B. van Oostveldt
- Wij zijn geen Crapuul! Jacob Kats’ strijd als vroegsocialistisch theatermaker, redenaar en journalist
- Brood & rozen: tijdschrift voor de geschiedenis van sociale bewegingen
- Volume | Issue number
- 2012 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
Jacob Kats, a weaver, emerged as a playwright, an orator and a journalist very soon after Belgium became independent. He spoke up for his fellow workers in all these capacities and thus participated in the first social struggles in Belgium. This article highlights several events in 1836, when Kats enjoyed initial success with his documentary theatre avant la lettre, in which he focused on his personal life and that of his fellow workers. Also, in the same year, Kats established a socialist periodical, Den Waren Volksvriend(The True Working-Class Friend), in which he denounced social abuse. And he set up a public meeting with workers and sympathizers to talk about social rights and obligations in an orderly way. However, material progress was not the only issue Kats was concerned about. Social struggles in the newly-independent Belgium were also about the intellectual, artistic and political emancipation of the working class, as has been indicated by Jacques Rancière’s La nuit des prolétaires, a study about the early French labour movement.
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