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Photographer's Note

11 July is the national day of Flanders, which is the name given to the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Historically, this region consists of the parts of Flanders (Bruges, Ghent), Brabant (Brussels, Mechelen, Antwerp) and Limburg (forests).

And what a memorable national day it was!

Our leader of parliament, who was already under fire because he had been involved in a car accident while being sloppy drunk, had to step down, after a news report revealed shady dealings with a prostitute. The good man claimed that he was only "helping the poor girl with her paper work". But the damage was done.

As leader of parliament he was then provisionally replaced by the next in line, who turned out to be an infamous old hardliner from the extreme right. But - fear not - he will be replaced soon.

All this just for the time being, of course, since, o yes, we don't have a Flemish government yet. Since last elections the leading rightwing populists have only held talks with the far right (whom nobody wants to form a coalition with). Both of these parties share one thing, though: they want to break up the country (which most Belgians do not agree with).

Come to think of it, we don't have have a Belgian government either! The biggest Flemish party is trying to force the remaining more moderate parties not to join any Belgian coalition without them in it, thus hoping to block the country and prove that Belgium doesn't work, which they hope will bring closer the final seperation of the country.

And all this brings us nicely to the topic of my post today, which is...

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FEAST OF FOOLS is a wonderful Bruegel-inspired exhibition which is currently on show in the castle of Gaasbeek, as part of a series of events and exhibitions commemmorating the 450th anniversary of passing of the great master.

PIETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER (1525-1569) is one of the all time geniusses of painting. He spent most of his time in and around Brussels. He is known for his festive peasant scenes, intriguing landscapes and some dark and ominous scenes too.

IN THIS PICTURE the main painting is "Carnaval" by Jean Brusselmans. Underneath are two smaller paintings by the Ostend giant James Ensor and to the left is "Kermis" by the Flemish painter Constant Permeke.

WORKSHOP is a version without visitors in it.

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Our day out with Bruegel was just the right way to spend this quite eventful national day...and I did not forget my camera.

PS: Bruegel is from old Brabant and would never have called himself "Flemish".

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song title reference: Dan Fogelberg

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2708 W: 35 N: 5319] (28772)
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