Dutch press photographer Cor Jaring was best known for his association with the Provo movement of the mid-1960s when among others he covered the clashes between Provos and the police.
As Groene Amsterdammer writes: “Wearing a polyester shield underneath his clothes for protection, Jaring climbed on top of cars, stood on window sills, lowered himself into manholes and walked backwards in front of demonstrations” in order to get his shots.
Jaring designed and wore what he called a ‘magical press helmet’, but whether it was part of his personal protection is unclear. “The helmet had everything a photographer could need”, Groene Amsterdammer paraphrases Jaring, “an automatic subject finder, a flash installation, a semi-automatic activity alarm, a flip-flop switch, a radio installation and an escape device which could produce a 30 metre smoke screen in three colours, red, white and blue.”
Provo had a strange relationship with the Telegraaf newspaper that was both antagonistic and symbiotic. Every time Provo organised a happening – an event for which provoking the police into a violent response to an innocent trigger was a requirement – Telegraaf would report angrily to its conservative readers. Telegraaf’s reporting would in return help spread Provo’s ideas.
Provo’s sense of publicity resonated with Jaring, who was considered part of the movement. It is just possible he wore the helmet as yet another thing for people to talk about.
Huis Marseille hosts an exhibition of Jaring’s work until 28 June.
(Photo (1968) by Jac. de Nijs / Anefo, some rights reserved)
Tags: Cor Jaring, helmets, magic, PR, Provo, publicity
With a population of some 16.6 million inhabitants, the Netherlands still topping the list of most bicycles owned is not very surprising. However, when it comes to calculating the actual amount of cyclists, this quirky list has some issues, as not everyone who owns a bike is necessary a cyclist and other leaps of logic.
I also noticed that the picture used to represent Amsterdam was not right, and now I see it is Delft (to the right of the train station is my guess), a major student city.
In the Netherlands 27% of all trips and 25% of trips to work are made by bike. About 1.3 million bicycles were sold in the Netherlands in 2009, at an average price of 713 euro each. Amsterdam, the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world, with 400 km of bike lanes and nearly 40% of all commutes in Amsterdam are done on bike.
And no, we don’t do bike helmets and yes, please get over it. You didn’t point that out about Asian countries now do you? Reads like a major cultural bias to me. The Belgians who cycle a lot as well have to wear bright yellow vests to get around and if you’re ever cycled in Brussels or Antwerp, you’d be wise to do the same, especially considering the constant construction.
I had to laugh when a good friend from Canada suggested that cycling was a great way to meet new people and that I should do it to. I told her that would be like her driving a car to work to meet people. We had a good laugh.
Tags: Amsterdam, cycling, Delft, helmets
The Netherlands is a country of bicyclists but by stark contrast (or perhaps because of that) helmets are not obligatory here. Designer Bastiaan Kok tries to remedy a distaste for helmets by coming up with a helmet that doesn’t make you look like you’re wearing a helmet. Covered to look like a cap or a hoodie ornament, the helmet quietly disappears against the backdrop of your backpack when not worn.
Kok’s design won first prize in a road safety contest by Vredestein, a Dutch tire manufacturer. Second place went to saddle bags with safety wheels for the elderly by Flip Ziedses Des Plantes, and third place to a dashboard cutesy animal by René de Torbal that tells you when you’re driving your car safely and when not.
Via Bright (Dutch).
Update: Read these fine posts (here and here) by Tobias Sterling on the meaning of bike safety in the Netherlands.
Tags: driving, helmets, safety