The US east coast in self-portraits

Things have been so hectic that only now I can find the time to go through the pictures I took on this amazing trip. Starting on 17 May, I spent a month travelling down along the east coast of the United States, together with a friend. We visited New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Charleston, Charlotte and New Orleans. I was especially thrilled to visit New Orleans; it had been on my bucket list for a long time. Also, while in New York we took a trip to Asbury Park, N.J., which was just a few hours by train away from the Big Apple. It was a small pilgrimage to the neighbourhood of one of my heroes, Bruce Springsteen, who grew up around there and launched his career from the Asbury Park boardwalk.

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Essay: War tourism and commemoration – from selfies to Schindler’s List

Lately, in the context of Remembrance Day here in the Netherlands, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the different ways in which World War II is being remembered today. For us, being occupied by Nazi Germany during the war has become a foundation myth of our identity, and most Dutch novels,  films, and even musicals (Soldier of Orange, based on the book of the same name) about the war centre around the two main protagonists in that myth: the evil collaborators and the virtuous members of the resistance. You can even pretend to be a member of the underground press in an escape room in Nijmegen, racing against the clock to escape discovery by the Nazis.

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