Existing as a political act

The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) is in town again. Two weeks of the best documentaries bathing in people, societies, stories and dreams that are worlds away from my own, or so I thought. This year I am invited to moderate the screening of a French film, May God Be With You, an autobiographical dive… Continue reading Existing as a political act

Progressive antisemitism

The session “Combating Anti-Zionist and Antisemitic Activism in Progressive Spaces” at the recent worldwide annual summit on antisemitism and hate caught my attention. The discourse about anti-zionism as related to antisemitism in progressive spaces is very real, also in the Netherlands. If I were to describe this in the most condensed way possible, these would… Continue reading Progressive antisemitism

Antisemitic climate

This past Saturday we witnessed the biggest Climate demonstration ever to be held in the Netherlands. More than 40,000 people took to the streets of Amsterdam to protest against the inaction of world leaders in general and the Dutch politicians in particular who have repeatedly failed to take the climate crisis seriously. Besides the high… Continue reading Antisemitic climate

To catch my voice again

The past couple of weeks there has not been much bedtime activist writing. A combination of the summer season, moving and a good dose of covid left the keyboard out of sight. But definitely not out of mind. Let me pick up the thread of my blogs with something that keeps on coming back, and… Continue reading To catch my voice again

Mayor Apologies

Today marks a significant occasion. The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, has made official apologies for ‘the active involvement of the Amsterdam city council in the commercial system of colonial slavery and the worldwide trade in enslaved persons.’ Significant because this is the first official apology. 148 years after the abolition of slavery in Suriname… Continue reading Mayor Apologies

ARE JEWS WHITE? (III): GLORIA, or the two sides of invisibility

Inviting professor Gloria Wekker – known for her work about racism in the Netherlands, critical race theory and intersectionality – to be part of our video installation was an exciting move. I was particularly eager to hear her reflections about (the troubles of) the Jewish position in the anti-racism movements, her analysis of the status… Continue reading ARE JEWS WHITE? (III): GLORIA, or the two sides of invisibility

ARE JEWS WHITE? (II): STEPHAN, or the black/white story

It was clear to me that we needed to include personal testimonies in the exhibition ‘Are Jews white?’ in order to give the subject matter depth and breadth. It would simply not suffice to approach the question in a purely analytical manner. Some deceptively straightforward questions simply defy yes or no answers. When dealing with… Continue reading ARE JEWS WHITE? (II): STEPHAN, or the black/white story

ARE JEWS WHITE? (I): JELLE, or the Olympics of oppression

When reflecting on the position of Jews in identity politics, competition rather than solidarity seems to be a determining factor. It reveals itself through rhetoric like: ‘So you think you are oppressed? Well, put yourself in my shoes and see how much worse it is to be me!’. Rhetoric rooted in the fallacy that there… Continue reading ARE JEWS WHITE? (I): JELLE, or the Olympics of oppression

Eyes white shut

Although the opening of the exhibition ‘Are Jews white?’ has been postponed until the 9th of June, this week marks the beginning of public attention for the topic with a debate programme ‘Strange Bedfellows’ in De Balie and several Dutch national newspapers running articles on the subject. ‘Are Jews white?’ tackles the uncomfortable position of… Continue reading Eyes white shut

96 cents for change

Today, a letter went out to the Dutch Parliament on behalf of a broad and diverse coalition of minority groups, including Black, Muslim, Asian, Roma and Sinti, refugee and Jewish voices. Actually, I am proud to say that I was the one that printed the final version and put it in an envelope. A letter… Continue reading 96 cents for change