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Paul van der Gaag

Paul van der Gaag - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Paul van der Gaag - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(The Hague, 1958) has produced and presented the VPRO radio programme OVT since 2002, a two-hour show about the historical roots of current events as well as newly released historical books, films, commemorations, and anything else related to history. The show features live interviews, reportage, columns and a weekly documentary during the last half hour. Van der Gaag also freelances for other VPRO programmes and other networks such as IKON and FARA. He has been involved as a producer with OVT since 1992.

(2015)

Archive available for: Paul van der Gaag

  • Winternachten 2018

    VPRO's OVT Live

    With: David Van Reybrouck, Ernst Reijseger, Jos Palm, Karwan Fatah-Black, Louise O. Fresco, Madelon de Keizer, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Rodaan Al Galidi, Wim Berkelaar

    NO MORE TICKETS AVAILABLE - Every Sunday morning, the topicality of history is the focus of one of the most popular radio programs in the Netherlands. This edition of OVT will be broadcast live from the festival's cozy Wintercafé in the Theater aan het Spui. Come watch and listen!

    Writers from the Winternachten Festival, such as Louise O. Fresco and David Van Reybrouck, will join the live broadcast for interviews and discussion; famous musician Ernst Reijseger will perform on cello. Further guests are Karwan Fatah Black, Madelon Keijzer, Nelleke Noorderliet and Wim Berkelaar. Hosts: Paul van der Gaag en Jos Palm. Program in Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2018 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Turning Van Dis into a Graphic Novel

    Peter van Dongen has turned Familieziek (Family Disease), the autobiographical novel by Adriaan van Dis, into a graphic novel. It is a story told in scenes about an Indonesian family affected by the war, which tries to land on their feet in the Netherlands of the 1950s.

    Van Dongen worked closely with Van Dis on the project. During Writers Unlimited, the graphic novelist looks back on this collaboration, including the exciting relationship between the words of the writer and the images of the artist and the story that binds it all together.

    It's not surprising that the two authors understand one another. In 1998, Van Dongen - child of an Indonesian mother and Dutch-German father - caused a stir with Rampokan: Java, a historical and psychological graphic novel in clear-line style that takes place during the colonial war fought by the Netherlands in the former Dutch Indies. Part two, Rampokan: Celebes, was published in 2004.

    The former Dutch Indies are also central to Familieziek. The 2002 novel is about a family from the colonies that builds a new life in the Netherlands.

  • Winternachten 2017

    VPRO O.V.T. Live

    With: Arnon Grunberg, Bart Funnekotter, Bas Heijne, Eric Vloeimans, Ian Buruma, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Jos Palm, Karin Amatmoekrim, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag

    NO TICKETS LEFT - Every Sunday morning, the relevance of history is the focus of one of the most popular radio programs in the Netherlands. This edition of OVT will be broadcast live from the festival's cozy Wintercafé in the Theater aan het Spui. Come watch and listen!

    Writers from the Winternachten Festival will join this programme for interviews: Ian Buruma, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Bas Heijne, Karin Amatmoekrim and Arnon Grunberg. Writer Nelleke Noordervliet will read her column. Bart Funnekotter presents the book reviews this week. With live music by trumpet player Eric Vloeimans. Programme in Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2016

    VPRO's O.V.T. Live

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Eva Vriend, Florejan Verschueren, Helmut Lotti, Inge Schilperoord, Jos Palm, Kristien Hemmerechts, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Rodaan Al Galidi

    One of Radio 1's most popular programmes is VPRO's O.V.T. Every Sunday morning, the focus is on the contemporary significance of historic events. It's become a tradition for the producers to move to The Hague during the festival, this time broadcasting live from the cozy lobby of Theater aan het Spui. Count on appearances by festival guests Adriaan van Dis and Rodaan Al Galidi. Flemish singer Helmut Lotti will perform, and of course Nelleke Noordervliet will deliver her spoken column. The hosts are Paul van der Gaag and Jos Palm. The public is welcome and admission is free - but be sure to reserve your spot via www.writersunlimited.nl

