My grandfather was a Tulip farmer

When I was a child I visited my grandparents in a section of the Netherlands called Westfriesland, Noord Holland, the Netherlands. My grandfather owned a house and a piece of land that he took care of. The house on the land was a very nice house and the land was very flat. It was always plowed neatly in straight lines, as that is what all farmers did and still do. Because my last name is van der Pol I get associated with tulips and flowers. It is in my dna. Tulips are the main industry in the province of the North Holland, the Netherlands and when strangers in the Netherlands or outside of the Netherlands have looked into my eyes all they can see is my grandfather and how he sowed tulips in the fields in Westfriesland. When I applied for jobs I got jobs in the tulip industry even though I was never taught anything about tulips – it was automatically assumed that by my heritage I was a tulip expert because it is in my genes, engineered into my brain and a skill untaught by passed down subliemely from grandfather to granddaughter.

(c)Heemskerk,July2018,photogaph.

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Zakelijke netwerken vervangt digitalisering in Haarlem Centrum NH, NL

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Foto die ik genomen heb tijdens een bijeenkomst bij Stichting Het is Netwerken ter Haarlem Centrum, Noord Holland, Nederland, Europa. 15 juni 2018.

Gisteren ben ik naar een workshop door Arnout gegeven. Het onderwerp was over hoe werkzoekende mensen boven de 45 jaar in omgeving Haarlem Centrum hun wifi uit moeten gaan zetten om beter en bewuster van de wereld waarin ze leven te worden. Wifi wordt hier niet gebruikt als middel om verbinding tussen jouw smartfoon en Internet te krijgen – maar wifi hiermee wordt bedoelt dat je minder actief moet proberen te zijn met allerlei externe aspecten van je leven en meer oplettend worden.

Arnout, was en is een deelnemer aan Stichting Het is Netwerken. Hij wilde zijn eigen workshop houden en de bestuur van Stichting Het is Netwerken vond dat een goed idee. Arnout vertelde dat hij 30 jaar als Communicatie Marketing medeweker heeft gewerkt. In het verleden heb ik een jaar Integrated Communication and Managment bij Hogeschool van Utrecht gedaan. Toen heb ik veel vakken over communicatie, marketing en management gehad. Later heb ik mijn HBO diploma in Cultuur en Beleid, specialisatie Kunsteducatie met succes afgerond.

Arnout heeft ons bij Stichting Het is Netwerken vertelt over doelgroepen en koopintenties. Ik vond Arnout een goede persoon om naar te luisteren. Maar zijn stijl was heel zachtmoedig en ik viel bijna in slaap omdat het zo zachtmoedig was. Ik vond het stijl van presentatie geven wel leuk, maar ik vind het geven van een presentatie en het uitleggen van een theorie heel iets anders dan het invoeren en uitvoeren van een marketing theorie. Met andere woorden, Arnout, net zoals ons allemaal bij Stichting Het is Netwerken is werkloos en of werkzoekend. Hij kan communicatie marketing aan ons goed vertellen maar het levert hem noch ons een baan op. Veel deelnemers bij Stichting Het is Netwerken ter Haarlem Centrum zijn erg aardige mensen die een baan zoeken. Volgens mij kunnen veel gekwalificeerde mensen niet makkelijk aan een baan meer komen vanwege arbeidsdiscriminatie. Nederlandse arbeidsdiscriminatie is echt een zeer wrede aspect van het Haarlemse Centrum bedrijfscultuur. Het is bijna te wreed om het op te noemen en daarom veel beter om het maar eens te ontkennen.

Haarlem Centrum, Noord Holland Nederland in 2018

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(Foto van St Bavo Kerk op de Grote Markt in Haarlem Centrum)

Haarlem Centrum is een heel mooi stad. Het is bijna een museum op zich zelf. Als ik van de bus afstap op de Nassaulaan in Haarlem Centrum en ik loop tot de Grote Markt naar de St. Bavo Kerk dan voel ik mij thuis. Het voelt alsof niets verandert is. Alsof mijn leven met al mijn herinneringen nog intact en geldig zijn. Alsof alles een plaatsje heeft in mij leven. De Nederlandse architectuur, bijvoorbeeld de Grote Markt en de St Bavo Kerk in Haarlem Centrum werken alsof het een soort weerspiegeling is van mijn Nederlandse ziel. Op allerlei vlakken vallen alle componenten van mijn psychologie samen als ik op de Grote Kerk ter Haarlem Centrum aan het lopen ben. Het is alsof ik in een eenheid ben met mijn omgeving en mijn persoonlijkheid. Dit gevoel is kostbaar voor mijn eigen ego want ik voel mij betrokken met de maatschappij waarin ik woon. Mijn ego voelt zich vooral verbinding met het eeuwenoude Haarlemse stadhuis, met de St Bavo Kerk en er is iets wat veel dieper dan dat ook gaat. De diepte van mijn gevoel heeft te maken met mijn groot ouders, opa en oma van der Pol. Zij hebben 40 of 50 jaar in Haarlem gewoond. Als kind hebben ze mij meegenomen naar de Grote Markt in Haarlem Centrum waar de St Bavo Kerk staat. Mijn opa en oma van der Pol kwamen allebei oorspronkelijk uit Amsterdam Oud Zuid waar Museumplein (Rijksmuseum, Van Goghmuseum, Stedelijk museum) nou is. Hoe mijn eigen groot ouders lief, aardig en zorgzaam waren doet mij aan Haarlem Centrum denken. Haarlem Centrum is wat mij betreft ook vaak lief, aardig en zorgzaam.

