21/04/2016 Studium Generale lecture 'The White-Man's Burden' - Jeroen de Lange

Jeroen de Lange (1968) was Member of the Dutch Parliament for the Labour Party from January 25 to September 20, 2012. He worked as an economist at the World Bank in Kampala (Uganda), as diplomat in Kigali (Rwanda), he was one of the managers of the aid organization Cordaid and head of the staff of the city manager of Amsterdam.

During his career as diplomat and World Bank economist Jeroen de Lange struggled with the 'white man’s burden'. His ambition was to bring about positive change in faraway, poor and conflict ridden countries. Full of idealism and determined to make a difference he started his job as first secretary at the Netherlands embassy in Rwanda, some years after the genocide. He lived through shocking horrors, deep disappointments and incredible frustrations.

In 2010 De Lange published the essay Winning Hearts, Changing Mindsets. Interventions as Change Management: instead of instant solutions we should try to find out which solutions may work, in order to bring about and sustain a process of change. He investigated and questioned the mixed results of humanitarian and military intervention in Rwanda and other crisis countries. De Lange opens up new strategies for the Netherlands to cope with the situation in which we have to live with ‘the other’.

In his lecture, Jeroen de Lange will talk about his experiences as diplomat and economist working in Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan. He will discuss the representation of the other whom we would like to help. He will talk about the consequences of aid from the West in Africa. He will question your vision on the relationship between the West and Africa. Is aid helpful? And if so, what kind of aid, and how? Or, would it be better to stop all aid, as African Economist Dambisa Moyo proposes? Let them fix it themselves, let them fight it out? Giving war a chance?

Jeroen de Lange initiates 100weeks.nl : Temporary cash for permanent change. He believes that the poor know best how to spend money given to them. Because of new ICT developments –payment methods and platforms– we can now know for the first time in history all the poor by name and money can now be distributed widely at very low costs. 100weeks's appropriates these developments as strategy to help as many poor people as possible in developing countries to move out of poverty.

Students react to Jeroen de Lange's lecture with an artwork presented at the entrance hall of the academy

Students react to Jeroen de Lange's lecture with an artwork presented at the entrance hall of the KABK
Artwork by Trijntje Noske & Leonie Schneider

The metal construction in form of a high seat like in tennis matches or at the swimming pool is a symbol for authority. A leather to climb up for success or a position of power. But the construction leads to a few wooden planks that are placed and not fixed. The work is proposing a certain function or power but doesn't fulfil these promises, as it's incomplete. It refers to 9 to 5 working and the disfunction and struggle in such a system. This work is based on Jeroen de Langes story. – by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske

Poster for the KABK Studium Generale lecture given by Jeroen de Lange
Studium Generale lecture series 'We Are The Narcissistic Generation' poster design by Gilles de Brock



Thu 21 April 2016 16.00 - 17:30


KABK Auditorium