Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

Running further and faster, and the bits of nature that make it so great

My schedule is so packed with appointments and things to do nowadays. Sometimes I feel I cannot handle it anymore, besides a full time job I have two projects in development (one is a film and photo festival, details later, shhhht!), volunteering and and a constant need to write. And while my full time job makes me feel claustrophobic, and I wish I had more time for everything else, even the things I love become a burden when there are too many things to do. So running brings back the balance. In everything. Mainly in my heard and my mind.

I started running in the morning now. And here’s what that looks like. IMG_20150511_125109






My happy five days trip back to Cluj

For the last five days I’ve been back to Cluj, in Romania, the city where I went to University and where now I travel for a course to learn about biography counseling (if curious about what this is, read here). I’ve been here at the end of February this year and wrote this after.

The course felt pretty intense this time, I had to wake up early and be in the course until the evening, but I also got some time to meet old friends, have lunch with my parents who traveled 500 km for that and explore something I didn’t even realize I miss: markets.

And I got gifts! So many gifts! I feel so spoiled and overwhelmed by all the love and care I felt. I have no photos of the gifts but they vary from a beautiful ring, to a pair of really pretty handmade gloves, to a traditional chicken shaped whistle to good tools for my drawings and a gorgeous skirt. I also treated myself to some books and those strawberries below.

I go back the The Netherlands tomorrow.

poza(15)Waking up with the love of a 7 kg cat.

poza(23)Learning about biography is an outside the box process.

poza(14)Tsuki the saved from a shelter dog.

poza(13)Flowers bought on the street for a friend.

poza(12)A place where I used to meet friends when I was a student.


poza(11)A fierce mom!

poza(16)A treat!

poza(20)The look of love. Heavy love.

poza(21)A flower from my parents garden that traveled 500 km to me.

poza(22)My mom and I.

Books I Read: Some Advice from a Dear Lady

The title makes it sound like a self-help book but it’s not. It’s ex US president Franklin’ D. Roosevelt’s wife, a smart, remarkable and privileged lady, sharing some of the things she learned throughout her life.

Through the pages you can feel who she is and her background, a background I am fairly sure few of us share. But that’s really not the point. The point is that she’s so honest and warm in what she says and so human and honest. And she’s not afraid to be vulnerable and tell true stories. And yes, there’s a tone of good advice in this book.

As you can see I have been studying it intensely: it rained on it, my lunch box leaked on it and many other stuff. But it stays strong just as the lady who wrote it.


I met someone very special.

Last night. I went with a friend to watch the documentary The Free Voice of Egypt (directed by Konstanze Burkard) at the Movies That Matter Festival. I knew she would be there for a debate, much later. But as we were waiting for the movie to begin, there she was coming, and she sat next to us. Nawal El Saadawi.

That’s very special at the Movies That Matter, people you see in the films become real walking people while you’re there. And she certainly is very special to me, for how witty and warm and coherent she is about big issues. She can talk about something enormous in a way that has meaning and makes great sense. She’s warm and powerful and often the two don’t come together in a person. And she is fearless, she doesn’t compromise her ideas, she speaks her mind. I doubt she was never afraid. I am sure she was. But it is people that can be greater than their fears the ones who make a change.

She is an inspiration to me, and even though the term has been used and abused so much that it lost a good part of its weight…well, she really is special to me, full weight.

Article about the films and all the good things I have seen and heard to follow soon.



Something to watch that I watched and loved


Movies That Matter began this Friday. I look forward to this week of films, even though it’s hard to imagine how another film could be more complex and disturbing and complete and touching than Toto and His Sisters (directed by Alexander Nanau). Keep you posted.

Exciting: Bates Motel First Episode of Season 3 Screened Last Night

Season 3 trailer:


So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed!

Here it is, fresh from the print and almost finished (I’ve been hiding from people to be able to have some peace and quiet to read), Jon Ronson‘s new book about public shaming, the way it’s done today and what it means for the shamed ones. Includes stories of people who made a big mistake, a small mistake or simply a joke, or they have been exposed doing something that was/could be considered shameful. Some of them fell apart – some for no good reason became social media ‘sensations’ overnight and have been fired from their jobs and so on. Yet, some of them surfed the wave and came to land without a scratch.

As usual, Ronson’s style is super entertaining yet full of substance and heart, and I love that about his writing in general and about this book in particular.

And I find the subject so relevant and curious at the same time. I’ve seen people being shamed on social media, that kind of shaming that becomes a sort of a sport, something to see ‘who says it better’. I’ve been – small scale – in similar situations myself, and it feels unfair and for some reason it’s frustrating and it hurts. Whether it has a reason or not, it is a form of bullying. And in most cases in which people’s lives ended up falling apart, social media had something to do with it.

