From Provo to Loesje: creative activism in the Netherlands and Europe
What is creative activism? What does it mean to be an activist and express your opinion using strictly creative and non-violent means? And how does creative activism contribute to social change?
The Netherlands has a tradition of creative activism starting in 1965 with Provo. This group challenged the establishment with actions like distributing free raisins to the public. Provo also initiated the ‘white bike plan’, which meant putting white bikes in Amsterdam for everyone to use for free. In the eighties the Netherlands was faced with action-groups that became more violent and aggressive. During demonstrations confrontations with police often occurred. As a response in 1983 a new creative action group emerged: poster collective Loesje. A group of activists from Arnhem were tired of the negativity. They created the persona ‘Loesje’, a curious, opinionated, humorous girl. Their creative action method was to create slogans that expressed their ideals in a positive way and sign them with the name Loesje. Poster collective Loesje exists till this day and inspired action groups all over Europe to use this creative action method. In my book I explore the concept of creative activism. What does it mean to be an activist and express your opinion using strictly creative means? And how does creative activism contribute to social change in different European countries and contexts?
Book: De Nijl in mij. Een ontdekkingsreis naar het hart van de waanzin (Atlas Contact 2018)
Book: Verkeersslachtoffer 22/10. Op zoek naar de man die mijn zusje doodreed (Querido Fosfor 2019)
Essay: Na een verkeersongeluk helpt praten iedereen vooruit (De Volkskrant, 1-02-2019)