By Yonna Kuipers
May 5th 2017 will mark 72 years since the liberation of the Netherlands from Nazi Germany. Liberation has been an important topic in Dutch history and identity for a long time. In light of this, there are also the Roosevelt Four Freedom awards. An award based on FDR’s 1941 speech, promoting four universal freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. This award gets presented to a person who has demonstrated a serious commitment to these freedoms. The award gets presented in Middelburg and New York alternatively (???). I’m sure I don’t need to explain why Middelburg gets this honor.
In celebration of these awards, there are various events planned throughout the year inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four freedoms. One of them is this coming Tuesday, April 18th. De Spot will be host to a vrijheidscollege, or freedom lecture, given by Sunny Bergman and Eric Corton. Tickets are free, but you have to reserve them via this link.
Sunny Bergman is a documentary maker and writer who addresses often controversial topics like sex, race, or beauty. Her works highlight issues that are either repressed by mainstream culture or considered taboo. Her lecture will mainly focus around the topic of ethnicity. She will talk about the issue of the angry white person, white privilege, and racism. She has recently produced a documentary on this topic, that was all over my Facebook feed for quite a while: Wit is ook een kleur, or white is also a color. You can watch the trailer here.
Eric Corton is a radio- and tv presenter and avid supporter of the Red Cross. He has supported the them for many years and has produced various reportages about lesser known emergencies and disasters, often in light of the fundraiser of 3FM’s Serious Request. His lecture will focus on the duality of freedom; freedom for one can result in a lack of freedom for someone else. How we should approach this, or deal with this will be the foundation of Corton’s lecture.
Whilst both address a different topic, there is the common theme of freedom. I am sure both presenters will address this in more detail, but there’s more to freedom that lack of restraint. I think in light of comments surrounding ‘PC culture’ or unnecessary awareness campaigns, these lectures will bring you a new, or refreshed outlook. Sure you have freedom of speech, but is that enough?
If you want to join, simply follow this link and download the tickets to your smartphone. Sadly, the lectures will be in Dutch, but you can complain to the organization about this. They start at 19:30, but for more information check the Facebook event.
Yonna Kuipers, Class of 2017, is a history and linguistics major from Schiedam, The Netherlands.