October 28, 2012

Culture by Night

Every year at the end of October, a special event is organized in our city. It is called 'De Nacht van de Nacht'  (translation: the Night of the Night). During this event, attention is paid to the environmental pollution in our region, and in particular to light pollution. The city where we live is close to great areas of industry and greenhouses, which produce a lot of light. Together with the city lights, the effect is clearly visible when it is cloudy; the sky by night is often not dark blue, but orange. Most people that live in this region are already used to this, which also applies to me. But when I travel from the city to rural areas or when I'm on a holiday in the forests, I am reminded of the differences. 
The goal of 'De Nacht van de Nacht' is to make people aware of the use of energy and the effect that it has on the environment. It is also introduced to herald the Daylight Saving Time ('wintertime'). Art and culture are used on this evening to achieve a feeling of solidarity among all visitors. 

I have visited the event for a few years now, so it has become some sort of tradition to join. This evening I went there with Lisa. The audience was split into five groups and each group went after a guide and two drum players which led the way through the dark. On several places along the route, there were small performances by artists. For instance, we saw a dance in blacklight by people wearing scary masks, a modern choir singing around a firepit, an artist playing songs by using horns attached to his body and a woman in a long white dress reading poems in between trees that were illuminated by colored lights.
When we finished the route, we returned to a big tent where a band was playing and where free pea soup was handed out to all visitors. We were very happy with the warm soup, because it was freezing and our hands and feet were like lumps of ice.

Lisa and I made some nice pictures during the event. At first we thought some pictures were failed, because the shutter time was set too long. But when we saw the result, we figured it actually looked very cool!


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