AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Netherlands

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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...

Monday, June 16th, 2014

For the Tiki-Taka Brigade

The annihilation of Spain by the Netherlands last Friday (5-1) shocked and delighted football fans, pundits and creatives all at once, so much so that European pundits have something else to talk about, like total football, rather...

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....

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Mixed race kids a new phenomenon in the Netherlands? We think not.

This week cultural centre de Balie in Amsterdam will be hosting an event titled ‘LovingDay.nl: (In)visibly Mixed’ on “mixed race” families and relationships (BTW, the Netherlands uncritically accepts this terminology, along with the assumption that certain people are...

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

When the Fokn Bois visited a picturesque Dutch village

I have to be honest; I had to Google Map the village of Lieshout to see where it exactly lays. And as a matter of fact I, as a Dutch person, never even knew that it’s the...

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The Year the Blackface Tradition in the Netherlands Hit the Big Time

In 2013, the world was introduced to the Dutch December tradition of Zwarte Piet (“Black Pete”)—the blackfaced sidekick to Sinterklaas. Though a letter complaining of the racism inherent in the practice was sent to the Office of...

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Nelson Mandela and the Dutch

Shortly after his release from prison, Nelson Mandela embarked on a six week tour across Europe. As the Dutch newspaper NRC mentioned last week, he initially declined the invitation to include the Netherlands in this tour, this...

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, November 21st, 2013

File under: Dutch Liberalism

In the Netherlands, many people convince themselves that racism is something that exists elsewhere–in South Africa, for example, or in the United States. For this is a ‘tolerant,’ liberal nation. To maintain the facade, often blatant...

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The Story of Cameroon’s First Metal Band

It’s been over a month since I watched Dutch artist Steven Jouwersma’s short film “N’gosa Bedimo” (Music from the Ghosts), and still I’m not quite sure what to say. You see, on one hand, the post should have been a...

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Heaps of Scrap for Africa

We were almost convinced it was a spoof when we stumbled upon the following video. Entitled ‘Go For Africa’ the video features a number of Dutch people loading a sea container with old stuff and scraps of...

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

What are the “unintended consequences of Dutch colonialism”?

In their documentary installation piece "Empire: The unintended consequences of colonialism," filmmaker team Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill seek out the residue of centuries of Dutch imperialist projects, highlighting what they have referred to as the “humanity”...

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

How to Please Your Man “Zambia Style”

Imagine you’re a 17 year old middle class Dutch girl. You just cycled home from another boring day at school. Trapped in the conventional humdrum of the day, you are deprived of the stirring type of high...

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Papa Ghana’s tribute to Amsterdam

For those planning to visit Amsterdam anytime soon, there is no need for a Lonely Planet guide. Just have a listen to Papa Ghana’s new track ‘Damsco’ (slang for ‘Amsterdam’) which he just released. In case you...

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The Fairtrade Façade

“Trade not aid” – if you’ve been paying attention to the discourse on how to improve living standards for the world’s poor, it’s a familiar phrase. Over the past decade especially, armchair development experts (and, you know,...

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Only decent white people know how to insult in the Netherlands

The most talked about film in the Netherlands now is the comedy Alleen Maar Nette Mensen (“Only Decent People”), which, to be blunt, may shape Dutch views of its black citizens, and Afro-Surinamese in particular, in very...

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

The Toto ‘Africa’ Meme, N°4: The Europe Edition

I can’t lie, Europeans love Toto’s “Africa.” First up there’s the massive Slovenian a capella choir Perpetuum Jazzile (below) that has been viewed more than 12 million times (when I last counted earlier this week) on Youtube...

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Afrikaner Bloods

Now and then I’ll scan the international media for reports about “heightening tensions between black and white South Africans.” They never disappoint. (Serious, try it.) Moreover, it seems to have become standard practice to believe and copy...

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Helping Themba

The Dutch ‘Stop Aids Now!’ campaigns have a long tradition of appealing to potential donors in Holland’s streets. November and December are the months the posters and TV ads pop up (around World Aids Day on December...

Friday, November 25th, 2011

I Remember Black Pete

As a child, I never believed in Santa Claus. I believed in Saint Nicholas and Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). I remember waking up as a child on December 6, 1983, three hours before daybreak. I also remember...

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Can aid organisations still ‘sell’ Africa?

During the recent Africa Day in The Hague, Holland, BrandOutLoud* director Judith Madigan took part in the second Oude meesters, jonge honden debate on emergency aid in Africa. She spoke about the...

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The Dutch Disease

What is it with Dutch cultural elites and South Africa? The last time I travelled two hours to watch an opera, it was on horseback. A self-declared pig farmer I was staying with was invited to attend...

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Massage for Africa

“BE TOUCHED. It touches you, if you allow yourself to be touched. Massage for Africa.”

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Outsourcing Protest

This is either a bad joke, a brilliant art project or another Dutch viral campaign: A group called Actie Lab (translated: Action Lab), based in Amsterdam, has found a way for Europeans to ‘help’ Africans by outsourcing...

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

‘Slavery, The Game’

While watching out for Fifa 12, I got distracted by this Youtube “commercial” for  another video game, “Slavery: The Game.”  Within days it had half a million views. Watch the trailer above. It just seemed to absurd...

Friday, August 12th, 2011

“What’s Up Africa!”

What’s Up Africa describes itself as “Europe’s first video blog focused on Africa.” Produced in the Netherlands by lawyer-turned-broadcaster Ikenna Azuike, it is slowly building an audience, bringing us “… what’s hip, creative and making the news in Africa.”...

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

ZAM Goes International

You know we like the Dutch magazine ZAM. The promised English edition is (almost) here. As a sneak peek, they’re giving us this ‘digital introduction’. 

Monday, July 12th, 2010

The Day After

The World Cup is now over after a final match that unfortunately rivals for negativity, ugliness, aimlessness and overzealous refereeing the 1990 World Cup final in Rome between Germany and Argentina.  Andres Iniesta’s extra-time goal ensured the right...

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Cape Dutch

Anyone familiar with South Africa knows that its impact with the Dutch produced a contentious past-– a historical collision that had enough momentum to produce repercussions in the present. But you wouldn’t guess any of that if...

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