Whatever one may think of Zwarte Piet as a tradition for children that should not be messed with or a racist caricature that is up for reinterpretation, one thing is clear the subject touches upon a deep seated taboo.
During this lunchlecture we want to open the floor for discussion about the news that a bus full of anti-piet protestors on its way to a legal demonstration was blocked by pro-piet protestors in an illegal intervention without due intervention by the police.
What does this subject reveal about the relations between the right to freedom of expression, current public opinion and the state? What about the power of the people?
This lecture is part of an upcoming lecture series on activism organised by OtherWise. Below you can find an introduction to this series:
During the mass protest just before the COP23 in Bonn last November, the most powerful demand was "power to the people". This environmental movement had a strong emphasis that it is time for people to be heard and lead to challenging and changing world power relations. Yet more and more opposition is shaping these forms of structural injustice. Not only environmental destruction is rampaging the world, racism, sexism and xenophobia are reasons for the people to claim the streets and question structures. Much of the opposition against these depletions, prejudices and forms of discrimination come from local, national and international activist groups, like feminist, migrant, and decolonization movements, that challenge today's social and political structures that shape(d) our world. OtherWise will organize a lecture series on activism as part of the Diversity, Inclusivity and Gender year-long theme. In the lecture series we will challenge students and staff to get to know these activist groups and start to discuss privileges on one front, and subordinations to the other. Next to this, we will try to start a debate on the role of activism in our university and beyond. In the upcoming lecture series each group will be presented and, more important, an intersectional in and holistic view on society is emphasized which makes WUR students and staff reflect on the role which activism has or may play in their studies and research.
In specific, the goal is to ‘move’ students and make familiair to the visible (activist) organisations today, particulary in feminism, environmentalism and post-colonialisme/decolonialism. By doing this, science and activism come close together, by both supporting the education of academic schooled activists aswell by raising awareness. Next to this, we hope to support certain skills usefull for a more activist attitude in academy and outside