Talking about Taboos


Everyday situations of social exclusion are widespread in Europe. Sometimes they are the outcome of diversity meeting prejudice and discrimination. Sometimes they are the result of the indigenous population’s reluctance to an ever changing context.

The project Talking about Taboos addresses these everyday situations of (perceived) social exclusion in Europe. Partners from France, Italy, Poland, the UK and the Netherlands each focus on one example of social exclusion in their local settings, analyze its frames and contexts and apply good practices to initiate an informed dialogue about it. Some examples of local prejudice are highly visible while others are drawn into the limelight for the first time. Partners in this dialogue will be in formal and informal adult trainers in specific and the larger audience in general. Events in Amsterdam and Rugby were organized. As the result of the project a web-based repository of actively tested good practices and lessons learned (PDF) has come into existence to support European dialogues on social prejudices for adult trainers.

The Dutch case concerns the discussion on the current representation of the fantasy persona Zwarte Piet who accompanies the Dutch Santaclaus. This discussion has triggered big arguments and big emotions – even to the extent of death threats.