Statement about Witte de With

As an – in my eyes – frivolous discussion about the name of Witte de With, international centre of arts located at the street of that name in Rotterdam, seemed to detract from the very serious problems of today, I sent a personal letter to the former director, Defne Ayas on 9 October, 2017.


Statement about Witte de With

The street that still carries the name of the Rotterdam admiral is one of the many streets in the centre of the city that is filled with people from all continents. As such the street symbolizes the image of Rotterdam as the most international among the modern Dutch cities.

The career of this sailor was determined by naval battles with contemporary enemies like Spain. Another contemporary captain, the Southern Ming Chinese admiral Kuo Hsing Yeh/Koxinga (who drove the Dutch from Formosa) now has a sculpture in a quiet park of Taipei, that nobody questions.

More interesting perhaps is that the Rotterdam admiral fought his battles also for the sake of monopoly capitalism that was trying to take over the world. He was a truly global mariner, sailing around the world, and unbeknownst to himself preparing the world for globalisation.

As a former chairman of Witte de With I have never protested against its logo of black clouds that tells the centre is colour-blind.

As a colour-blind person myself I sincerely hope that people of all colours will work together to save the world from imminent destruction.

Adriaan van der Staay

5 X 2017