The day the Netherlands screamed for culture

On November 20, 2010, people in the Netherlands screamed for culture. Protesting against sharp cuts to the budget that supports cultural activities, thousands of people all over the country came together for the Saturday afternoon event.

Since moving to Rotterdam a little more than a year ago, we have enjoyed the very active cultural scene, regularly visiting museums, thrilled at the wide variety of concerts, films and dance performances, and exploring the vast music collection at the public library. Admittedly, my prime motivation for joining the crowd in Rotterdam was to explore the act of screaming in public…

The event was well orchestrated, brief at 45 minutes or so, and culminated in an enthusiastic, extended and loud roar initiated by a fog horn from a ship in the harbour.

Did I scream? I think so… I was in the middle of the crowd and couldn’t hear myself at all but my throat felt very sore afterward.

The campaign produced a number of video screams that can be viewed on the campaign website and on YouTube. My personal favorite is the scream by dancers of the National Ballet.

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