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Inspiration

INEZ BOOGAARTS

There’s got

to be more

than this

You’re a culture manager in Rotterdam – helped set up the Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities – made a splash with the Dutch program for the European Capital of Culture RUHR.2010 -and are deeply involved in the cultural exchange between Germany and the Netherlands. You never say no to a beer in Düsseldorf’s oldest brewery Schumachers, your folding bike is your faithful companion when you travel, and you truly love the garden on your balcony. Where does all this passion come from? 

 

 

My driving force has always been the feeling that “there’s got to be more than this”, to get away from the place I came from. It was really more of a coincidence that I ended up going to Germany; I had lived in Belgium and the USA before. I’ve always been interested in how urban transformation develops but after 9/11 that subject became less relevant to me in regard to the USA. That’s how I came to Düsseldorf as a Dutch diplomat and culture attaché just as the RUHR.2010 started. I don’t really see myself in an “exotic” place since I’m someone who is more comfortable is an orderly and structured environment. One thing I love about the Germans is their savoir vivre: ending the working day with a beer or a glass of wine near the Rhine, the hospitality of the many friendly people who still call us their neighbors many years later – that’s something I really appreciate. That’s why I go to Germany on vacation every year. I love Bavaria nd the Allgäu but also the Ruhr region and Hamburg.

 

You have a picture taken by the world-renowned German photographer Thomas Ruff in your living-room. Who are the most important contemporary Dutch artists?  

 

There are two I can think of: the installation artist Marjan Teeuwen – I have a photo of one of her spectacular pieces hanging right next to the Thomas Ruff picture – and the composer  Simon Ten Holt whose minimalist work Canto Ostinato was a real musical milestone, an outstanding interpretation by the Doelen Ensembles for four pianos.

You used to work as a journalist and bicycle expert for cycling magazines and your aim is to own a bicycle shop one day. What’s your dream, your biggest challenge as a cyclist?

 

Right now my biggest challenge is finding the time to indulge in my passion for cycling. At the moment cycling is unfortunately more of a duty than fun. I currently have no plans for a big tour but I’m intrigued by the idea of exploring the Basque country in northern Spain by bike.

 

You‘re currently working as a freelance culture manager and advisor. What are your next plans?

 

I want to learn to really enjoy my new-found freedom as a freelancer. I know I can work and fulfill duties I’m given – but to really be in control of my life and to enjoy being so is my next big personal challenge

 


Interview conducted early in 2016