Lecture

15 November 2007

Why Dissent is Impossible in Holland

A Russian anarchist, having moved to the Netherlands in the 1990s, initially saw the country as a haven of freedom. Yet he soon thought otherwise, experiencing as he did that his efforts at non-conformity were channelled in such a way as to take all radicality out of them. This example is illustrative of a wider point: though in some respects tolerant of deviant behavior, the Dutch do not have a word for “dissent,” and have few traditions of sustained opposition to state and society. In his keynote address, James Kennedy uncovers the historical reasons for this and looks in particular at what citizenship has—and has not—meant over the years. The relative absence of dissent in Dutch public life, in particular in respect to immigration and religious expression, is discussed in the context of Kennedy’s understanding of the notion of “active citizenship.” According to Kennedy, from the beginning of the 1960s till the mid-1980s, the Netherlands enjoyed the status of a gidsland—a leading nation, exemplary in terms of how its public life was based upon an activist model of citizenship. Yet, having lost its status, today the country struggles to come to terms with how to define a “good citizen” (the worrying prevalence of the refrain “Can Muslims be good, democratic citizens?” is but one example ) or even how and where to actually carry on the public debate about living together. Regarding the need for a “site” for public debate on these issues and for dissent from the prevailing consensus, can art or science provide society with such space?

In collaboration with

Suggestions from the archive

Workshop

16 December 2022, 15.00-17.00

Stitching, Writing, Singing

Community Portal hosts...

In all continents, people have built matriarchal cosmologies sustained by complex rituals. In the advent of main modern religions and after centuries of colonizing invasions, the goddesses of antiquity were suppressed by the patriarchal structures that consolidated our era. However, they found ways to speak to us in the language of patterns, melodies, and poems. This workshop uses the voice as a method to reveal the presence of goddesses. 

Workshop

27-29 January 2023

How to Set Up a Community Kitchen

During these sessions—part of the bASIC aCTIVIST kITCHEN (b.a.k.) program in collaboration with Berend Bombarius, De Voorkamer and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst—we want to collectively explore the topic of setting up community kitchens. Different strategies, tools, methodologies, and contexts are explored to learn more about the challenges and opportunities in the practices and theories of community kitchens.

Symposium

24 November 2022, 20.00-21.00

Mental Health Symposium: Communal Care & Healing

Community Portal hosts....

On Thursday, November 24th, 2022, Colored Qollective in collaboration with POCQunity host their third annual symposium, this time focusing on the mental health of queer people of color. The theme of the symposium is Communal Care & Healing 

Workshop

19 November 2022

Unjumbling Our Histories

b.ASIC a.CTIVIST k.ITCHEN presents...

Unjumbling Our Histories is a two-part workshop on storytelling, collage, and bookmaking—created by artist and writer Maja Irene Bolier—with a purpose to learn and share stories in a safe and fun environment; a space for empathy, learning, and understanding.