I got up early to explore a town and its Semana Santa. At 7.20 it looked very abandoned. Just a few people who started dragging big bags out of the church. I started wondering what they were doing with these bags, so I followed them. They started making a coloured tapestry for the procession of Semana Santa. I was amazed by the speedness they made it. But I was astonished when I found out they made this tapestry the whole way of the procession, untill the hill with the temple. It’s a perfect example of Mexican culture: a mix of their own traditions and the Catholic influence of Spain… Most pictures I took with my Pentax. I shot some digital to check the light, which was horrible during midday… Every day I fall in love again with the format of the Pentax. It seems like the digital makes everything so flat and out of balance… I am not satisfied with these pictures, but I do want to share this tradition for Easter.
Some cityscapes from Earth Hour 09 in Antwerp: the Cathedral, Hilton Hotel,…
Recently I started my project about “Vlaamse Interieurs” (Flemish Interiors). I want to capture the lifestyle of our grandparents who are becoming a rare species. Each object in their house has their own story. I try to put them together in an image on large format, so I can blow them up and show the details.
If you still know any (Belgian) people with this type of houses, please contact me (email@example.com). Time is running out. I often heard “It is too late, my mother just passed away…”
It is hard to be impressed by images because most of the time I feel that something is missing, the last final touch. When I saw the panoramic pictures of Carl de Keyzer (Belgian photographer and member of Magnum) in his new book Trinity, I was amazed! Everything is just in the right place, composition, details, stories,… Check out these pictures on his website.
Some rural Mexican protested against Senator Dante Delgado who cleaned up 400 villages for exlusive and private use. So the inhabitants are left naked…
One of the symbols of Mexico (City).
When I was in Mexico 4,5 years ago, they manufactured the last beetles of Volkswagen in Puebla. I was afraid that this other symbol of Mexico would be a rarity by now. Luckely it was not.
2 months early, but Mexicans don’t mind to sell X-mas decorations!
I just read my first Belgian newspaper. It’s hard to avoid the articles about our government, which is still in formation. If I had voted for Yves Leterme, I would feel screwed after 150 days of him messing around. I would have the urge to demand new elections because the faith in CD&V and NV-A would be zero. Luckely for me I didn’t vote for him.
“Dollar dumped by the whole world”. After being 2 weeks in Mexico, I understand. (Latin) American people pay very high prices, while for use it was a very cheap holiday thanks to me Euros! Prices were even less than the ones mentioned in my Lonely Planet of 2002! So if you want to travel the (Latin) America, go now and feel like a king!
Another article that drew my attention was “Subway will open 140 establishments in Belgium”. Not for me. I just had my Subway sandwich in Mexico. Did the taste left behind in the fridge and oven?! Subway can’t seduce me. They won’t make business with my money, nor can McDonals. If I could chose an American chain, it would be STARBUCKS. Damn, I’m gonna miss their atmosphere and coffee so much! Anyone needs a helping hand to start up the first one in Belgium? Call me!
I tried to make a slideshow with music that fits to the content of the IJzerwake. This is what I came up with. The sounds and the pictures together bring you closer to the reality of the event.
You hear the Flemish anthym: De Vlaamse Leeuw.
The comic strip “Tintin in Africa” is causing a wave of reactions in the world. Last month a British bookstore removed the books because a customer complained about the racist content. In this book the congelese inhabitants speak a very simple language, get insulted by Tintin and have too fat lips. The original version has already been corrected. Still these corrections are not enough for the British bookstore and others. Today a congolese student in Belgium accuses the book too. Some people are in favour of the original (more racist) version of the comic because it tells a history. One that was the truth at that time and it should not be forgotten. Very brief, Congo used to be the (only) colony of the Kingdom of Belgium and the locals were treated wrongly in the beginning.
On the picture below you can see graffiti in the streets of Brussels. It reminds me of the wall paintings you can find spread all over Belgium. Check out “Useful to know > Comics” to find out more about this part of the Belgian culture.
I saw that you guys are getting high expectations of this blog. That’s great! So prepare yourself to get in touch with Belgium.
