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The Road to Ruins

  • Cities
  • Culture

BĂILE HERCULANE - A collection of hotels and baths that once made up an Austro-Hungarian thermal waters resort is being destroyed under the harsh weather of its surrounding mountains.

Ionuț Stănescu

Can Congo save the world?

  • Culture
  • Agriculture
  • Environment

KINSHASA - Following on from the first part of the dossier on why and how Congo's forests became the world's first lung, John Vandaele explores whether the country can effectively be the 'solution country' it claims to want to be.

Nazi-looted art from Belgium

  • Culture
  • Justice
  • Organised crime
  • Politics

BRUSSELS - An immense art theft occured during World War II. The Nazis dragged art from occupied countries to Germany and set up ambitious collections. For Belgium, that story has not yet been told. How could paintings of Memling, Van der Weyden, Brueghel, Jordaens and Cranach so easily leave the country? The Nazis emptied homes, stole art, forced owners to sell and spent millions of Reichsmarks on the art market.

Let's celebrate!

  • Culture
  • Social affairs

BRUSSELS - Joy and intimacy between family members and friends was an obvious thing before the corona crisis, but became a scarce commodity during it. Journalist Arkasha Keysers and photographer Aurélie Geurts captured the coming together of family and friends as soon as it was allowed again.

Greetings from Spain

  • Culture
  • Politics

MADRID - In 2010, VRT correspondent Sven Tuytens moved from Brussels to Madrid. Based on his experiences, he tries to lay bare a piece of Spain's soul.

Reset

  • Culture

ANTWERPEN - The corona virus has been raging through Europe for weeks. The cultural sector is locked up and the creators at home, for the time being without any perspective. Seven artists manage to draw resilience from stagnation and show that they can quickly switch to an alternative frame of mind like no other.
During the lockdowns, a fundamental question becomes increasingly clear: what choices does society make in a crisis situation and what place does culture have in it?

War in my genes

  • Armed conflict
  • Culture

YEREVAN - Kubra was born and raised in Belgium. However, her family is Turkish, at least, that's what they thought, because she was brought up as a Belgian Turk: with Turkish customs and the Islamic faith. Internal doubts lead her to have a DNA test taken in 2017 to see if she actually has Turkish roots. The test showed that she is not Turkish but Armenian. After further investigation, it appeared that this was due to the genocide around 1916.

Black Neighbourhoods

  • Culture
  • Equality

BRUSSELS - The 'Black Neighbourhoods' project is a result of the writing residence of the Flemish-Dutch organisation deBuren. While the authors were walking through Paris, they were both attracted to Château Rouge, an African neighbourhood immediately behind Montmartre. The positive sides but also the struggles of the neighborhood with gentrification and crime, reminded them of that other African neighbourhood, much closer to home: Matonge in Brussels. That was the start of a long search for the history, identity and future of black neighbourhoods in Europe.

I put a spell on you

  • Corruption
  • Culture
  • Economy
  • Organised crime

YAOUNDE -  How witchcraft corrodes the African economy and society -  "Under the guise of witchcraft people are tortured, murdered and development money is wasted. But local governments and international aid organisations remain passive," write Alberique Houndjo (Benin), Chief Bisong Etahoben (Cameroon), Fidelis Mac-Leva (Nigeria), Anneke Verbraeken (The Netherlands). 

Demigods

  • Culture
  • Religion

INDIA - Being transgender seems to be a fairly recent concept in Belgium and the Netherlands, but in India there has been a deep-rooted culture around the third sex for centuries.