Stroom Den Haag is a discriminating organisation

The success factors for becoming (and staying) a member of Stroom: Dutch nationality, diploma from a Dutch art school preferably the KABK, knowing to sell yourself as an artist, being friend of the director or pretending to like what he considers art and be male or behave like a male.

Foreign artists, with studies, exhibitions and constant involvement with art, are treated as serfs who have to report to the master every 2-3 years about their activities and their incomes. This master though is financed by the state where these foreign artists also pay tax through their art organisations or individual movements or even through other incomes (day-time jobs, night-time jobs, private assets, etc.).

Arno van Roosmalen, director of Stroom, should apologize to the artists of The Hague and to the city itself for suffocating them in a mediocre provincialism (even for a state managed artworld as the case is in the Netherlands).

Self admiring neurotic corps (to be), S.Kapnissi 2010
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3 thoughts on “Stroom Den Haag is a discriminating organisation

  1. Well, this beatiful drawing suits the situation. Difficult times for artists up in Den Haag. Is this also the case elsewhere in the Netherlands? Would be interesting to know.

  2. a case about discrimination

    Yesterday I watched Boiler room and The crooked E on TV. It was a reminder of how it all happened, our finical crisis. The selling of stocks that where filled with hot air by greedy directors and even hotter air from people that desperately wanted to believe in the stocks that they had bought. They spurred each other on, filling the stocks with more and more hot air. No one questioned. The prices climbed, profits soared…cracks appeared. The balloon began to burst, the directors sold out. The world had a bankrupted Enron and more than we could imagine began to tumble.
    Only last week I received a telephone call from the discriminatiezaken.nl (anti discrimination organization in the Netherlands) about a report I had made a month earlier. It was about you Sofia Kapnissi, I felt you had been treated unfairly. Before we met we had been equals. It is now 11 years that we run parallel with our creative ideas and energy, we are equals and yet we are individuals.

    ‘Yes you reported a case about discrimination’
    ‘Yes’, I explain, that we (Sofia Kapnissi and myself) both applied for a membership at Stroom the centre for arts in the Hague. ‘The odd thing is, you see’, I continue, ‘that for the last 11 years we work together, so you see our artists CVs are practically the same, but I am a he, she is a she and she comes from Greece.
    To come to the point Stroom has told her (through a letter) that she is no longer a professional artist and have barred her membership.’
    ‘You wrote in your report that this is because of her gender or that she is Greek? Do you have that in black and white from the organization?
    ‘No of course not.’
    ‘So you have a suspicion about this discrimination?’
    My heart sank, and I could feel the director and employees of Stroom snigger away.
    ‘You should,’ the voice continued in a slightly patronising voice.
    A patronising voice not trying to offend me, but rather to help the general situation in a well trained social soft sort of way, ‘get in contact with the organisation, and get a clarification.’
    Discrimination is rive all over the world. I see it every day, in my street, at work, I have been both the umzungu in the crowd and I have been part of the crowd. There are times when I wish I would do and mostly I don’t. But I felt safe in Holland, we in Holland have professional people fighting against discrimination all the time. Professional discrimination fighters that hold up their fists, so we can relax ours Posters campaigns that invite you and me to report TV advert spots ”feel discriminated against call our free number’. Yes we must be equal.
    ‘But what’s the point’, I ask, ‘if people or organizations want to discriminate they can.
    They do not have to write a letter to me saying because she is a she. There are countless other ways to hurt and discriminate with out breaking a single law.’
    I see the cracks appearing, rules and gestures made with hot air and no one to keep the cracks from ripping.
    Sofia Kapnissi the organizations that were built to help us have been filled with hot air and are bankrupting. Please keep questioning please keep writing.

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