  • Winternachten 2016 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Welcome in Holland

    Rodaan Al Galidi roamed the world without a passport until he ended up in a Dutch refugee centre. What followed was a battle with the government, the system, and institutionalized evil. Without the benefits of refugee status or an integration diploma, he built a career as a writer. A victory of man over system? Of humanity over rules? These questions form the basis of his latest book, Hoe ik talent voor het leven kreeg (How I Found a Talent for Life), which is presented to the public and to special guest Adriaan van Dis tonight.

  • Winternachten 2015

    VPRO's OVT Live

    With: Bas Heijne, Cynthia McLeod, De Règâhs, Elsbeth Etty, Mathijs Deen, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul Scheffer, Paul van der Gaag, Reggie Baay, Stefan Hertmans, Ton van de Langkruis

    One of the most popular programmes on Radio 1 is VPRO's OVT (Simple Past Tense). Every Sunday the contemporary relevance of history takes centre stage.

    It has become a tradition for OVT's radio professionals to relocate to The Hague during the festival in order to broadcast live from the cozy lobby of Theater aan het Spui. The public is most welcome; admission and coffee are free. The programme includes a spoken commentary by Nelleke Noordervliet, an interview with Bas Heijne on Couperus, and a focus on writer Reggie Baay and his just-published book Daar werd wat gruwelijks verricht (Something Terrible Happened There), about the hidden history of slavery in the Dutch East Indies. With live music by the The Hague band De Règâhs. Don't forget to reserve your spot via the blue link above. Programme in Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2015 – SATURDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Forgotten Slavery in the Dutch East Indies

    When slavery comes up, everyone thinks of Suriname and the Antilles but never of Indonesia. Why has the Dutch history of more than 260 years of slave trade in the Dutch East Indies been collectively forgotten? Exactly 155 years after the (official) abolition of slavery in the Dutch East Indies, Reggie Baay published Daar werd wat gruwelijks verricht (Something Terrible Happened There), a non-fiction book about the unknown history of slavery in the Dutch East Indies. Paul van der Gaag leads a conversation about forgetting, remembrance, and slavery in the "other former Dutch colony." In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2014

    VPRO OVT Live

    With: Ad van Liempt, Ian Buruma, Jacques Janssen, Jos Palm, Neco Novellas, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag

    One of the best listened-to programmes on Radio 1 is VPRO's OVT (Simple Past Tense). Every Sunday morning the topicality of history takes centre stage. It has become something of a tradition for the programme to be broadcast live from the festival and therefore it relocates to The Hague. This time to be broadcast live for an audience, from the warm foyer of Theater aan het Spui.

    Paul van der Gaag and Jos Palm are the hosts and there is live music by Neco Novellas. Ian Buruma, Jacques Janssen and Nelleke Noordervliet are guests, among others. Music by Neco Novellas. Members of the public are invited to come and both admission and coffee are free. But please, don't forget to book through the link at the top of this page.

  • Winternachten 2014 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Writers and film: Ian Buruma

    Writer Ian Buruma for this hour has chosen a number of film extracts about war. He talks to Paul van der Gaag (VPRO's history programme OVT). With among others extracts from Apocalypse Now and Throne of Blood. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2013

    VPRO OVT Live

    With: Denise Jannah, Frank Westerman, Lucas Hüsgen, Mathijs Deen, Nelleke Noordervliet, Onno Blom, Paul van der Gaag

