Racism in the Keukenhof?

It doesn’t often happen that two of DutchReviews favorite topics are combined in one article. On the one hand we have the photogenic Keukenhof; a majestic paradise of blooms that we have written about extensively. And then there’s Racism. This ugly phenomenon too is written about extensively here. The topic of Dutch racism is a hot one these days. However, Dutch people are generally uncomfortable with acknowledging its existence and the discussion regarding the matter is also not an easy one.

So what happenend?

A statue happened, that’s what. Apparently there’s a racist (and by some accounts also) sexist statue in the Keukenhof:

Is this statue in the #keukenhof: A: Racist B: Sexist C: None of the above

Een foto die is geplaatst door DutchReview (@dutchreview) op

 

The activist group ‘ University of Colour’  has called it ‘racist’  and points at her bracelets which could also be perceived as slave-shackles. Jessica de Abreu of the New Urban Collective says that the combination of the statue being a black woman and also naked makes it both racist and sexist (link to the whole feature in Trouw here).

The Keukenhof is not planning to do anything about it though. The ‘Golden Age’ is the Keukenhof’s theme of choice this year. Not an entirely safe choice by the looks of the matter. But that’s not why the statue is there. They point out that the statue has already been there for 5 years. They will, however, consider displaying information alongside the statue explaining the motives of the artist for the perusal of visitors.

And what does the artist say? Paz Sanz says the statue actually symbolizes strong natural African women and points out that she has been making statues like these for the past 20 years. A quick peek at her profile online (no links, go and violate her privacy yourself if you don’t believe me) makes it clear that she’s more likely to be a member of the New Urban Collective than the PVV or Pegida.

Another Dutch institute labelled as racist?

First the ‘Golden Carriage’, then Gordon, Zwarte Piet and the police. And now the Keukenhof has been branded as a racist group. What do you think? Do the critics have a point, or is it just sad, stupid and misconstruing the intention of it? And how embarrassed is the guy fondling that statue right now?

 

Abuzer Van Leeuwen
Abuzer Van Leeuwenhttp://www.abuzervanleeuwen.nl
Founded DutchReview. Rotterdammer living in Leiden. Politics, innovation and epic food-reviews are his thing. Interested in doing anything with DutchReview? Contact him at abuzer[at]dutchreview.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. We shouldn´t give any attention to these people, because this is what they want and they are not worth of having it, because it´s a ridiculous subject. My suggestion for these people to either, A: stop wining and get on with their lives. B: Get a job, or a hobby that is worth spending your time for and most of all, that doesnt bother other people (dutch people usually in this case). or C: If you have so much problems with, statues, traditions, celebrations in NL or in dutch culture then simply find yourself another country and be happy there….

  2. This is what is wrong with people today, over react, stop trying to change traditions, stupid people will always be have badly with anything, live love the culture of The Netherlands. If you don’t love the country the way it is then move.

    • So the Netherlands should not have changed the “tradition” of women not being allowed to vote or have their own bank account. Labourors not being allowed to form unions. Some (many?) so called traditions should NOT be saved, simply because the are “traditions.” An unwillingness to change is counter productive.

  3. Here is the task for everybody (both men and women): draw a black woman, so that the drawing won’t be considered (a) racist, (b) sexist, (c) both.

  4. It’s truly a sad day, when there are groups out there that have nothing better to do the look for something to complain about! Most people would not have looked at this stuff as racist or sexist until some group puts a lable on it and then all bets are off! Our choices and freedoms are disappearing and instead we are becoming a “follow me society”!

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