As an organisation pushing techno and house music we often talk about having to be thankful and never forget who and what started this culture. When we partake in this beautiful culture in good times we must also stand by our black brothers and sisters in difficult times. The story of George Floyd is sad and maddening. It was the straw that broke the camels back with the protests it ignited the USA and globally. People are tired of racism and it’s time to stand together.
The techno scene allows us to create beautiful things, connect all different sorts of people on the dance floor. We create a mini world and an utopia of how the real world could be. And for just a couple of hours, it is the real world in which we can live together in perfect harmony. It’s something that brings hope and joy to many. We feel honoured and blessed to be able to contribute to this culture.
So stand with our black brothers and sisters. Raise awareness, talk about it with your friends, protest, but maybe most important, ask yourself if you have done everything you can to open your heart to every person no matter what color (race, gender and preference) and stand up for them when in need. Did you make people feel included? Did you speak up when you saw injustice happen right next to you? Speak up and act, even if it’s signing a petition or donating to a good cause. Doing nothing is not an option.
The current events have made me think even more about racism and everything that’s attached to it. Therefor I want to express my feelings and concerns on personal notice. I am raised in a traditional Indo family with the values that you have to be positive and don’t complain. Also you should never show that you’re hurt.
This doesn’t mean racism doesn’t affect me on a regular basis, but I’m always trying to reason why people act in a certain way. Things like ‘don’t overreact, they probably don’t mean it that way’ or ‘they probably don’t know any better’ often cross my mind.
I’m not saying by any means that I know what black people in America go through, but I did often feel left out or treated differently. From ignorant, childish ‘harmless’ racism up to painful remarks. We all make (harmless) jokes and humour is a powerful tool.
In this case I am talking about the times that I got cuffed and strip-searched while the (white) person next to me walked out freely. Getting pulled over and interrogated rudely in a police van several times. Memories like these go through my brain when I see the news.
Also thinking about the moments that I witnessed my mom and grand mom got yelled in a racist manner. I wondered how many encounters they had when they first came to The Netherlands. They probably treated Indo people the same way as the immigrants now. Treated them as if they were parasites.
My family was already mixed in the 19th century and surely it was frowned upon back then. But how many generations is it going to take to realise that there’s more that unites us than what divides us?
We all have our ways of dealing with it, but I’m trying to stay positive and make a change. I shoved pieces of Indonesian culture through peoples throats by actively applying it to Linke Soto. Think about the Indonesian snacks at the entrance or the wording we use. Obviously it was always meant for fun, but it’s also a way of showing people that we share more than just music. I hope we can build bridges and break down walls this way. Being on this planet for some years now it feels like this time we are on a turning point.
I am blessed being surrounded with awesome friends. I love the team we work with and who help to create a space to spread love on the dance floor. It shows me for a fact that if our small group can do it on a this scale we as a species can do it on a bigger scale.