    One of the best listened to programmes of Radio I is VPRO's O.V.T, present perfect tense, or open past. Every Sunday morning the topicality of history occupies centre stage. It's a tradition now that the programme makers move to the heart of The Hague during the festival to broadcast live from Café Brasserie Dudok. This time the focus is on Lucas Hüsgen (writer of Nazi te Venlo), on the Dutch author Gerrit Komrij, who died last year,  and on the work of Polish writer and journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski. There is live music by jazz singer Denise Jannah, accompanied by guitarist Robby Alberga. Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen are the familiar hosts. Open to the public, admission free, including coffee and cake. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2013 – Winternacht 2 - schrijvers, muziek en film op vijf podia

    The Third Chamber of Parliament

    Third Chamber chair Ruben Maes invites you to debate, interrupt, and introduce amendments. Bring true democracy closer. Even if it is just for one evening. Five guests will spark off the debate: philosopher Maxim Februari opens with a column on the notion of citizen. Then cultural historian Thomas von der Dunk, journalist Paul van der Gaag and writers Christine Otten and David Van Reybrouck enter into a discussion with you, the audience. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2013 – Winternacht 2 - schrijvers, muziek en film op vijf podia

    Burger King and Citizenship

    The debate on the role of the citizen in democracy is in the spotlights. But is the ordinary citizen waiting for such a king's role? Wouldn't he rather fulfil the role of consumer and doesn't he think that going to the ballot poll once every four years is quite enough? Isn't the call for more citizen participation first and foremost a flickering of a small elitist flame? Five writers in search of the answer. Nelleke Noordervliet opens with a column, diving into the history of Dutch democracy. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2012

    VPRO OVT Radio Live

    With: Annejet van der Zijl, Margot Dijkgraaf, Mathijs Deen, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Trio Droomvogels, Willem Nijholt

    Every year VPRO Radio broadcasts this history programme during the festival, live from the Brasserie Dudok. In this episode the writers at the festival discuss literature and history. With live muziek. Hosts: Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen.

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 1

    Extaze - debutants from The Hague

    Cor Gout of the The Hague liiterary magazine Extaze selected six debutants, who read from their own work: Ronnie Krepel, Gertrude Kunze, Nina Roos, Murat Tuncel, Theo van der Wacht and Hugo Wapperom. Host: Paul van der Gaag. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 2

    Treasure hunters

    History is an inexhaustible source of inspiration for writers. Arthur Japin usually bases himself on historic events and characters. Where in his work does he draw the line between fact and the imagination? And how does an experienced writer of biographies like Annejet van der Zijl bend history to her will? And how did Said el Haji research his latest novel, set in the Mecca of before the origin of Islam? In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2011

    VPRO OVT Live

    With: Asis Aynan, Ernest van der Kwast, Marlon Titre, Mathijs Deen, Nazmiye Oral, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Wim Tigges

    As usual the VPRO history programme OVT broadcasts from cafe Dudok as part of Writers Unlimited - Winternachten Festival The Hague. This time the programme will go in search of great expectations and Utopias from the past. Live music by Marlon Titre. Hosts: Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 1

    How Literature Changes the World

    Indonesian Lily Yulianti Farid and Egyptian Abeer Soliman both have a dream. Abeer Soliman is a writer, blogger and storyteller She wants to breathe new life in the 'old' art of narration, as well as fight traditional ideas in Egyptian society about the role of women. Lily Yulianti Farid is a writer and journalist. By means of literature and the performing arts she wants to make Indonesian women aware of their subordination. Paul van der Gaag talks to the writers about the question whether literature and art can change society and how high our hopes may be. In English.

  • Winternachten 2010

    VPRO's OVT Live

    With: Cynthia McLeod, Gert Oostindie, Gilbert Wawoe, John Jansen van Galen, Mathijs Deen, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Sams, Theo Para

    This year too VPRO's history programme OVT ends the festival in a live broadcast from café Dudok. The Surinamese writer Theo Para is a guest to talk about his book De Schreeuw van Bastion Veere (The Cry of Bastion Veere), dealing with the history of Surinam since the 1982 December murders. With music by singer and percussionist Victor Sams, who comes from St Eustatius.

