If no country wants you, then only the wet sleeping bag remains under the bridge

In a book you can do something that cannot be done on television. That’s not what I’m saying, that’s what director Michaël Stoker of the International Literature Festival Utrecht says. Whoever reads puts himself in someone else’s head and “experiences the world through the look of someone you are not.” Until Prinsjesdag, a ‘shadow cabinet’ of twelve writers will give a weekly ‘reading tip’ to a minister. Normally they write a letter, but Monday evening three writers joined Khalid & Sophie explain their choice.

Philip Huff recommended a book to Wopke Hoeksta, Esther Naomi Perquin had come up with something for Franc Weerwind. Nothing to note. But I kept hooking on Abdelkader Benali’s tip for Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (Justice and Security). He advised The process, the 1925 novel by Franz Kafka in which the protagonist becomes entangled in an unfathomable legal system. The book is sometimes called surreal, fragmentary, and the genre paranoid fiction. I’m not quite sure if this is the way to teach the minister mores. And if she has to read it in German, certainly not the fastest.

Better she watch an episode of every night this week Living in Limbo (Human). Then she sees at a glance how black the pages are in the lives of the outcasts of the justice system, the undocumented. That’s what you call people who have no papers, and therefore no life. Ishmail from Sierra Leone, who has been in the Netherlands since 2012, says that “there is no space in your mind to understand my circumstances”. He has no passport, no residence permit, no home and no work, but recently he did have a collection of poems and therefore an ISBN number. A song that makes him closer, but not a citizen. His permanent residence is the library. Nice and warm, plus, he says, the opportunity to temporarily read another life.

In Leven in Limbo, a handful of the 50,000 illegal immigrants in the Netherlands are given a face and a story. Amro, who has been in the Netherlands for forty years, has a Moroccan father and a ‘gypsy’ as mother. He was born in France, but he does not have a birth certificate. France does not know him, Morocco does not want him and he is not allowed to stay in the Netherlands. What remains: a wet sleeping bag under the bridge.

bad influencer

Under another Rotterdam bridge, AvroTros presenter Frits Sissing was in on Monday evening For life! raising awareness and raising money for cancer. On the other net, the AvroTros broadcast a BBC documentary on how to do that too: Bad influencer: The great insta con

Belle Gibson, a young Australian woman with a terminal, metastatic and inoperable brain tumor, was the first super-influencer on Instagram in 2013. Her story: She had radically stopped all treatments and chemotherapy. She took her health into her own hands. Well-ness (the opposite of ill-ness) would make her better; diet and healthy living would cure her. No gluten, no lactose, no meat or alcohol, but “patience, willpower and love.”

Since she kept living, it led to millions of followers of her account and lifestyle. Apple made its app suitable for the Apple watch, publisher Penguin printed her book in a thousandfold and magazine Cosmopolitan gave her all the space online. In 2014, she posted on Instagram that she had been diagnosed with four more cancers: in her blood, spleen, uterus and liver. And then things started to stink, because for someone with so many illnesses, she kept looking suspiciously healthy. Her illnesses turned out to be fabrications. That is another example of “experiencing the world through the gaze of someone who is not you.”

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