“I shall try to convey to you how I feel. When a spider spins its web, does it not cast the main threads ahead of itself, and then follow along them from behind? The main path of my life stretches like a long journey before me and already reaches into another world. As if I was now helping to build a new and different society.” Etty Hillesum (15 January 1914 in Middelburg, Netherlands – 30 November 1943 in Auschwitz, Poland) was a young Jewish woman whose letters and diaries, kept between 1941 and 1943, describe life in Amsterdam during the German occupation. She refused to be “saved” by her friends, refused to go into hiding, believing that she could understand a tiny bit of her time only by living it.

She kept her diaries not for herself. She compared herself to a spider that weaves a web to leave it. She was casting a spiderweb for the future generation.

Thank you for the inspiring evening, Roman Kroke! I know from you that Etty was all about her written words, it was not about herself. I’m not using her portrait in my post.



julie 超辣

Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.

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