Workshop – Miscalculating risk: policing technologies in the Netherlands @ Varia, 12.07

Varia is organising a workshop on policing technologies in The Netherlands on the 17th of July.
Find more information below or here:  

Date: 12.07.2024

Time: 16:00-18:00 workshop with Sanne Stevens

18:00-19:00 dinner with workshop participants

19:00-20:00 presentation by Jair Schalkwijk

Location: Varia (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam)

Attendance is free. It is possible to join both moments, or only one. If you would like to join the workshop with Sanne, please email

Discreetly but steadily, automated criminalisation technologies have been deployed in the Netherlands, in supermarkets, on the streets, in public squares, resulting in an intensification of systemic discrimination. A notable case of such institutionalised racism is the childcare benefits scandal, whereby false allegations of fraud were made by the Tax and Customs Administration on the basis of racially profiling factors such as ‘foreign sounding names’ and ‘dual nationality’.

In light of the increasing use of data-driven policing technologies, how can we understand and find ways to address the impact of their deployment? As surveillance technologies become more and more entangled in everyday life, what are our possibilities of response? Who or what are the key players in these considerations? Sanne Stevens and Jair Schalkwijk will join us to unpack these questions.

Sanne Stevens will host an in-person community workshop to unpack the use of new technologies to criminalise and police racialised people, and share strategies to push back against police tech. The session will give participants the opportunity to tell their stories and further their understanding of how police tech impacts them. Together we will look at how new technologies reinforce existing oppression, how they create new harms and at organising strategies. We will look at how to turn information into action, who our allies are and what we need to address the issue.

This workshop will help us to:

  • unpack and investigate the use of new technologies to police and target racialised communities
  • share practical tactics and strategies for organising and push back against police tech

Sanne Stevens (Justice, Equity and Technology Table) is a researcher, trained facilitator and advisor with many years of experience working with civil society organisations and media organisations in field of technology, digital safety and Internet freedom. Sanne is a Table Co-Director in the Justice, Equity and Technology Project.

In his presentation Jair Schalkwijk (Controle Alt Delete) will provide a new understanding of institutional racism in the context of police work in the Netherlands. Topics to be addressed are preventive policing, racial profiling, police violence and fatal incidents. He will connect the problem of racial profiling in the past with challenges for equal treatment by the police and the government in the near future.

Jair Schalkwijk co-founded Controle Alt Delete, the organization dedicated to fair and effective law enforcement. As a PhD candidate at the Department of Criminology of the Erasmus University Faculty of Law, he is currently enhancing his research skills.

This series falls under Varia’s Counter-Colonial research thread and is supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL.

varia (Gouwstraat 3, Rotterdam) is a space for developing collective approaches to everyday technology. As variamembers, we maintain and facilitate a collective infrastructure from which we generate questions, opinions, modifications, help and action. We work with free software, organise events and collaborate in different constellations. varia figures things out as they go, tries to keep notes, is multilingual, has open hours and can be contacted at info[@]