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DEBATING ZWARTE PIET ONLINE

An Exploration of the Zwarte Piet Debate on Twitter

 

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned,
Until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes,
Until the basic human rights are guaranteed to all, without regard to race, […]
Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven,
Until that day, the African continent will not know peace.”

Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, General Assembly, 1963

 

HOW IT GOT STARTED

We are two students in the MA African Studies at Leiden University. As part of the course "Language and Communication in Africa", we decided to dedicate this website to the exploration of the debate on Zwarte Piet that has recently been re-activited on Twitter in 2019.

With this blog, we aim at identifying trends in the way Zwarte Piet is portrayed and debated online and at presenting how social media can contribute to the decolonization of such a tradition. We want to shine light on the ways the online and physical world are fundamentally intertwined.

Lastly, and most importantly, we intend at participating to the wider discussion on the skewed representation of Africa and Africans in Western culture and media. Zwarte Piet is a racist caricature which ought to be questioned.


Welcome to our blog -  Enjoy our writing - Keep the debate going. 

 
 
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#8 Readings to go Beyond

A few readings to let our readers formalize their own opinion on Zwarte Piet and decolonization.