Location: The Salon (free walk in)
13.00 Spray your own anti-Racism shirt
14.00 WORKSHOP PT.1
- Racism – Through the Eyes of History.
15.00 Spray your own anti-Racism shirt
16.00 WORKSHOP PT.2
- Moving Beyond Racism
Dialogue is one of the art forms chosen by Kno’Ledge Cesare, Quinsy Gario and friends to update one of the most beloved traditions of the Netherlands. Sinterklaas is a time of the year when family and community values are once again celebrated. The problem however is that 11 years before the abolition of slavery in the Netherlands Blackface became part of the tradition through the figure called Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). Now 149 years after the abolition of slavery, the Blackface figure has become entrenched in the cultural psyche of the country and a lot of its citizens. In June 2011 Kno´Ledge and Quinsy started an art project speaking out against the racist element of the tradition. Their art project was a simple t-shirt with the text Zwarte Piet Is Racism (Black Pete is Racism) and called for dialogue with the Zwarte Piet lovers. By simply going to art fairs, festivals and their own performances wearing and handing out the shirts they engaged with people who either agreed or disagreed with them and provided facts surrounding the creation of the figure and its development over the course of its existence. On November 12, 2011, Kno’Ledge and Quinsy, along with Danish anthropology student Siri Venning and Dutch journalism student Steffi Weber, were arrested during the national entry of Sinterklaas and his Petes for wearing the shirt. That moment sparked international outrage against the figure and momentary national befuddlement over what exactly had transpired on that fateful day. For Kno’Ledge, Quinsy and their friends it was just the beginning.