On Thursday, researchers from the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication will present a 200-page glossy magazine on Saint Nicholas’ assistant Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete.
In traditional Dutch folklore, Zwarte Piet is the now-controversial ‘blackamoor’ companion of visiting Saint Nicholas, when ‘Sinterklaas’ is celebrated on 6 December. In the magazine, the researchers and other contributors try to show alternative, ‘modern’ ways to present Saint Nicholas’ companion, without the blackface.
Among others Jiska Engelbert, Jacco van Sterkenburg, Isabel Awad and Alex van Stipriaan contributed to the glossy, which also includes interviews and opinions from many well-known people in the Netherlands. These are mainly people who have frequently taken part in the Black Pete debate, such as Charly Luske, Howard Komproe, Sunny Bergman and Jörgen Raymann. Alex van Stipriaan wrote a historic overview of the Saint Nicholas celebration, which began in the fourth century AD.
The magazine was presented on Thursday during a discussion evening about Peter in the Erasmus Pavilion. The magazine will be available in shops from 20 November. You can download a (Dutch) sneak preview of it below.