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© 2013 This image and the accompanying factsheet are copyright Arche Noah Verein. All rights reserved. Reproduced here with permission.
Artwork by: Valerio Fravallo
For an updated signature list, please see the declaration home page.
Read the Vienna Declaration, currently signed by the following organizations, with more signatures expected to come:
AGROLINK Association (BUL)
Arche Noah Verein (A)
Bese Természetvédelmi Egyesület | Bese Nature Conservation Society (HU)
Bifurcated Carrots (NL)
Campaign for Seed-Sovereignty (INT) | Kampagne für Saatgut-Souveränität
Dachverband Kulturpflanzen- und Nutztiervielfalt e.V. (INT)
Le Début des Haricots (B)
Eco Ruralis – in support of traditional and organic farming (RO)
Environmental Social Science Research Group (HU)
Fundacja Rolniczej Różnorodności Biologicznej AgriNatura (PL)
Föreningen Sesam (SV)
GAIA – Grupo de Acção e Intervenção Ambiental (PT)
Garden Organic (GB)
GLOBAL 2000 – Friends of the Earth Austria
InfOMG – GMO information centre in Romania (RO)
Longo mai (INT)
Maatiainen ry (SF)
Navdanya International (I)
Plataforma Transgénicos Fora (Stop GMO Platform, PT)
Praktisk Økologi (DK)
Red Andaluza de Semillas „Cultivando Biodiversidad“ (E)
Red de Semillas „Resembrando e Intercambiando“ (E)
Rete Semi Rurali (I)
Réseau Semences Paysannes (F)
Seed Freedom Campaign (IND)
Slovensko bez GMO (SK)
Społeczny Instytut Ekologiczny (PL)
Stowarzyszenie dla dawnych odmian i ras (PL)
Varuhi semen (SL)
Verein zur Erhaltung der Nutzpflanzenvielfalt e.V. (D)
ZMAG – Zelena mreza aktivistickih grupa (HR) | GNAG – Green network of activist groups
Zwarte Piets or Black Petes are a Christmas tradition in Holland. It’s a tradition that dates back to the time of slavery, when most of the Netherlands population was white. The basic idea is Santa Claus, who is white, has black helpers who do his bidding and give candy and presents to children. The Zwarte Piet characters are almost always white people with face paint, bright red lips, earrings — sometimes nose rings, and wigs with black curly hair.
There are many excuses why this is not racist. For example Piet is black from climbing down a chimney or whatever, or it’s just make believe and a long standing tradition. Of course none of this explains why the red lips or short curly hair are necessary. In previous years the Dutch have also shown a lot more tolerance towards traditions of other cultures, which made it a little easier to look the other way when it came to Zwarte Piet. Now much of that tolerance isn’t so present any more, and the tradition of Zwarte Piet reflects much more current, underlying and structural problems within Dutch society.
Nowadays, about 20% of the country as a whole, and more than 50% in some urban areas are non-Dutch decent. This tradition is becoming increasingly unacceptable to those people, together with some ethnic Dutch and many people from all over the world. As incredible as it seems, major cities like Amsterdam still sanction and license events with this character, and it’s really time that stops. It may be private parties continue in the years to come, but for a city to sanction public events, in public areas, is really a slap in the face to the non-Dutch people who live there. I’ve posted before about some of the institutionally racist policies of the city of Amsterdam, which thankfully have been getting less common over time. It’s time for the city to take the next big step.
The sketch/improve group Boom Chicago, based in Amsterdam, have done a nice parody:
The Culinaire Werkplaats (Culinary Workshop) is an alternative restaurant in Amsterdam. We found it sort of by accident and had dinner there last night. We were very impressed.
They are a sort of food design studio, and incorporate a lot of ideas from fashion and architecture. They are also very environmentally and socially minded, and like to create futuristic meals combining all these ideas. As far as I know, all of their food is vegetarian. Primarily they do business dinner commissions, but they also have a restaurant in Amsterdam, open only on Friday and Saturday, with the goal of trying out their creations on ‘ordinary’ people. The business model of most restaurants in the Netherlands are severely constrained by labor costs, which are somewhat high here. Since the business model of this place is different, it means they can offer food which is pretty much unavailable in the rest of the country.
Dinner starts with a pen and a piece of paper, and by the end of the evening you are expected to have provided a detailed written opinion of the meal. The food is brought to the table and presented, but you are expected to clear the dirty dishes yourself. You also have to fill your own water glass, and since the kitchen is an open part of the restaurant, both these things involve elbowing your way past the chefs in order to get to the sink. This is an intentional part of their philosophy of combining the preparing and eating of the food.
The interior is very clean and functional, but also simple, as are the dishes and cutlery.
Our dinner was 4 main courses, plus a starter and dessert. The food was very high quality, and very nicely prepared and presented. Individual portions were small, but in total was plenty of food. The meal was full of very interesting flavor combinations. I think most readers of this blog would be very satisfied with their choice of ingredients and philosophies. There’s no set price, you simply pay what you want for the meal. If you’re planning costs ahead of time, according to the video above, think in terms of €19-100 per person plus drinks. Reservations are strongly suggested. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Amsterdam.
Now a brief pause in the programming for a cartoon short.