Bring communities of The Hague together
Encourage intergroup interaction between migrant, and 'traditional' communities in The Hague
Stimulate appreciation of cultural richness gained from a diversity of communities
Establish the gracht location as a safe and fun multicultural space
Support local businesses
* EVENT – NOW CLOSED*
Freedom Sessions #1 – Beirut Edition
An immersive event with Lebanese food, music, and art
June 18-19th, 2021
De Gracht, The Hague, NL
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The Freedom Sessions @ De Gracht is a series of regular events at the Golden Stork Hostel, where people will be able to enjoy music and food from the diverse communities that are represented in the city of The Hague.
Our very first Freedom Sessions edition will be about Lebanon and our project #ThehaguexBeirut. We offer Lebanese finger food, music, art, and a 1×2 deal on drinks. You can even bring a +1 or +2. We will also be raising funds for artists and human rights defenders in Lebanon.
Due to COVID-19 regulations, places will initially be limited and invitation only. As soon as crowd restrictions are relaxed, the Freedom Sessons will be freely open to the public.
Freedom Sessions #2 – Latin America
More information will be made available here soon
The Hague, NL
The Freedom Sessions – Making Change
Cultural integration and community building through music, food, and fun
The Freedom Sessions @ De Gracht is a series of regular events at the Bierkade (de Gracht), where people can enjoy music and food from the diverse communities that are represented in the city of The Hague.
By collaborating and engaging with local businesses and communities, we seek to create a safe and reliable space where migrant and non-migrant communities can structurally come together in a fun and safe way.
Segregation in The Hague
Despite its international status, The Hague remains a segregated city with migrant communities often struggling to integrate into Dutch society. The city suffers a lack of ‘physical spaces’ and opportunities for migrant and ‘Dutch’ communities to come together to interact, and establish and build positive relations with each other.
Segregation in housing, schooling, institutions, and social networks, and the resulting lack of real opportunities can lead to frustration, disappointment, cynicism, and even depression in migrant groups.
The estrangement from ‘traditional’ Dutch networks reinforces the process of ‘othering’ and a lack of understanding between cultures and communities that live next to each other. Mechanisms of segregation are a major factor in the cultivation of prejudices and discrimination between cultural groups in The Hague, in particular between migrant groups and ‘traditional’ Dutch communities.
It has been shown in numerous scientific studies that increased levels of contact and engagement between different groups of people helps to alleviate prejudices between these groups. ‘Meta-analytic results clearly indicate that intergroup contact typically reduces intergroup prejudice’ (ref.1).
This project aims to bring people together from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds in The Hague, specifically migrant and ‘traditional’ Dutch communities, and to facilitate positive intergroup contact and interaction.
The focus of these sessions is to emphasize the cultural richness, commonalities, and the beauty that these communities have to offer each other, while providing a trusting platform for their exploration and appreciation.
Multicultural Meeting Point
The Hague Peace Projects, in collaboration with The Golden Stork Hostel, will host monthly events at the Bierkade (De Gracht) in The Hague, featuring local musicians and world cuisine food, and art.
The Freedom Sessions @ De Gracht serves as a meeting point for ‘traditional’ communities, migrant communities, tourists and students, and as an opportunity for local artists, musicians, and restaurants to improve their outreach and showcase their work.
The first series of Freedom Sessions is scheduled to run monthly from mid-June 2021 until the end of November 2021, for a total of six events.
A low-threshold, safe and regular location in The Hague for members of different communities to meet and interact
Food and entertainment
An eventful agenda of world cuisine and music to create an attractive and friendly environment
Collaborate with local businesses
Stimulate the participation of different communities from The Hague
Each Freedom Sessions event will be themed to represent a specific world-region from The Hague, highlighting its art, music, and food.
By representing different world-regions, the Freedom Sessions aims to create a multicultural atmosphere with a range of migrant backgrounds, and stimulate new group interactions based on their shared values and cultural enrichment.
The Freedom Sessions will represent the following regions:
• Latin America
• Sub-Saharan Africa
• Southeast Asia
• The Middle East
• North Africa
The size and form of the Freedom Sessions will comply with all COVID-19 guidelines and suggested actions by the Dutch government.
De Gracht, located on the Bierkade in The Hague, is a canal at the edge of the centre that serves as a natural meeting point for people from the city, as well as the surrounding areas of Voorburg, Rijswijk, and Shilderswijk.
Crossing through Chinatown and intersecting different areas, it functions as a natural connection point between different communities in The Hague. We believe this location will contribute to the success of the Freedom Sessions, offering a more international and casual alternative to the traditional meeting points at the Grote Markt or the Plein.
Coline Catry – PROJECT LEADER
Vittoria Malgioglio – PROJECT COORDINATOR
Sara Navarro – OUTREACH COORDINATOR
Daniel Melo – OUTREACH COORDINATOR
Emiliano Boccato – GRAPHIC DESIGNER
We are all connected to The Hague in one way or another, and care deeply about tackling intergroup prejudices that are routed here.
As ‘the International City of Peace and Justice’, The Hague has a duty to strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the opportunity to serve as an example for other large cities by investing in equality and social cohesion within its borders.
Freedom Sessions is an initiative of The Hague Peace Projects.
Special thanks to our sponsor Oranje Fonds for making this project possible!
We would also like to express our gratitude to The Golden Stork and the people of the Gracht for their great support and ambition to affect positive change in the communities of The Hague.
This project is sponsored by: