The road ahead is long

On why teaching about one’s role in the history of slavery and colonialism is necessary. And only the first step.

We have such a long way to go, still.

And I’m not even talking about overcoming divisions, ending structural racism, loving one’s neighbour.

Simply acknowledging the past is hard enough.

While in #Charlottesville this weekend racial hate, gun-carrying militias and white supremacy was openly allowed, the Dutch parties are still meeting to try and form a government. A leaked document now says they at least agree about something… that a new proposal regarding the way the Dutch role in slavery and the colonial is taught at schools, is NOT necessary. (Instead, they decided to teach about the national anthem, …) (Source: article 16/08/17 on NOS.nl) Whereas in the past sixty years, the narrative about the Dutch colonial past has not truly changed, and is still based on the oppressor’s perspective. (See this master thesis on this topic, in Dutch, from 2012.) Continue reading “The road ahead is long”

The Art of Belonging – reflection on the NSU summer school

Is it possible to define the sense of belonging that is more than simply the addition of the parts, that does not erase philosophical loneliness but gives it a place and makes you regard it as a strength?

It has been truly a magnificent gift to be able to spend an intensive week with a group of strangers, talking about venturing into the unknown, into the future of (feminist) philosophy, and who, during the final session, dare to share their feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. In life. But mostly in their philosophical being. A loneliness that is both personal and professional. And I wonder how that shared attitude of fundamental openness creates a space of belonging. Continue reading “The Art of Belonging – reflection on the NSU summer school”

In memoriam: Anne Dufourmantelle

Because she knew the difference…

At first there is nothing at all. A silence that is persuasive, that leads nowhere and that asks you to follow in its footsteps.
At first there is disbelief. A search for truth that extends to nothing but the very fact you want to un-hear. The search that leads only deeper into the woods, into a translation that cannot be undone. Continue reading “In memoriam: Anne Dufourmantelle”

On the Frustration & the Beauty of Repetition

As a child I thought I despised repetition. Little did I know that I actually loved it, and practiced it. Just not at school.

“Skill development depends on repetition…” I am reading a book by the American sociologist Richard Sennett on the position and the role of The Craftsman in society. An interesting book. But that sentence would have made me angry. At least, when I was young.

When I was a child I was convinced I hated repetition. I hated it all through elementary school and all through high school. At least, that is what I thought. But I was made to repeat tasks that were much too simple for me. Now I know, that if they had given me Chinese characters to learn, told me to repeat them hundreds, thousands to times, I would have gladly done so. Continue reading “On the Frustration & the Beauty of Repetition”

Truth has never been sexy – let’s focus on the real issues please

It should be extremely clear to everyone that truth is besides the point. And has been for decades already. 

Truth does not exist. It is not something you can simply point out and say: look at that, that is the truth. Truth is made. Truth exists only in a particular world, in which specific rules and regulations about what is reality matter. Truth is always subjective, as it depends on which world you live in on what kind of rules you will follow, what truth-procedures you follow. And truth is always objective, as within that specific world with its truth-procedures, that truth is the truth, no matter who says it or who thinks it. That is the truth, and nothing but the truth (so help me God). Continue reading “Truth has never been sexy – let’s focus on the real issues please”

Cursus: Filosofie voor de kunstenaar

Cursus praktische filosofie als een hulpmiddel richting autonoom kunstenaarschap.

Filosofie is een methode die onmisbare handvatten geeft aan autonome kunstenaars (in opleiding). Het is meer dan een theoretische benadering uitgedacht op een stoffige zolderkamer. In deze cursus zullen we deze praktische, filosofische handvatten gaan bekijken en vooral ook: ervaren en toepassen.

Deze cursus is geen cursus beeldende kunst, maar ook geen theoretische cursus kunstfilosofie. In deze cursus gaan we expliciet niet op zoek naar een begrip of een verklaring voor kunst of naar antwoorden op de vraag ‘wat is kunst’. In plaats daarvan wordt filosofie in deze cursus ingezet als een methode, die de kunstzinnige houding van de autonome kunstenaar en de beeldend therapeut verdiept en versterkt. Continue reading “Cursus: Filosofie voor de kunstenaar”

Forget this “When good men do nothing…”

Reading books can give a distorted idea of what evil is, and what it means to be a good person. And especially when we start using falsely attributed quotes that are both misleading and wrong, we need to reconsider what it actually means – to do good.

The power of a good story

Lately I’ve been reading a lot of good books, with stories that stay with me, hopefully forever. But I have always read a lot of books. As a child, I would go to the library every week and find a new set of books – 6 as that was the maximum. Carefully selected of course, as it would have to last me a week. Continue reading “Forget this “When good men do nothing…””