  • Winternachten 2010 – Winternachten 1

    Indonesia, country of outsiders

    The Malaysian writer Tash Aw and the Indonesian journalist Andreas Harsono talk about Indonesia as a country of purely outsiders. The characters in Aw's latest novel, Map of the Invisible World, all belong in Indonesia, while being outsiders at the same time. Aw's first novel, The Harmony Silk Factory also was on outsider, but then it dealt with the position of the Chinese in Southeast Asia. Non-fiction writer Andreas Harsono works as a journalist in Indonesia, and in addition writes for a Malaysian paper. He is busy writing a book with the meaningful title A Nation in Name: Debunking the Myth of Indonesian Nationalism. In the discussion we take the year 1964 in Aw's novel as a starting-point, the year in which Indonesia balanced on the verge of civil war. From there the writers, travelling through time, look at the country with the eyes of outsiders. Who was an outsider, and when? How did they view Indonesia? What does it look like now: who are the outsiders today, and who is 'within'? Host: VPRO radio journalist Paul van der Gaag. In English

  • Winternachten 2009

    VPRO O.V.T.

    With: Geert Mak, Kees 't Hart, Mathijs Deen, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Raj Mohan, Shrinivási

    On Sunday morning the festival was concluded by a special live broadcast of VPRO's OVT on Radio 1 from Dudok in The Hague. In VPRO's history programme OVT (simple past tense) literature and (falsified) history came together in talks with Winternachten's 2009 guests. With, among others, Nelleke Noordervliet, Kees 't Hart, Geert Mak, Shrinivási from Suriname and the Surinamese/Hindu musician/poet Raj Mohan, who treated the audience on a few beautiful and moving songs. The program was hosted by Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    Jan Baeke's Fake film choice

    How feature films and documentaries are used for political manipulation: that's what it was about in this programme. Jan Baeke is a poet and programme maker with the Film Museum in Amsterdam. The word 'faked' led him to a choice of film fragments: from Kurt Gerron's forced positive Theresienstadt document and the work of Eisenstein to the modern satire Wag the dog and Michael More's films. Baeke talked about his film choice with Paul van der Gaag.

  • Winternachten 2008

    VPRO's OVT Live from Winternachten

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Ahmed Ziani, Antjie Krog, Asis Aynan, Geert Mak, Haytham Safia Qu4rtet, Mathijs Deen, Paul van der Gaag

    The last of Winternachten 2008 can be heard in the Sunday morning Radio 1 programme OVT (Simple Past Tense), a live broadcast from The Hague.

    In VPRO's OVT history and literature come together in conversations with Winternachten guests Antjie Krog from South Africa and the Berber poet Ahmed Ziani, and writer Geert Mak. The series 'In Europe', part of the programme, today focuses on the 1930s. Can the fear of those times be compared to that in our time? In Dutch

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Young + Urban + Writer

    Is this a coincidence? Three debuts from countries far apart, showing striking resemblances. The novels of Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Sweden), Hassan Bahara (Netherlands) and Ahmad al-Aidi (Egypt) are set in the big city, in multi-ethnic surroundings, and the main characters share the same radical anti-attitude: they rebel against the dominant culture or against their own insensitive milieu. How to rebel? By manipulating, bastardising, by silencing language, by, as is the case with Al-Aidi, mixing street language with classical Arabic. These young urban writers give us their image of contemporary, chaotic city life and although this is not particularly cheerful, at least their free use of language makes for an agreeable vitality. New literature of the 21st century. Interviewer: Paul van der Gaag. In English.

  • Winternachten 2007

    VPRO's OVT - Live in Winternachten

    With: Allard Schröder, H.J.A. Hofland, Jakarta Street Band, Mathijs Deen, Paul van der Gaag, Thomas Rosenboom

    The last sounds from Winternachten 2007 were heard on Sunday morning from The Hague in a live broadcast of OVT, the history programme of VPRO radio.

