AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Author Archive

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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Black Europe and Body Politics

BE.BOP (Black Europe & Body Politics) presents yet another important edition titled Spiritual Revolutions & “The Scramble for Africa” this year. For those not familiar with this groundbreaking project, BE.BOP is a curatorial project, in co-production with Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, that includes exhibitions, presentations, screenings and roundtables by artists (amongst others) from the Black European Diaspora. This

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

What the Dutch court ruling against blackface figure Zwarte Piet means

The Amsterdam court ruling on Dutch blackface hero Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) yesterday quickly went viral. But what does the ruling really mean. In a nutshell: an Amsterdam judge did not forbid the figure of Black Pete, but ruled that Zwarte...

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Dutch Logic and the New Brown Pete: Making Something Less Racist by Making it More Racist

As most AIAC readers know by now, the Dutch are having a very hard time letting go of their precious blackface tradition. Well sadly, but not surprisingly, Zwarte Piet (in English: Black Pete) is still amongst us....

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

#WhiteHistoryMonth: ‘To revolutionize a culture …’

Frank’s Archive is a project that explores the different functions of books, power and knowledge. My dad, J.E. Frank, has left me numerous books relating to race, class, apartheid and politics in South Africa and the United...

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Steve McQueen and the Dutch

The Best Picture win for 12 Years A Slave in the 2014 Academy Awards last weekend has not gone by unnoticed in the Netherlands. Not because of the thematic of the film but because ‘our Steve McQueen’--as...

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

10 excuses most Dutch people make for racism

Today is the day Sinterklaas and his little black slaves give candy to children, although nature got in the way somewhat. As you’re aware, “Zwarte Piet” (translated: Black Pete) is how the helpers of Saint Nicholas are...

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Taking a Critical Look at Dominant White Beauty Ideals

Miley Cyrus and all the twerking (for those in need of a catch up read this), black-faced and red-faced models in Dutch Vogue, the historical representation of women of color and the whiteness of the wedding industry:...

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Hiding in plain view: Dealing with the legacies of Dutch slavery

The year 2013 marks 150 years since the abolition of slavery in the former Dutch colonies. It's worth mentioning that the Dutch abolished slavery a while after the British (1833) and French (1848) and, only after much...

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Black History in Amsterdam

Recently on a sunny afternoon, fellow AIAC-er Serginho Roosblad and I ventured out to learn more about the history of black people in Amsterdam and the contribution they made to the city since its early days. Surely there...

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

The trouble with the official Dutch commemoration of the abolition of slavery

On the first of July this year the Netherlands are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery in their former colonies Suriname and their dependencies: the Dutch Antilles. The mayor of Amsterdam considered it a good...

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

The politics of selling African art mostly collected during colonial era to private collectors (in the Netherlands)

The proposed sale of the Africa Collection at The World Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands has sparked some interesting debates in Dutch media lately. Unfortunately some important questions and issues around this sale are not being discussed....