2021 was our anniversary year.. and even though we had some fantastic events, interesting conversations about the past and future, and were able to welcome a lot of new, enthusiastic people in Boerengroep – it wasn’t exactly what we had imagined it to be. We put some time in organizing a big festival in the middle of Wageningen in September, which got cancelled, and we hoped to create several meeting spaces for older and newer generations, for example a 50 year Boerengroep reunion. But these things got cancelled, as happens more often than not in the past years.
It is a strange and not so easy time to be in an active student organization striving to make meaningful connections, get people outside and create places of critical awareness. Saying this, looking back at what has been possible the past year, fills us with a warm feeling. We hope you also enjoyed the activities. We also put a lot of energy in creating a 50 years magazine, that will be widely available at the end of this month, and which synthesizes some of the essence of Boerengroep and Inspringtheater. And we are hopeful for 2022 and the possibility to organize a large and energizing Boerengroep 2022 reunion then!
Here are some of our favorite memories of 2021:
Fresh Perspective on Farmers Protests: Boerengroep 50 Years Kick-Off
We started 2021 with an event that looked back on the farmers’ protests of 1971, which were significant for the start of Boerengroep. Together with Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Tim van der Mark and Roel During, we discussed new perspectives on farmers’ protests, both the ones from 1971, and the more recent protests these past years in the Netherlands.
FEI 2021: looking back at a transformative summer course
FEI 2021 On the 19th of July, a group of around twenty people came together at the creative community garden for the Farm Experience Internship (FEI) 2021, a 3 ECTS international summer course at Wageningen University. The group consisted of people from all over the world with different interests, work experiences and academic backgrounds. Together, we were excited to set out on a four week journey to explore and experience agroecology with farmers, gardeners, activists, scientists and NGO’s.
Radical Relationality: Seminars with dr. Godfrey Nzamujo
On November 4th, we were happy to receive dr. Godfrey Nzamujo in Wageningen! Dr. Godfrey Nzamujo studied and did research in microbiology, theology and philosophy, taught in university of California-Irvine and of Loyola Marymount. When he returned to Africa, he founded the Songhai Centers in Africa. In these Centers, he integrates Africa philosophy and ethics, science, and society.
Father Godfrey gave two seminars in the university. During lunch we talked about Radical Relationality and in the late afternoon, we talked about the subject of Zero Waste Farming. He inspired us by explaining how the Songhai centers work, how they involve young people and the central role of education. What we took out of it, is that everything is connected: the social, environmental and historical aspects all come together in these integrated farms.
Read our Year Plan if you want to know what we’re up to in 2022!