PRESS RELEASE: INARG challenges North Sea Jazz festival over blackface imagery

This update just in from our friends over at the InterNational Anti-Racism Group (INARG): 

“In 2015, INARG, asked North Sea Jazz Festival;Why was blackface shown as part of the Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Holland?”

In 2016, this year, INARG, in discussion with Director, Mr. Jan Willem Luyken, has received a reply from North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam.

Luyken, immediately, began with an apology, for the presentation of the racist film during the 2015 North Sea Jazz Festival, in Rotterdam.

Further, he stated; “It is unfortunate. We hired a VJ that Friday. We support ‘artistic freedom’ [we do not check]. The VJ choose the films. But, we/I don’t want to hide behind that. He [the VJ] said, he thought, he would be ‘educating’ the young people there, by showing some of the film. The last thing we want to appear, is racist. We deeply regret it.  I have spoken with the VJ. It will never happen again.”

INARG was not alone in contacting North Sea Jazz Festival, Rotterdam about this racist film.

INARG would like to thank everyone! who e-mailed, or otherwise attempted to contact North Sea Jazz, against this, inappropriate film presentation!

We hope, for your continued interest, and support, as INARG persists with our efforts to stop individuals/corporations, who promote, and/or profit from, racism. “

INARG and ERIF encourage you to share this update and remain vigilant if attending North Sea Jazz festival in 2016 for any signs of racist imagery or messages. 

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