Ronson looks at the phenomena of public shaming from many different angles, among others telling the story of a therapist who tries to ‘help’ people stop feeling ashamed for various reasons, a judge who changed convicted people’s lives by shaming them, Princess Donna Dolore from Kink who directs porn but essentially tries to make certain behaviours less taboo.

To end: no one is immune to this, some survive it better than others, eventually the funny photo you posted online this morning might become the beginning of your career.

Read the book.


Buy the book on

The East and the West: My Geography of Time

If there is one thing now that’s very different from my life in Romania, that is the pace of life. I’ve never lived in Bucharest, so I don’t know how that is, but in Cluj the rhythm of life is slow and sweet and last weekend I realized I miss a bit of that.

I went back to Romania for a course I will be doing for the next two years, and on my way to the friend I was staying with, 10:30 in the night, I kept writing her to apologize I am arriving that late after visiting other friends… It was Sunday after all and she and her brother, both work full time during the week. But I arrived and the whole apartment was lively, like it was the middle of the day. I’m simply not used to that any more. Everyone was doing something while at the same time chatting, smoking and cooking! The stew they were making was ready around midnight. We went to bed at 1:30!

Both my body and my schedule do not allow such extravagances. Although I remember those… late nights, late mornings, working on something til 3, chatting, some sort of organic unfolding of time and activities.

The next day I woke up and I couldn’t tell whether it was early or late, whether it was weekend or the week had just started… I somehow knew the week had started but there was no sound or movement to confirm that, and my watch said 8 o’clock. Everyone took their time to get out of bed, make coffee, following that inner voice that says take it slowly. I love that calm, the feeling that time is elastic and it can be bended and twisted according to my inner clock. I think that’s the space where ideas and solutions jump in your mind, it’s the space for self knowledge and for observations.

Or maybe I’m just romanticizing.

All I know is that in Dutch terms my habits are still quite eccentric, but in Romanian terms I am a complete foreigner. My eccentricity consists in not having an agenda and planning everything weeks in advance. I deeply need spontaneity and unstructured time. I am also the last one to come in the office and I like to spend my breaks by myself reading or writing. BUT. I do wake up before 8 almost every day. I do plan as I go. And I need to be structured not because it’s in my nature to be so but because otherwise I won’t have enough space to write and read and organize the film screenings I organize. Otherwise I won’t have time to run. And to watch the pile of films I watch every week. It takes some structure to do that and have a full time job. To do all that I need to be in bed by 11. 12 during weekends. Maybe 1.  I need to know who’s coming and when.

In Romania, after a weekend of going here and there, and taking part in the course all day, and seeing friends and sleeping too little…I felt really tired. I missed my schedule but felt a bit nostalgic at the same time, because this life rhythm reminds me of old me and of home. I do know I could easily fit back in, cooking at midnight, writing at 3 AM, sleeping in the morning whether awake or not. Would that be sweet? I have no idea. Somehow, I kind of got used to the fresh and cold smell of early mornings, and to running in the park.

Small note: check Robert Levine’s really interesting book – A Geography of Time – on time and pace in different cultures.


Tuesday, 2015.

This is how I feel these days, only I’m not paving the way for much and at least this chimp went into space. Me. Not. Even. Close.

His name was Ham and this was 1961.

On a totally different note, I don’t have time for any of my long planned ‘complex’ posts. Not. For now.

Meanwhile here’s an article about Ham in Life Magazine.


To do list:

1. Get a dog, or better, get many dogs.

2. Get a car.

3. Pack books, laptop and tent.

3. Run away .

4. Meanwhile, before everything is ready: Better Call Saul.


Passepartout 2015 plans + two photos.

Alright. So 2015 is here for some days now. And I hope Passepartout will become bigger and better this year. I like the believe that the two go hand in hand.

I do believe images and art can help us understand our own experiences better. If not better, then at least help us get new insights and see new perspectives on things. This is why my plan is to make Passepartout more personal and to offer more ideas for things to see and read.

I said it before: I think photos are not just direct mirrors of the world, they’re actually cultural items, they’re the result of a process, they have their own language and their own world. And they have frames, all sorts of frames that influence what we see and how we understand something, and also how we create our mental image about a place or an issue. I want to (delicately) give more insights into frames and into how images work, and into visual culture in general, so you can question and make better sense of what you see.

Hope you’ll stick around for some good stuff and here are two photos:


See that little table on which the holy light of inspiration seems to be falling? That’s where I work sometimes, when I feel I can no longer stand my own table at home. This may see the most uninspired cafe, but it’s my happy place. Everything is pretty grey around and most shops are closed (bankrupt) but I like the feeling of austerity, the quietness, the old ladies having coffee together there and a certain something I cannot describe and only I seem to see.

poza(7)And here’s a selfie, last photo of me from 2014. I don’t have many selfies, but I do have this one and like it because I can remember precisely how I felt and where I was when I took it. It was in the mood that makes me think, write and do good things. 😉



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