Moving traditions ’15

– Symposium ‘Framing’ Black Pete


Mitchell Esajas
Opening & workshop “Emancipation and social change through the anti-black pete movement”
Mitchell is the co-founder and chairman of New Urban Collective, a network of students and young professionals. He is also the winner of the Echo Award 2012, worked on the campaign “I too am VU/UvA”. Holds a master’s degree in Msc.Business Administration and a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Currently affiliated with the Graduate School of Social Sciences at the Universiteit van Amsterdam as programme manager of the MSc programme in Medical Anthropology and Sociology.

Arzu Aslan
Workshop “#blacktwitter and the power of social media in the Zwarte piet debate”

Nanke Verloo
Workshop “Untold stories: the power of storytelling”
In this workshop we will work on the meaning of storytelling in the public debate and in activism that seeks to influence the public debate. We will take a step back from opinions and see how stories have the power to legitimize certain understandings, practices, and traditions. We will learn to understand how one story of ‘zwarte piet’ remains dominant and how another story takes up a marginal position in the public debate. How can we make sense of exclusion and discrimination through stories? And what is a counter narrative that is equally convincing as the dominant story?

Quinsy Gario
Workshop “Social change through art”

Jerry Afriyie & Roelof Jan Minneboo as members of Nederland Wordt Beter
Workshop “Zwarte Piet lespakket educatieve tools voor sociale verandering”

Isabel Hoving
Lecture on blackfacing and Zwarte Piet

Nico Boerma
Lezing over de ontwikkeling van Sint Nicolaas en Zwarte Piet

Artistic intermezzo

Guillermo Blinker
Dancer, choreographer and singer-songwriter Guillermo Blinker, or Gimotion:  “Moving expression from vocal to physical and back”.


– Pre-screening of “Blackface” by Roger Ross Williams

The Graduate School of Social Sciences and New Urban Collective will host an exclusive pre-screening of “Blackface” the CNN documentary by award winning producer Roger Williams

African-American filmmaker Roger Ross Williams goes on a journey to understand why the notoriously liberal Dutch feel compelled to dress in blackface during the annual holiday tradition of Sinterklaas. How can a country that boasts of a multi-cultural society and liberal attitude be so oblivious of its own colonial past? The documentary premieres Monday, Nov. 30, on CNN Digital. We will organize a Q&A with Roger Williams, Jennifer Tosch (Black Heritage Tours, student Public History), Nina Jansen (research assistant “Our Colonial Hangover”, Bsc. Media & Culture) and Jessica de Abreu (European Network for People of African Descent &

Check out the trailer here:

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