Card game — 2015

Staattaal Kwartet

Staattaal is a kwartet card game consisting of 32 cards that each carry a neologism that has been invented or introduced by a Dutch politician between 2000 and 2015. The words are grouped into eight categories that are linked to eight different ministeries. An additional folder contains a larger collection of neologisms that are categorized per political party. 

Promotional video no. 1 — Megamorfose

No other party invents as many new words as the PVV

The inspiration for my Staattaal Kwartet started with the language of Geert Wilders, founder and frontman of the Dutch Party for Freedom, a right-wing nationalist anti-Islam party. Unlike other politicians, Wilders is known for inventing and introducing many (controversial) neologisms; new words that are usually contractions of two or more existing words. Famous examples are: assimilatiecontract (assimilation contract), bedrijfspoedel (corporate poodle), haatbaard or haatimam (hate beard or hate imam), zwartepietenwet (Black Pete law) or kopvoddentax (head rag tax).

Wilders gives the people a new word

The PVV’s use of neologisms has two main purposes. The first purpose is to frame a certain topic. Because most neologisms are made up of two seperate words, these two words form a context for one another. For example the word haatimam tells you that the two concepts haat and imam are linked to one another. By repeating this word as often as possible, Wilders aims to establish a firm link between the two concepts. Just like Coca-Cola wants you to think of their beverage when you see Santa Claus, Wilders wants you to think of hate when you hear the word imam, or see (the image of) an imam. This is a simple and effective strategy to add an emotional charge to a certain word or subject. In Dutch language the effect is even stronger as the neologism is written as one word: haatimam, instead of two: hate imam. Which means that in Dutch, the word haat is not just an adjective, it is shown as an integral part of the concept of the imam. Of course, not all words follow the same strategy; bedrijfspoedel, for instance, only works because it is aimed at Job Cohen, the former frontman of the Dutch Labour Party. By using this word, Wilders frames Cohen as a politician with no real power, someone who ‘yelps every now and then, but ends up on Rutte’s lap’. In this case, it’s not the combination of the words bedrijf and poedel that does the job, but instead, it’s the combination of the neologism and the person in question.

The second purpose of Wilders’ linguistic strategy is getting the attention of the media. The use of words that are simultaneously controversial and new is again a simple and effective strategy that almost guarantees media coverage. As the media on their part understand the power of these words, Wilders’ words often end up in the headlines of an article (see: assimilatiecontract, kopvoddentax, bedrijfspoedel). This way, even critical articles play right into the hands of Wilders’ strategy: it's irrelevant whether or not his kopvoddentax proposal, his Zwartepietenwet or assimilatiecontract ever become a reality, simply using these words in the Dutch democratic arena is enough to put himself in the center of attention. And for many of his voters, simply hearing these words is enough to sustain the illusion that someone is supporting their interests.

House of cards

Staattaal Kwartet
Card game and videos
by Yuri Veerman

— Card game
Concept, research, design: Yuri Veerman
Print: SSP

— Video
A Kimmo Films production i.c.w. Yuri Veerman
Concept: Yuri Veerman
Director: Mirka Duijn & Nina Spiering
Production: Rogier Tolen & Nina Spiering
Camera: Gregg Telussa
Ass. Camera: Boris Swaen
Sound: Leleane Lindenaar
Edit: Tim Roza
Colour correction: Dustin Kershaw
Sound editing: Peter Strijbos
Packshot: Sjoerd Knibbeler
Voice over: Maxim Hartman

— Website (off line)
Design: Yuri Veerman
Coding: Bram Loogman

Van Asotaks tot Zedenpleger - Ewoud Sanders
De Woorden van Wilders - Jan Kuitenbrouwer

Staattaal is generously sponsored by the Creative Industries Fund NL
Staattaal has been self published in an edition of 500 packs. At the time of this writing (April 2019) there are about 30 packs left. Order your game here.

Volkskrant (NL)
Parool (NL)
HP de Tijd (NL)
de fusie (NL)