 

Dutch Leadership 2018

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The center of the Netherlands, the capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam. It is also in Amsterdam where the most powerful leaders of the Netherlands are situated. It is inside the “Gordelgracht” (#gordelgracht) where the powerful decision-makers are located. The powerful men (and they are mostly Dutch men holding the power of the country) are beyond the #digital_era. They are higher and above the digital era. They make decisions based on the #finance of the country in a single mark. The second layer of the Dutch leadership, are the stockbrokers in the #EuroNext. EuroNext is located very close to the #Amsterdam Central Train Station. EuroNext is like the American New York Stock Exchange (#NYSE) and carries just as much power as well. Dutch leadership is not much different from the #American leadership. In fact, the American Financial market and the European financial market used to be connected in economic values; however in 2018 the two financial markets (American and European) are being built in order to compete with each other now. Once friends and now enemies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dutch Coast Engineering Winter 2018

Took this photograph last Sunday. It is of a yellow bulldozer on the Dutch Coast close to Wijk aan Zee. The vehicle is driving up to the Dutch protected sand dunes and shoveling in to the mountain of sand and vegetation and scoping the beach soil up and driving to the new mounting sand barrier and dropping it down there. This act may seem like a simple enough mechanism but it is actually so much more then that. This North Sea Beach engineer is actually doing two things: [1] saving the Dutch coast from ruin [2] protecting the village Wijk aan Zee from the North Sea. Dutchengineering2018

Wijk aan Zee, North Holland in The Netherlands Winter 2018

wijkaanzeerkThis is a picture of a Roman Catholic Church in the village of Wijk aan Zee. Winter 2018.

The Netherlands can often been seen as a hyper futuristic country however like many countries – the Netherlands is a country of contrasts. Right now in the winter of 2018 many parts of the Netherlands have been forced to change and to adapt to the digitalization era. For example, in this photograph, if you look very closely, you can see smoke stacks and smoke coming up into the blue sky. This year, that technical industry of the Steel industry, called the Hoogovens locally, will be celebrating the 100 year anniversary. In the past 20 years, the company called the Hoogovens used to have about 24 Thousand workers to take care of the steel industry. Whereas now it is under 7000 workers. This is a concrete example, in my opinion of a combination of digitalization and industrialization.

On the one hand, Wijk aan Zee is beautiful but on the other hand, Wijk aan Zee is a Dutch village that is often torn between digitalization and industry development. The Hoogovens Steel Industry actually has a lot of land around this tiny village and there are lots of stacks of steel extracted water vapour pouring out over the village and the area of Beverwijk, in the regio of IJmond Noord and the Dutch province of North Holland.

A few short years ago this village of Wijk aan Zee was called the Cultural Village of Europe. To me this is a puzzle because what is cultural about Wijk aan Zee? Does culture have to do with people and identity? Or unity and community? Or is there something different all together, such as historic architecture that sums up what one European village has more status and standing then the other one?

In the winter of 2018 this village has almost zero cultural activities. There is a huge amount of individualization and privatization. Most people from the community who were born in this sand-grain pebble size of a city really have no interest in the rest of the world, and their only aim is to keep to themselves and protect their own turf. This is not an altruistic village.

A few years ago, the Dutch Federal Government and the National Schiphol Airport managers were engineering an idea to extend Schiphol International Airport into the North Sea, right outsideĀ of Wijk aan Zee. The development of that project is currently dormant, but it goes to show you that globalization en enhanced industrialization and digitalization all have priority over environment and historical architecture. The Netherlands is the same as all the other countries in the world. More often than not, the most powerful override the voices of the small and having high finances and plans of expansion crush villages even when they look special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holland Winter 2018

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I arrived in The Netherlands on December 01, 2017 after being away from the Netherlands for approximately 14 years. I had returned to the Netherlands about 3 times prior to 2003 but those were very short trips so I do not really count those ones.

In a way it feels like I have been in Holland forever and it feels like I never left this country. That is a good strong feeling which is perhaps linked to my Dutch identity. Maybe I am a born Dutch artist, who does not need any direction in order to anchor myself and who is not really materialistic, because the things that I buy, I am aware that I may end up either donating the items to a second hand store, a free library of books or the items may even end up in the garbage. So right now, in The Netherlands, I am nothing but a vagabond and an artist. Because I see things differently then the people in Holland see things. I notice the beauty in small things, like how the sun shines on the church steeple or how the shadow falls right between two houses in the wintertime. I am not attached to anything now, and I live each moment like I am on the edge of darkness and with the state that I could fall off the end of the world at end moment and while all of these emotions and psychological states are fluctuating through my brain, I survive and my aim is to thrive. My attitude is based on my protectionism and my will to live and survive and get the best out of life. I know that how I am operating, through the cracks of the Dutch society and living a life on the the brink of desolation sounds devasting to the average citizen but to me, this is, I am in my element because of my lust and passion to life and not to become extinct. This force is not materialized in something concrete, like having my artwork hung in museums at the Museum Plein in Amsterdam Oud Zuid, but instead it is a positive invisible force for trying to do very good and continue to be as best a Dutch citizen as I possibly can, with the very little amount of intellectual tools that I possess. One of my strongest assets, I believe is my ability to see the world through a different lens than others. This makes me admire life and provides me with a sense of deep connectedness to the society in Beverwijk in which I am currently living in, this winter 2018. Photograph of me in the Beverwijk public library 2018.