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The Low Countries launches new, friendlier websites
Regular readers of The Low Countries will notice a big change today: Not just a new website, but three new websites. The organisation has launched websites today, each dedicated to one of its three working languages: English, Dutch and French.
The Low Countries, originally launched as a newsletter by one man in the 1950s, provides a wealth of information about arts, culture and society in Flanders and the Netherlands. While it touches on current affairs, the pieces go deeper, offering analysis and historical context. Add a Low Countries essay to your morning news, and you’ll begin to understand the region much more fully.
“Our focus is always the Low Countries as a whole, so Flanders and the Netherlands,” says editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere. “Our websites have a broader scope, focused on relevant information with in-depth articles that go further than news. While our websites are new, our topics remain arts, history, language, literature and society.”
The Low Countries is published by the West Flemish heritage organisation Ons Erfdeel, which previously published one website in three languages. Now each site is specifically developed for its own language group.
“Most people live and surf in one language, so we chose to address them in their own language,” says editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere. “Also, every public has its own expectations. Something that is relevant for a French woman in Paris may not be for an adolescent in Sydney.”
Today, for instance, the homepage of The Low Countries sees articles on First World War tourism, special exhibitions in the Year of Rembrandt, why Flanders has such a love affair with cycling and the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe.
“It is our mission to provide our English-language audience with the necessary background to be able to appreciate the language, history, literature and social developments in the Low Countries,” says Devoldere.
Along with articles penned by journalists, historians, academics and authors, The Low Countries offers photo essays, podcasts and video. Ons Erfdeel also publishes quarterly magazines in Dutch and French, as well as acts as an independent publisher of poetry collections and books on history, literature and languages.
While older, archived articles and some themed series are behind a paywall, most of the latest articles on The Low Countries are free to access.
Photo: The 1927 inauguration of the Menin Gate in Ypres
©In Flanders Fields Museum