Racism in the Netherlands: Why Zwarte Piet matters

Racism in the Netherlands: Why Zwarte Piet matters

In the last months the issue of Zwarte Piet (Black face) and its link to racism and the legacy of Dutch colonialism and slavery has been at the forefront of public debate. Some have argued however that this is barely a debate since neither politicians nor the Dutch mainstream have demonstrated a willingness to be open to adequately listen to, much less discuss with, Zwarte Piet opponents. Instead the backlash has showed quite the contrary. Zwarte Piet critics have been mocked by politicians, threatened with death, and denigrated by the Dutch public with racist slurs in the imagined fear that tradition and culture are under threat. In this event Critical Collective takes a step back from the public debate on Zwarte Piet and racism and questions:

-What have been the main arguments for and against?
-What’s missing in the debate?
-What does the state of the debate say, if anything, about how the Netherlands deals with critique and racism?
-Why does Zwarte Piet matter, if at all, in the larger context of institutionalized racism in the Netherlands?
-What are the prospects arising from this Zwarte Piet is Racism ‘movement’?

The aim of this event is to facilitate a more sound, critical and inclusive conversation and understanding on racism in the Netherlands and why Zwarte Piet possibly matters.

Join us for an evening of lively discussion!

Speakers TBA

Location: Institute of Social Studies, Aula B
Time: 19:00 (doors open at 18:30, please be in time)

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/234366563396203/?ref=5

Facebook page Critical Collective: https://www.facebook.com/CriticalCollective

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