A statement from Dekmantel
Last Sunday we released a statement that, in combination with the chosen imagery, was hurtful and rightfully criticized. We apologize for the harm it caused and understand why it was wrong on multiple levels, so we have chosen to remove the original post.
We acknowledge this was not an isolated incident. Over the years we have made similar mistakes and haven’t spoken up or taken accountability when it comes to social issues. Our silence made us complicit and that is not what we want to stand for. We have to change. Dekmantel would be nowhere without the great diversity of music that has been created in Black communities. We have to use our privileged position to respect and honour these roots.
All Black Lives Matter. There is absolutely zero room for anti-Blackness, white supremacy, bigotry, hatred, transphobia and racism. We unequivocally stand for this as individuals and an organization. We vouch to listen to, educate ourselves on, and speak with the communities to address these issues in a more active and concrete way. We know there is a lot of work to do, not just in our communications but also our programming and organization itself.
Due to the pandemic, record sales and merchandise are currently our only source of income. However, our original proposed method of donating put the responsibility solely on our community and that was wrong. Instead we now have donated €5000 directly split across local and international foundations for the Black community: The Black Archives, Black Queer & Trans Resistance Netherlands, and National Bail Fund Network. Furthermore, this is not a sticking plaster. We promise that we will commit to financial support for social causes on a structural basis.
Words are not enough. In the coming weeks we will provide further information on our next steps. This will be made publicly available. Thank you for calling us out when we mess up. If you have any further feedback or questions, please feel free to get in touch with us too through: [email protected]
The old state statement can be found below and was accompanied with pictures from Black artists who played Dekmantel Festival in the previous years. This has been removed now as it hurtful and rightfully criticized, therefore we also decided to not include the pictures again:
"Dekmantel is built on black art. We would be nowhere without the pioneers of house, techno, disco, Afrobeat, hip-hop and more sounds from across the globe, as well as those who have risked themselves to progress their community and music ever since.
Black life is under critical threat around the world, so it bears stating clearly: #BlackLivesMatter.
For the entirety of June, we will be putting 100% of webstore takings toward the National Bail Fund in America to help support black communities at this time of upheaval. The link is in our bio if you would like to make a contribution too – anything you can pledge, to any bail fund or relief initiative, is worthwhile though.
It has been our honour to uphold the tradition of black culture and these cherished voices for every year that Dekmantel has been in operation, and we will continue to do so.
We would like to apologise unreservedly for a pre-scheduled video post earlier today. It was tone-deaf given the current situation, and never should have gone out. Thank you all those who let us know."