In response to Black Lives Matter and the upcoming demonstration in Hoorn

On Saturday, FvD leader Thierry Baudet placed flowers at the foot of the statue of Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587-1629) in celebration of “his hero”. Although there should be room for different voices to speak up, we do not find the racist and horrific actions of the past heroic. We are in support of the removal of the statue of Coen and will be participating in the peaceful demonstration tomorrow evening (19 June, 19.00, Roode Steen, Hoorn) and strongly feel the demonstration should go forward as planned. We invite everyone who believes in rethinking, rewriting and changing history to work for a better present and future to join the gathering.

As an institution housed in Hoorn, a place heavily entwined in the history of Dutch colonial rule, we sit at the center of an unjust and uncomfortable history. During Undercurrents, the 2018-19 exhibition programme of previous HMK director Irene de Craen, we started the work of thinking through what a decolonial institution might be. We know that work is ongoing. We are trying now to understand and structurally implement how we can be an anti-racist institution. In 2020 we have been asking how we can build practices and spaces of care within the limits of an exploitative system, with which we are all complicit. We recognise that we must act differently, build institutional practices that are intersectional and acknowledge the burdens of white supremacist, patriarchal capitalism, if we are to play any part in supporting all our residents and hosting all our audiences.

We will work to listen, to change, and update you on the actions we take.

We know we make mistakes, please tell us when we do.

We don’t have lots of resources but we have plenty of space. If there is anything we can do to host and support, please get in touch with us.