This graphite pencil drawing ‘Sinterklaas in Voorburg – 03-12-23’ is my first one after I my big operation on my website. It doesn’t happen that often I skip a beat. That is, not producing a drawing or painting per week but once in a while it does. Last one was ‘Clingendael – 15-11-23’. You see, I was working on refurbishing my website for months now. That is finished now. If you want to, you can have a peek and let me know what you think. Back to drawing because I missed that most intensely and I even have an oil under way.
Saturday 18th November after art class I had another cultural activity. I had to attend a concert of the Voorburgs Vocaal Ensemble in the Koningskerk at 3 PM. Time for bite to eat in advance and so I went straight into the Herenstraat. I didn’t realize Sinterklaas (dutch Santa Claus) was in town. Many children all dressed up reminded me to that fact though. There he was, walking down from his steamboot into the Kerkstraat. However, it was raining cats and dogs. On a whim I decided to take some photos. In front of Restaurant Barquichon he stopped in front of a group of children to greet them. Off I went to the concert and forgot about the pics I took.
That was until after our elections for a new parliament last November 22nd. Now there is this guy called ‘Geert Wilders’ who won the elections. Many kicked up a lot of fuss because his ‘party’ doesn’t take our constitution too seriously. His programme show a lot of topics possibly conflicting with democratic principles. One divisive factor is the wanted return of ‘Black Pete’, the loyal Servant of Sinterklaas. Wokers and anti-racists fought for de-blackening him because of the association with our national slavery history. Not Wilders. He suffers from the Golden-Age syndrome and wants a return to traditional values. The old times were the best and so Black Pete is back on the menu.
These times are troublesome. Many in The Netherlands fear Trumpian situations. Maybe even a political pull to the right like in Slovakia, Poland or Hungary. I am one of those many. On the other hand I don’t like movements like ‘Kick Out Black Pete’ and wokers. They lay claim to the most political correct opinion nowadays. Before you know it, Pete has to be contracted as an employee with social benefits, health insurance and above all, equal to Sinterklaas. Preferably white and perhaps Sint black for a change. An innocent children’s festival attacked by both sides. Isn’t that what’s going on? There is no middle way it seems. Everything is shredded to pieces by extremists. I hope this drawing will remind people of the innocence and joyful character the concept of Sint and Piet once held. Don’t give extreme right and extreme left a chance to hold it hostage.
Graphite pencil drawing (Sakura 0.5 mm, 4B) on Winsor & Newton Bristol board paper (21 x 14.8 x 0.1 cm – A5 format)
Artist: Corné Akkers
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