Jacob Holdt:
My lectures 


On saying yes
....to integrate with those we shun

entertaining and provocative illustrated lecture about how we integrate ourselves with those we do not like or directly fear.

This PowerPoint lecture is today my most popular and has beaten "American Pictures" totally off the field. It is based on my own life in the years after American Pictures became a worldwide success and shows my attempts also to make it a success for them this was about, the excluded, the poor, the marginalized and so on.


The talk is about how I by using nonviolent communication first integrated myself with blacks in America's ghettos, since with violent elements in the world's most dangerous slums in South Africa and Haiti, the homeless, gays and lesbians, refugees, Nazis and Ku Klux Klan and even mass murderers in the United States.
Slowly I turn the focus to our domestic world (in Europe) where I show how I integrated myself with both Muslims and rightwing islamophobics - humorously told with images from the endless ethnic weddings I am invited to "and all the money I save by living from Muslim Party food continually" :-)

Throughout the lecture, I show what we personally get out of integrating ourselves with "the other" - both financially and personally.
And how the American model of two-way integration successfully goes both ways when (Muslim) immigrants, who feel loved and included, opens up to (our) American/Danish national values.

The lecture, which is equally popular among Muslims and the Danish rightwing, infects everyone with its positive and inclusive thinking and gives the spectators "new zest for life." Not least by making us aware of how it is the damage and pain, we go through in life, which causes us to close ourselves for other people.

The most moving and surprising part is to hear the stories of incest and abuse most of the Klan members I present were exposed to in childhood and the hidden goodness and love I find in them when I see them even risk their own lives to save blacks.


A response from a rightwing Danish Front (semi Nazi) member:

"I just wanted to say thanks for a great presentation. I can honestly admit that I never learned so much about life during a single event. I was almost completely ecstatic afterwards, and the things you told, I will undoubtedly spend the rest of my life dealing with! I am full of admiration for your ability to believe in the best in all people, and your approach to life I will try to adopt. You are a tremendous inspiration, I have previously been a member of the Danish Front, but it is thanks to your fine messages that I realized that it simply was no solution to hate. On the contrary. You must know that you have made a phenomenal difference to me and meant a lot for me - I have learned a lot of you, and still have a lot to learn. Now I am in the process of teacher training, and I know that many of the things you said, I will use in my teaching. You have taught me more than I could ever find in any book, and I will certainly follow your example, and travel the world - maybe I even may be allowed to travel with you to the USA ?
Thank you for having opened my mind. I am deeply grateful. "

From the mail of Simon (name withheld because he is now a teacher)

A response a Muslim Dane of brown Pakistani background:

Dear Jacob
I was totally blown away by your lecture last night. I am so grateful to get to know you, I have no words right now, but I think I am going to write to you later when the mind falls into place.

I have always been
very affected by the racism, I experience from white people and the vision colored / black people
are instilling in themselves - the white man's look (as Fanon talked about). I have always had a passion for this area, but has kept myself away because I was afraid that it would make me bitter working against this racism and creating awareness about it. I am / was afraid it would make me bitter against the white man. However, your lecture as well as my own thoughts about love lately has shown me that it is possible to talk about this racism without being bitter or hard.

For as you say, it's all about getting to the human core, which is love, vulnerable and soft, and talk to it and from it. I do not think so much that it has to be about immigrants learning Grundtvigian values of you. I think more that you open people's eyes to the love they already have in themselves. And I think that applies to all the people you meet. You help them to find love in themselves, because you meet people with love and you insist on it. It is what makes you so unique and "legend" -like. That's why your lectures hit me so deeply, for I have throughout life myself tried to live that out and insist on that love - also in the meeting with the other.

Thanks for your thoughts, your outlook, your person and your message. I wish all the best for you. I wish you peace, tranquility, good health, joy and spontaneous and honest love.
Hugs Zehra Naimi


Technical requirements for the organizer

Since for environmental reasons I always try to use public transport to this and my other PowerPoint presentations in the province, please about half an hour before have a video projector and a screen set up. The screen should be hanging so high that everyone in the room can see the bottom of the image over the heads of the audience in front. If there is more than 50 spectators there should also be a microphone.
Unlike American Pictures, recorded on tape, I am myself standing and talking next to the screen. Therefore, there must be a small table for my computer in front of me, and a little weak lamp, which does not light up the screen. If people are not able to see my "gleam in the eye", they end up believing everything I say :-)













'I am ashamed because fear overrides my desire for change, and for the fact that it is attitudes like mine that keep the oppressed, oppressed'   Letter from John 


introduction the show the book
the photos
Sound and video
Jacob Holdt