2005/3 Summaries


De sportfilms van Flandria Film als verspreiders van ‘banaal’ Vlaams-Nationalisme en wielerflamingantisme (1930-1940)

Summary: “Flandriens“, film and popular culture
‘Flandriens’ is the French name for the best of Flemish cyclists. The sports films of Flandria Films aim at the  dissemination of ’trite’ Flemish nationalism and cycle flamingantism (1930-1940). In this article we focus on the intense relation among the media, the construction of a collective (national) identity, sports and popular culture. We especially dwell upon the part of Flemish popular sports and cycle film productions in the further popularizing of cycling and the canonizing of ‘flandriens’ as heroes of cycle flamingantism. In this contribution we therefore concentrate on Clament De Landtsheer’s (1894-1984) production and on his small undertaking; Flandria Film. From 1930 onwards Flandria Films started with a frequent release of sports films, basically converges of well-known cycle classics. A thorough examination of the Flandria Films industrial accountancy, as well as of the  internal and external correspondence, shows that these sports films in particular were extremely successful and lucrative. In no time the Flemish minded De Landtsheer got known with the public at large as the commentator of popular cycle races. Here he took advantage in being in good terms with the famous sports journalist Karel Van Wijnendaele, organizer of cycle races and a militant culture flamingant. Although these sports films seem to be a  fringe of the Flandria Films productions, which for the greater part openly contained Flemish nationalist propaganda. De Landtsheer with these sports and cycle films nursed hopes towards cultural flamingant aspirations. Particularly the importance of the tour of Flanders as a popular mass meeting with the “flandriens” as  popular heroes, is in the light of an imaginary construction of a (Flemish) nation significant. With the newspaper “De Sportwereld” (Sports World) and Van Wijnendaele’s contribution, Flandria Films  played a not unimportant part in the wide dissemination of these icons of cycling in Flemish popular image building. With this contribution we get through to the recent developments of theories about media, sports and trite nationalism.


Het testament van heer Gielis van Aelst, Jeruzalemridder

Summary: Jerusalem Knight Gielis van Aelst Will
In 1508, after his safe return from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Knight Gielis van Aelst was heartily honoured with ceremonial wine by his colleagues of the Brussels Bench of Aldermen. It had already been known for a long time that the Jerusalem pilgrim had been a benefactor for the poor. This is shown very clearly by his will, made in the presence of a Brussels priest-notary on June 8th 1525. The will is an important document as to a better insight and knowledge of the then funeral and burial services. The testator honoured all Brussels charitable institutions with a bequest. Other dispositions of the will bear upon the distribution of alms (in the form of loaves) and the foundation of services and Holy Masses in some pilgrimage places in the Brussels neighbourhood. As former church master of St. Goedele’s Knight Gielis van Aelst attached a priest to the collegial church and named a colleague – church master as executor. One disposition of the will deserves a special mention: the bequest to the ‘Fraternity of Jerusalem’. This implies that a fraternity in which pilgrims to the Holy Land and Jerusalem Knights met one another, had already been in existence in Brussels in 1525.



Hedendaagse dorpsfeesten: opzet, perceptie en toekomstperpectieven. Worstenfeesten en ‘kleinvelokeskoers’ te Vlimmeren

Summary: Nowadays country fairs: objectives, perception and future perspectives. Sausage feasts and bike races in Vlimmeren (a village in Flanders)
Far too often traditions are specified as concepts belonging to a distant past. In this contribution we try to review traditional feasts starting from a dynamic and topical viewpoint. The sausage feasts in Vlimmeren are taken as a case-study. In this study we first of all sort out the sensitivity of the organizers, participants, bystanders and outsiders. After a short depiction of the feasts, the impressions of the afore mentioned parties are given with regard to the aims of these festivities, the changes introduced in the course of years, the intention of the organizers and their personal commitment to these feasts. Time and again the points of view of the various informants are put against each other and accounted for. Starting from these results a careful futuristic view of the  feasts is given. The gauge for this is the enthusiasm and the purposeful efforts of all persons concerned.



Etnologie en cultural studies: kanttekeningen bij een mogelijke samenwerking

Summary: European Ethnology and Cultural Studies: Some Comments on a Possible Cooperation
In the next few years European ethnology and cultural studies will probably cooperate more closely. Though this is a welcome development, some comments on the imbalance of cultural studies are in order. The author reviews a number of criticisms vented by anthropologists and European ethnologists and focuses in particular on the language-based perspectives that have dominated much of cultural studies. It is suggested that cultural studies should concentrate more on the historical dimensions of culture, on fieldwork and ethnography and on performance-based perspectives.



Discussie naar aanleiding van het symposium “synergie tussen volkscultuur en populaire cultuur”

Summary: Discussion following the colloquium about synergy between ethnology and popular culture
On 23th April 2005 the Folklore Museum in Antwerp was the scene of a lively colloquium about the relation between ethnology and cultural studies and the possibilities of creating broadening and productive interactions between both disciplines. Gust De Meyer, Stijn Reijnders, Herman Roodenburg and Marc Jacobs discussed several controversial items such as the use of the term ‘folklore’, the scope of the discipline of popular culture and  its focus on phenomena from media culture, e.g. the television show ‘Big Brother’. Ethnologists and scholars of cultural studies meet in the research of contemporary phenomena. Nevertheless chairman van de Zeijden concludes that ’tradition’ both used as a field concept and as an analytical instrument in the sense of ‘construction of identity’ can enrich the research of ethnology as well as that of cultural studies. This multilateral theoretical reflection is meant to be a strong impulse for future interdisciplinary research.



De dromen van Pamela? Van academische ‘drôle de guerre’ tot kruisbestuiving en platform

Summary: Pamela Ewing dreams? From academic ‘phoney war’ to cross-fertilization and platform
This article discusses aspects of the project “synergie tussen volkscultuur en populaire cultuur” in Flanders and the Netherlands: see the double issue of Volkskunde, 2005, 1-2. An interpretation of the title as “synergy between folklore and popular (media) culture” is rejected as a reckon. The alternative translation “synergy between (study of) popular culture and… (study of) popular culture” illustrates the main point in this analysis. The umbrella or container concept “popular culture” has a complex semantic field that has expanded in Flanders in the 21e century.
Different forms of study of popular culture coincide and (European) ethnology opened up a platform for broad interdisciplinary approach; a development that should not be overlooked. The double issue of Volkskunde 2005 presents a nice series of examples of research focussing on different topics of present-day popular culture from two disciplinary perspectives. In particular the article of Stijn Reijnders in the double issue mixes the different citation communities and offers a new view.