VELLER

/ FINAL SOLUTION TO THE NEGRO>MONSTER

CONCEPT

"I am not your Negro!" (James Baldwin)

Many Flemish people find it hard to understand that the use of the word Neger (ENG: Negro or Nigger) is degrading because it refers to the Neger concept, invoking an inferior human being, more animal than human, without any talents and only driven by vices. They find it even harder to reject the imagery of the Black Face. The best example is the character of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), who parades the streets of Flanders in black-face make-up every 6th of December to celebrate St-Nicolas (Santa Claus) Day. Many Flemish people see the word Neger and the imagery around the Neger as a cultural heritage they are not prepared to modify or give up. They argue that they have no bad intensions and that culture is sacred and untouchable. What black people feel is secondary. 

​Campaigns aimed at diplomatically sensitising people to this problem haven't convinced many white Flemish people to change these practises. The recent reactions of disappointment, indignation and anger expressed by Flemish celebreties of black descent on Flemish media and social media are a sign of the deep frustration. We are running up against a wall of unwillingness, stubbornness and self-centredness. In absence of a better diplomatic solution, I realise with much regret that only a radical approach will catch their attention and bring about a change in attitude.

 

It has no effect to tell this story from the perspective of the victims of these practises. The only possibility left is to tell the same story from the perspective of the perpetrators. Place the perpetrator in an uncomfortable position and he will feel victimised.

 

Two elements are central to this narrative. The first is the reenactment of a slave market on which Negers (Neger Monsters) will be sold the way Congolese slaves were sold. Back then, a white man could dispose of another man's life and destiny. He gave the slave a new name and a new existence according to the slave-owner's needs. Place a perpetrator in a similar situation and he will feel uncomfortable because he recognises the inhumanity of that slave-master relationship. Let the perpetrator inhabit the body of the slave-owner and let him experience how uncomfortable it is to play God. If the perpetrator wants to keep using the word Neger and the black face, then let him be consistent and embrace the role of slave-owner and live up to the role for better and for worse. Most people want to be neither the slave -- the Neger -- nor the slave owner. The second element of this narrative is that perpetrators don't want to be associated with Flemish nationalists or with the Flemish extreme-right movement.

Project VELLER portrays in a graphic way what needs to be done to keep the term "Neger" and the body of the Neger alive. Protecting a cultural heritage has a high price. Stopping an obsession requires shock therapy.

 

The VELLER project steals and uses the instruments from the adversaries (the violent imagery, vocabulary and the fanaticism used by the Flemish nationalist movement and by the Flemish far-right movement) and use them for an antiracist performance. By stealing the adversary’s weapons we turn these weapons of destruction into instruments of reconstruction. We redirect hate towards hate to neutralise hate. We use a form of sorcery to disarm these perpetrators of their arguments to defend the "Neger." The arguments lose their power, their conviction.

 

Warning: graphical images and words

 

The VELLER-project (SKINNER-project) : the Final Solution to the Neger Problem

 

Flanders, Flemish people and black man must be saved from the threat of that monster called the "Neger" or the Negro/Nigger.

 

Man is an anxious animal. For that reason he creates monsters onto which he projects his fears. These monsters are caricatures of real human beings with bestial characteristics. Once his fears are contained in a body/a container/a monster, man thinks he can easily control them.

 

The concept of the Neger was created in a context of exploration and the conquest of Africa and Africans by a small group of white men inspired by racial theories. In fact the Neger should be called Neger Monster because of his purpose as a instrument of terror and because the word monster underlines the childish, ridiculous and absurd way of resolving an anxiety problem. 

 

With the invention of the Neger Monster the black man was suddenly seen as representing the absolute opposite of what the white man represented. A small group of white men projected a major part of all the fears existing in the white society on the black man and hence created the Neger Monster. The Neger Monster was a predator, a rapist, a thief, a killer, a liar, a betrayer… The Neger Monster was an instrument to control fears and to control social, economic and political life. This small group of white men introduced the Neger Monster to the white society with a ferocious publicity campaign expressed in all kinds of art forms. People should fear the black man above all others. For a time it may have been an efficient tool to bring peace to society because fear was channeled toward one distinct group, the black people. But of course things got out of control. It is impossible to contain an illusion, a monster that starts to live its own life. The public continued to feed the monsters with its anxiety. The power of imagination is hard to contain.

 

Nowadays the concept of the Neger Monster still exists in Flanders, as it does in many other Western countries, while common sense and experiences tell us that the black man is not the Neger Monster. White Flemish people still live with an invisible threat, an irrational fear of the Neger Monster that they created. That last part is often forgotten. Their ancestors created the monster. And sadly there is still a mistrust of people of black African descent because they might be inhabited by the Neger Monster.

 

VELLER uses the black-face to exorcise that fear of the Neger Monster.

 

A part of white society likes to portray/stage the Neger Monster as a funny character to avoid facing its fear of the Neger Monster. It likes to laugh the fear out of its body, mind and life. 

 

This heritage of fear from another era is nothing but ballast in white men’s life and in black man's life. In the contemporary context of a inter-cultural society, the Neger Monster has no use anymore.

 

Black man and Flemish people must be saved from the threat/ he curse of the Neger Monster. 

 

The VELLER-model offers a ritual to erase the threat of the Neger Monster in two stages. To execute this plan, the participation of all Flemish households is required, since the community must act as one. This ritual is adapted to Flemish people who are Neger lovers and Neger haters.

 

Stage #1 is the identification and the registration of all Neger Monsters present in Flanders. We must know where our enemy hides. 

 

Stage #2 is the adoption of a Neger Monster by every Flemish household. Every Flemish household shall choose a Neger Monster that is presented on a marketplace. The Neger Monster is taken out of the streets where it is uncontrollable and is placed in a great Flemish home. In the warm interior of a Flemish household, Flemish families interact with the Neger Monster and get to know the black man that has been hidden behind the Neger Monster. Adoptive parents can chose between two attitudes towards the Neger Monster. There are no other options. Attitude 1: The Negro hater (or black-man lover) connects on a human level with the black man, understands his condition and finally frees the black man from the Neger body by deleting the Neger Monster imagery from his memory and from his life. Attitude 2: The Neger lover has an inhumane approach. He refuses to meet the human behind the Neger body and he refuses to inhumane living conditions he endures. The Neger lover must then ritually kill and skin the body of the Neger Monster to recycle his black skin into a durable good, the Neger object. The Neger lover can then enjoy the remainder of his beloved Flemish folk heritage in the intimacy of his private life, away from the streets and out of the eyes of society and black men. Neger lovers can cherish these objects like holy relics and at the sight of them be reminded of their role as masters/gods. 

 

VELLER is the sequel to my documentary "N-ID: the stigma of the Negro Identity." N-ID kills the Negro concept, while VELLER kills the body (of the Neger Monster) that still transmits and expressed the Neger identity.

 

WORK

 

The John K Cobra Institute of Videoartfacts produced two promotional videos about the VELLER-model for social media and also organised instructional sessions for the Flemish public about the VELLER-model and its two-step extermination ritual. These sessions took place in Flemish community houses and cultural houses.

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