If I mention the name of Jane Goodall, most will know whom I am talking about. But if I mention the name Hugo van Lawick, will it ring a bell? Yet, it is thanks to Hugo that we have those beautiful pictures of Jane holding hands with chimps or letting them scratch her back. There is power in photography. The power of making an otherwise private and brief moment public and immortal. The power of selecting what has to be remembered and what can be forgotten.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I prepared my questions to Fleur Jongepier, assistant professor of (digital) ethics at Radboud University, who agreed to talk about her passion for photography (which can be observed more extensively on her website: https://fleurjongepier.myportfolio.com/photography). We call on a sunny Thursday afternoon. As soon as Fleur appears on my screen, I notice the luminous interior of the room, and I cannot help but think that it is really the kind of room I would have pictured her in. I have never talked to Fleur before about this passion of hers, so to break the ice a little, I begin by asking her about the origins, so to speak, of her interest in photography.
I have been wanting to write this interview for quite a
long time. Everything started because Ted, one of our editors, told me
(attention, SPOILER ALERT!) about an alleged piece of advice that Christoph
Lüthy, professor in the History of Philosophy and Science at Radboud University
and dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, gave to
Matt Damon (who, fortunately, didn’t follow it) and to some scones-eating
British politician (who, unfortunately, didn’t follow it). This was the rumor I
had been waiting for, but then the summer holidays arrived, the Italian seaside
distracted me, the new semester started, and all sorts of things every student
is familiar with happened. Like a good bottle of Brunello di Montalcino that
you save for special occasions, this interview had been put on hold, waiting
for the best moment to be written. And
it was still there waiting when the familiar voice of the interviewee himself
greeted me with a lively “Buongiorno!” in the koffiehoek (15th floor
of the Erasmus Building, the place to be for every philosopher in Nijmegen).
The day to open that metaphorical bottle of Brunello di Montalcino had been
set, but I needed some insights from one of the persons who knows prof. Lüthy
best, namely his wife Carla Rita Palmerino, professor of the History of
Philosophy at Radboud University and program coordinator of the Research Master
in Philosophy. And no, if you were thinking about a love blossomed within the
Erasmusgebouw’s walls, you would be mistaken. Their love blossomed in a way
more romantic (but equally cold and foggy) setting, in dear old Scotland, as
they recently revealed in an interview with VOX.
In de rubriek Off the Record praat Splijtstof met docenten en onderzoekers over hun bezigheden buiten de universiteit. Voor deze editie spraken we met Paul van der Velde, hoogleraar Aziatische Religies aan onze faculteit. Het gerucht ging dat Van der Velde in een vorig leven dolfijnentrainer was, maar dit bleek helaas een misverstand. Wel werkte hij voor diverse dierentijdschriften, waar hij een rijke dierenkennis en een nog rijkere verzameling anekdotes aan heeft overgehouden.