Carnival days – an insider’s view



It is often said that one has to have a personal link with Carnaval in order to understand it in depth. Whether this is true or not, Paul embodies the saying. His year is incomplete if he cannot undergo the frenzy of the five Carnaval days and nights. As a documentary maker, however, he also wants to find out what, exactly, makes up the uniqueness of the festival for Brabanders like himself who have grown up with it. Together with Elisa, an interested outsider and partner in work and life, Paul decided to document the quest in photography and film.

The documentary is located in the Western part of Dutch Brabant and in Aalst, Belgium, where the tradition of the transvestite carnaval (‘Voil Jeannetten’, or ‘Dirty Janets’) is alive and kicking.

Read more about the book Carnival days here.

Read an excerpt from the essay “Some carnival days” here.

This project has been produced with the financial support of SNS REAAL Foundation, Prins Bernhard Cultural Foundation and Efgoed Brabant.