Design: Tyneisha van Veltum
Design: Tyneisha van Veltum
until 30 January 2021
Manifesting Systemic Change

Manifesting Systemic Change through Creative Waves

A collaborative open call by Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter, The Black Archives/New Urban Collective, Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL, Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, for artists and writers to manifest the Manifesting Systemic Change Through Creative Waves manifesto.

Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past June, and in response to the countless other Black people killed by police in recent years, more than 60000 people took to the streets throughout the Netherlands. Alongside these historic #BlackLivesMatter protests and related campaigns, there has been an increasing awareness that the Netherlands is struggling with its own pervasive institutional racism. Amid this wave of recognition locally, many Black and other people of color have taken part in antiracist protests or have spoken out about racism and discrimination in this country for the first time. Policymakers and politicians have actively participated in the debate.​

Following these manifestations, Stichting Nederland Wordt Beter (NLWB), The Black Archives/New Urban Collective (TBA/NUC), and Black Queer & Trans Resistance NL (BQTR) organized public meetings in five provinces in the Netherlands. The output from these meetings, as well as interviews with experts, and online surveys conducted by the organizations have helped to inform the development of a new, collectively-written document, “Manifesting Systemic Change Through Creative Waves.” With its aim toward combating institutional racism and promoting Black emancipation, the manifesto will be presented to Black communities, the anti-racist movement, political parties, policymakers, institutions, and civil society. The manifesto includes advice and a set of requirements from and for Black communities to effectively tackle racism in various domains such as education, the labor market, art, and culture. It is not set in stone: we see it as a “living document” which can be adapted through engagement with Black communities and wider society. We expect to present the manifesto in January 2021.

In connection to this manifesto, and in further cultivation of a multi-pronged project of anti-racist change in the Netherlands, NLWB, TBA/NUC, and BQTR, along with Kick Out Zwarte Piet (KOZP) and BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, are launching an open call for artists and writers to “manifest the manifesto.” The call is driven by the crucial need to activate the manifesto, and to engage with it as a living document across several sectors of society. Conceived in collaboration with creative makers and thinkers, this call aims to deepen and visibilize the messages of the manifesto through creative forms. Further, its goal is to demonstrate progressive ideas in multiple forms of learning, seeing, reading, and experiencing, and to provoke continued adaptation and new forms of allyship and resistance.