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Power - Amsterdam 2019

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Location Lounge (OT301)

Overtoom 301

Why is calling out oppressive behavior in white normative left wing activist spaces so difficult? Why are dominant groups within movement spaces trying to silence marginalized people who call out oppressive behavior? (spoiler: fragility)

Calling out people out on their oppressive behavior isn’t a hobby, it’s a tool of self-defense. It might not feel comfortable to be called out, but let’s face it: it would be an understatement to say that it is way more uncomfortable to survive the oppressive systems of our colonial racist, sexist, classist, speciesist, ableist, cis-heterosexist context. In this workshop we will reflect on what many fail to understand, which is the fact that a call out is a gift. It’s an opportunity to change that has been given by people who call out, often at great personal risk. Especially marginalized people can face huge backlash and violence from calling out oppression.

What is actually is a “call out”? Why do we need to understand fragility before we can discuss call out culture? How do left wing activist tend to use their privileges to weaponize themselves against call outs, and why is that wrong? What is the difference between a call out and a call in, and why do people make that difference? What people mean when they talk about “call out culture”? What are different approaches of
calling out? What tone-policing or white solidarity? Why is self-care so important? How to do a call out? How do you keep in mind power disbalances in a call out? How to react if you have been called out? How to support a call out?

These are a few of the questions that we will focus on.

We will also discuss some cases of public call outs by marginalized groups within activist spaces. If you’d like to prepare we recommend you to read the open letter from the Wretched of the Earth-bloc to the organizers of the People’s Climate March of Justice and Jobs and/or the open letter from a group of cultural professionals, artists and activists to the Witte de With-institute.

It will be interactive, and we’ll end this workshop with a practical exercise.


Karel de Kleijne (she) is a privileged, white, thin, cis-het woman, diagnosed with Asperger’s. She is one of the co-founders of TU Delft Feminists and has been amongst other groups involved in Code Rood and Fossil Free Culture. She makes activist teapots. Climate justice, intersectionality, decolonization and the responsibility of white people within decolonization interest her a lot. She has been recently kicked out De Nederlandse Klimaatbeweging-facebook group for calling out the racism of the moderation team. Karel is very much looking forward to this workshop.

This will be a mad-friendly space, if you have special needs to be able to participate please let Karel know. Feel warmly invited to join the workshop, no matter what your background or level of knowledge or experience is, you are welcome. We kindly ask you stay aware of your privileges, especially white cis guys. Feedback is very much welcome. Fragility within our workshop will be used to explain the material better, but we will take measures in case it becomes too toxic.

Extra info

Lounge (OT301)
Overtoom 301 Amsterdam
Lounge (upstairs)