Jet Airways was the main item in the news today. They started with direct flights (prices start at 750 EUR) between Brussels and Mumbai . Good news for our economy! This creates hundreds of new jobs at our international airport Zaventem (= Brussels Airport). It will compensate the loss of DHL (= many AIESEC trainees!) taking out their hub at Zaventem and moving their hub to Leipzig in 2008. And I guess we will have a wave of Indian tourists, like we have now many Japanese cruise ships passing by who drop their crazy tourists for a whole weekend in Antwerp! It is really fun to watch them shopping and taking pictures. You don’t have to go abroad anymore because you can meet all cultures in Belgium!
All the newspapers had pictures of the Belgian coast on their frontpage, kids paddling in the sea and women laying in monokini on the beach! The month August will bring the sun in stead of rain like July. During the Summer there are plenty of festivals to visit and shops are open on Sunday. You can go by train to the city Ostend and take the “Kusttram”, a tram which travels along the seaside. Just get off at the place you like! Do you like the beach and you are crazy about festivals? Than you shouldn’t miss Polé Polé. This beach festival is the biggest in Europe and takes place on 9th till 12th of August.
If you prefer to keep up to date with sports in stead of start dancing on a festival, you should continue reading. The nice lady on the picture is the athlete Kim Gevaert. She won the 100 and 200 metre races at the Belgian Athletics Championships this weekend. Kim is not as popular as the Belgian tennis players Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters. Both of them have been number one on the world list. Justine Henin (from the French Region) is still in competition, but Kim Clijsters (from the Flemish region) quit in May and married the American basketball player Brian Lynch. Next time I will explain more about sports and athletes in Belgium, from cyclism (Belgian participants in Tour de France, etc.) to pigeons.
The last item of today concerns, again, our economy. The Dutch bank ABN Amro will be taken over by another bank. For the moment they are still trying to find out which offer they should take, the one of Fortis (supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland and Banco Santander of Spain) or the British Barclays Bank. The story will be continued. Interesting to know is that ABN Amro has a special department for the diamond sector in Antwerp. This devision will be cut off when Fortis takes over ABN Amro. Right now some AIESEC trainees are working there. The Fortis bank has a Benelux origin. Benelux is a merge of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. We often refer to this territory because there is a lot of cooperation betweens these countries. The economical union between these countries formed the basis of the current European Union.
First Jet Airways lands in Brussels Airport
Here you find my first selection in the news! A bit old, but most of you have no clue that this happened. There is a video with English comments so you can easily follow.
On the 21st of July, our National Holiday, formateur Yves Leterme wanted to sing our anthem Brabançonne. Instead he started singing the French anthem La Marseillaise. Of course, he was confused. We have three different cultures, national holidays, languages, flags, etc stuffed in this little country. If our future Prime Minister already gets confused, you can’t blame foreigners to have a hard time getting integrated! FYI: Right now Yves Leterme (member of CD&V – Flemish Christian democrat) is leading the negotations for the new federal parliament (expected in September). This makes him the most likely candidate as PM. He used to be Prime Minister of the Flemish Parliament untill some weeks ago.
You can check out his singing talent on this video:
More information about his actions:
Finally, my first blog. The ideas in my head can be written down and shared with the world! Internet is just great!
On the transition party in Brussels last Friday I heard that AIESEC Belgium has plenty of trainees (more than 120 last year). And very soon at least 20 more are coming to Inbev. It’s great! It means plenty of people who are going to build up a part of their life in Belgium. After meeting dozens of foreigners I found out that they have a hard time to get in touch with the culture and current affairs, even though there are some interesting websites (check out the links.) This can be improved. In my current job as a journalist it is sometimes hard to add value to AIESEC because I am out of the marketing and sales of the organisation. I do hope this blog can bring foreigners (so not only AIESEC trainees and members) closer to Belgium and eachother.
I will pick out items from the news to explain to you, but you can also post questions. If you have no clue why we are speaking two languages in Brussels (officially we have three: Dutch, French and German), or you are wondering why we have 3 different bus companies driving around in this little country, then just post your question and I will answer.
Just a little bit about me. My boyfriend Florian and I love other cultures. The last two years we had more than 10 different nationalities staying in our place. For the moment Gabriela, a trainee from Brazil, is living at my place in the centre of Antwerp. Florian started working in the Netherlands with the purpose to continue this job in Kazakhstan in two years. So, I am trying to find a way to prepare myself: listening to Russian podcasts (you can learn any kind of language there, for free!), broaden my network, gain more experience in photography so maybe I can start as a full-time photographer, gain more writing skills, and so on.
I am going to check out the internet now so I can tell you some news about Belgium tonight.