A SINT YOU WANT: 21ST CENTURY SINT AND KRAMPUS
Begun in 2010 by multidisciplinary artist G. Holwerda, the performance exists as an ongoing, collaborative project that includes public performance, poster art, and coloring books with drawings by international artists that are distributed to the public during the performance.
The performance that took place in 2016 featured Gloria Holwerda as ‘Sint Nikola’—the female version of Austria’s bishop-garbed ‘Saint Nikolo’ holiday character, similar to the ‘Santa’ character. Dancer Thomas Körtvelyessy appeared as ‘Krampus’, Sint’s demon-like helper.
Krampus is usually portrayed by a white man, often in blackface. The performance included Sint singing songs questioning racism and sexism in the portrayals of these children’s characters, as a dancing Krampus gave audience members a Sint & Krampus coloring book page.
“A Sint You Want: 21st Century Sint and Krampus” engages politics through parody and performance to change the ‘traditional’ appearances of holiday figures. Furthermore, it challenges contemporary uses of blackface and the predominately white-male portrayals of other children’s mythical figures.