    The programme was dedicated to Winternachten and the relationship between history and literature. Writer Thomas Rosenboom talked about his reworking of the African letters of Focquenbroch (1640-1670), written during his stay at fort El Mina, the Dutch slave depot on Afrca's westcoast. In addition there was attention for Jonathan Swift's fictitious travel novel Gulliver's Travels and its rewriting at Winternachten. Writer Allard Schröder told about his chapter in Gulliver's New Travels. H.J.A. Hofland read his column on explorers. In this broadcast attention was paid to the research programme of the Dutch Institute for War Documentation about the decolonization process in Indonesia. The results of the research were presented during Winternachten.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Women on expedition

    What lady would leave the beaten track? Why run the risk of illness, robbery and the unknown bush? Two travel writers and a professor talked to one another. Karin Anema ventured into the Surinamese interior, Ineke Holtwijk made her acquaintance with a recently discovered indian tribe in the heart of Brazil. Bert Paasman, emeritus professor of Colonial Letters, looked for the driving force of earlier explorers. Do Anema and Holtwijk understand their predecessors? Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2007 – Van Indië tot Indonesië

    Financial perkaras

    Host Paul van der Gaag talked to historians Hans Meijer and Peter Keppy about their research into administrative decisions on arrears in civil servants' salaries, material war damage and rehabilitation. On the struggle of the Dutch government and the Indian Dutch with the financial heritage of the war in the Dutch East-Indies. Is the Dutch government in default?

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 1

    The world goose board

    In a well or in jail? Miss one turn or tell your travel story. Adriaan van Dis, Cynthia McLeod, Reggie Baay and Thomas Rosenboom played the World Goose Board, a risky journey through the world, in search of the ideal destination. Dutch spoken.

    De earlier announced participation of Marjon van Royen had to be cancelled. As a correspondent for the Dutch media in Brazil, she must stay in this country to report on the landslide. Her place was taken by the Surinamese writer Cynthia McLeod.

  • Winternachten 2006

    VPRO O.V.T. - live from Winternachten

    With: Breyten Breytenbach, Frank Martinus Arion, Mathijs Deen, Merietza Haakmat en Hershel Rosario, Paul van der Gaag

    The final sounds of Winternachten 2006 come from cafe brasserie Dudok on sunday morning, during a live broadcast of O.V.T., the historical VPRO radio programme. This edition focusses on literature. One of the literary subjects is the history of the Netherlands and the anti apartheid struggle. With the presence of the South African poet Breyten Breytenbach. The writer from Curaçao Frank Martinus Arion talks about his new historical novel De deserteurs (The deserters) and about Uncle Tom's cabin , the novel that initiated the movement to abolish slavery in the United States. Accompanied by guitarist Hershel Rosario, Marietza Haakmat will sing Antillean songs. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Indonesia: from censorship to unprecedented freedom

    For years journalist/writer Goenawan Mohamad fought for the freedom of speech in Indonesia. There are no better witnessess of the history of censorship in Indonesia. Also former NRC correspondent Dirk Vlasblom talks about his experiences with the Indonesian censor. Paul van der Gaag chairs the discussion. Writer and journalist Goenawan Mohamad is the founder of the leading newsmagazine Tempo . For his pugnaciousness Mohamad received several awards, amongst others the first Professor Teeuw Award from the University of Leiden. Mohamad received the Wertheim award in December 2005. For this programme we earlier announced teh participation of Joesoef Isak, journalist and publisher from Indonesië. For reasons of ill health he cannot make the trip to the Netherlands. He is replaced by A. Munandar, an Indonesian exile living in The Netherlands. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2005

    VPRO'S O.V.T. (imperfect past tense) - live from Winternachten

    With: Mathijs Deen, Michiel van Kempen, Paul van der Gaag, Pierre Lauffer Ensemble, Tijs Goldschmidt, Wim Rutgers

