Koelinga’s De Steeg: Palimpsest and Parallax Historiography

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Jan Koelinga's involvement in avant-garde circles during the production of De Steeg and his relations with the Nazi film industry in the 1940s are well-known facts in the Netherlands, but less has been written on his early work, situated in the area of photography and the socialist press. De Steeg can be considered a palimpsest, hiding under its surface remnants of both social photography and avant-garde cinema. More than just registering, Koelinga used a quite romantic representation of life in the slums as seemingly uncomplicated, straightforward, and solidary. De Steeg was also included in a program of avant-garde documentaries at the Antwerp conference of the Catholic Film Center in 1933. Koelinga's reputation of a contaminated film director affected projections of De Steeg, even though it was shot several years before his involvement with Ufa. He did manage to make a handful films in the post-war era, though local and national authorities kept making his life difficult.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe City Symphony Phenomenon
Subtitle of host publicationCinema, Art, and Urban Modernity Between the Wars
EditorsSteven Jacobs, Eva Hielscher, Anthony Kinik
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315619989
ISBN (Print)9781138665279, 9780367459475
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Publication series

NameAFI Film Readers


  • city symphonies
  • city symphony
  • De Steeg
  • Jan Koelinga
  • film and photography
  • documentary
  • avant-garde


Dive into the research topics of 'Koelinga’s De Steeg: Palimpsest and Parallax Historiography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this