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[020] Press release Boycott de Balie – Squatters' edition

Ruis, gepost door: nn op 13/01/2022 01:02:48

Wanneer: 13/01/2022 - 14:21

On 14th of January a debate about squatting is organised by De Balie. Various groups from the squatters' movement expressed themselves last Monday with a boycott and statement.

The boycott and statement builds on previous boycott campaigns, such as most recently the Geen Podium protest campaign. This had to do with the appearance of the controversial art collective KIRAC. With their actions and films KIRAC glorified rapeculture like they did by the 'uncanceling' of alleged rapist Juliaan Andeweg. De Balie was also discredited in 2017 around the debate about the book 'Waarom haten ze ons eigenlijk?', which culminated in a conversation on best practice in Muslim deportation. After being notified about this, the Egyptian-American feminist Mona Eltahawy decided to withdraw from a talk about her book in 2019.

The statement of the squatters' movement has been signed by more than 50 groups. This includes many current and former squats, feminist and anti-racist activist groups and several large housing protest groups. In addition, participants of the debate, lawyer Willem Jebbink and sociologist Hans Pruijt, withdrew as a result of the content of the statement.

Willem Jebbink withdrew after he had taken note of the problems surrounding De Balie through the statement: "The core issue in this discussion - inclusivity - touches on values that I feel down to the core. (…) To my taste De Balie took too little stand after previous blunders to allow me to participate carefree and benevolently in their evening of debate (which is a shame, because I would have loved to explain that squatting should be out of criminal law.)

Hans Pruijt, the leading academic in the field of squatting, also withdrew from the panel after being referred to the statement. He was also not aware of what had occurred at De Balie. His conclusion was that "it is not good for the discussion to take place at the Balie". Furthermore, the artist of the Slangenpand painting, Patries van Elsen, has withdrawn her permission to use her artwork as a set: "I would like to support your statement. (…) Good luck with everything!"

The statement shows that the criticism of De Balie is widely supported.

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