    This historical radio programme from the VPRO is one of the most popular programmes on Radio 1. This time it will broadcast live from The Hague as part of the Winternachten programme. Literary- historical subjects will be handled. One of the guests is Kees Lagerberg, a specialist in the recent history of West-Papua. The historical perception of 'The West' as seen by Dutch writers is the subject of the anthology Noordoostpassanten (North East transients), which will be published today. This anthology is compiled by Michael van Kempen, expert on Surinam literature, together with Wim Rutgers, expert on Antillean and Aruban literature. Another guest is biologist and writer Tijs Goldschmidt. Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Hella's lessons

    At this time in the programma, writer Hella Haasse would have spoken on her latest book 'Bij de les' ( At the lesson ) on school-posters on the Netherlands-Indies, used in schools in the colonial era. Last Friday Mrs. Haasse informed us that she was ill and unable to perform at the festival. In all haste we have put together an alternative programme around her new book. Eight writers, all experts on the Dutch Indies and friends and admirers of Hella Haasse, have been asked to choose one of the school posters, give his or her commentary on this and also react to the accompanying text. They will compare Mrs. Haasse's memories with their own image evoked by the posters and comment on Mrs. Haasse's observatons. Up to now the following people have promised to take part: Adriaan van Dis, Helga Ruebsamen, Sitor Sitomorang - Indonesian poet and contemporary of Mrs. Haasse - writer Hans Vervoort, journalist and writer John Jansen van Galen and Peter van Zonneveld, who with Mrs. Haasse went over the rough version of her book. Paul van der Gaag, presentor of VPRO's radio programme O.V.T. will chair the discussion. In the course of this week more names of participants will be published. We are convinced that in this way the book 'Bij de les' (At the lesson) and Hella Haasse will receive the attention that they so justly deserve.

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Papua, the stolen independance

    West-Papua was promised independance once. But Mr Luns and president Soekarno thought otherwise. Dirk Vlasblom, NRC correspondent in Jakarta, has written the first extensive history of West-Papua. He tried to write as much as possible from the Papuan's point of view . The exiled Papuan headmen Viktor Kaisiëpo and Zacharias Sawor have fought for years for a West-Papuan future. A discussion - illustrated with historical film archives - chaired by journalist Paul van der Gaag.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Indonesia: the hidden history of 1965.

    The events around the removal of Soekarno by Suharto in 1965 leave many unanswered questions. Who was behind the coup and the violent consequences? In Indonesia only now the stories are being heard of the murders and persecution of thousands of assumed communists. Tv journalist and writer Aad van den Heuvel was present at that time and wrote about this in one of his books. In this programme he described the dubious role inthe preparations of the coup of the Dutch priest Beek. He and the Indonesian exiles Isa Ibrahim and Franciska Fanggideaj illuminated this hidden history. Including historical film fragments from Indonesia. Paul van der Gaag (presentor of the VPRO's O.V.T. programme) was the panel chairman. Dutch language.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 1

    Liberators, occupants and freedom fighters

    Japan as the liberator of Indonesia. It is an image that is not accepted by the Ducth. Last year a Japanese movie, Merdeka, showed that general Japanese view on history. How different are the views on the common past of Japan, The Netherlands and Indonesia? Paul van der Gaag (VPRO radio) talks to Goenawan Mohamad, Indonesian poet and journalist, the Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek, and Japan-expert Rikki Kersten. English spoken, and illustrated with historic film fragments.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 1

    Soekarno

    Sukarno is hot! Even his daughter has become president. His biography was published in Jakarta in 2001. It was written by a Dutchman no less, author Lambert Giebels. He talked about his findings with journalist Ed van Westerloo, who had the only Dutch tv-interview with Sukarno ever, and with Remco Raben, a researcher of the history of Indonesia in the fifties. In this program, some unique film footage of Sukarno was presented as well. Dutch spoken.