‘Wageningen research lacks holistic perspective’

Students use Fresco's old bicycle to illustrate that everything is connected.
Fresco fiets After the action, the bike will be reassembled. Photo Coretta Jongeling

A wheel, a saddle, a chain. Useless unless they are connected and work together. Fresco’s bicycle, given to ‘to a student without a good bicycle’ at her goodbye, hung in parts at the entrance of Forum on Monday. Illustrative of the Wageningen research, according to activists from the Jester, among others.

‘With this action, we aim to reflect on how WUR tries to solve global problems such as the climate crisis,’ says a master’s student who helped with the art installation. ‘WUR reduces the problems we are facing to separate pieces. Research is being done on nitrogen, CO2 emissions, and food security. But we lack a holistic perspective. We have to look at the bigger picture: how are all those parts connected?’

Fresco’s bike before the giveaway.

‘Fresco tried to bring the university branch and the research branch closer together with OneWageningen, but that was on an organisational level, and in our view, that is not enough. During the opening of the academic year, it again became clear that WUR believes that the problems can be solved as separate challenges. But all these aspects interact with each other; they cannot be reduced to parts.’


Another issue is the giveaway itself. ‘You don’t need to make a show out of helping someone. She could have simply given the bicycle to the refugee centre without any ceremony.’

The bike will not be lost. The idea is to put it back together after the action and then give it to someone who actually needs it. That might be soon because security did not approve of the action. They called the deconstructed bike ‘trash’ and did not want it in front of the Forum’s entrance. Another attempt at Atlas was also stopped within half an hour.

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