SLAVERY — Ten true stories

Rijksmuseum, the national museum of arts and history of the Netherlands, will stage its first ever major exhibition dedicated to the subject of slavery this spring. Slavery is inextricably bound up with Dutch history. It is the first time stories of slave trade across the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans are told together in one exhibition in the Netherlands.

The Slavery exhibition presents ten true stories. Ten personal stories about enslaved people and slave owners, people who resisted, and people who were brought to the Netherlands in slavery. What were their lives like? What was their attitude to the system of slavery? Were they able to make their own decisions?

Slavery exhibition, Photo RijksmuseumSlavery exhibition, Photo Rijksmuseum

The exhibition will include objects from national and international museums, archives and private collections like the Nationaal Museum voor Wereldculturen, British Museum, National Gallery of Denmark, Iziko Museums of South Africa, St Eustatius Historical Foundation, National Archeological Antropological Memory Management (NAAM) in Curaçao, the National Archives of South Africa, Indonesia and the Netherlands and private collections in Sint Eustatius, Suriname, the Netherlands.

Valika Smeulders, head of History Rijksmuseum: By focusing on ten true personal stories, ‘Slavery’ gives an insight into how individuals dealt with legalized injustice.

Taco Dibbits, General Director Rijksmuseum: The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of art and history. Slavery is an integral part of our history. By delving into it, we can form a more complete picture of our history and a better understanding of today’s society.

Ten true stories

During the 250-year colonial period, people were made into property and objects to be recorded in accounts. The exhibition highlights the lives of ten people who lived at the time. They each tell their own story: about living in slavery or taking advantage of it, about resistance and – ultimately – freedom. 
They include enslaved people and slaveholders, as well as individuals who broke the shackles of slavery, an African servant in the Netherlands, and an Amsterdam sugar industrialist. An audio tour leads visitors through these widely differing lives. Among the narrators are Joy Delima, Remy Bonjasky and Anastacia Larmonie, who each have a connection with one of the ten people through their own background.

The exhibition includes objects, paintings and unique archival documents, and visitors will hear oral sources, poems and music. To tell a more complete story, there will be exhibits that have never been shown in the Rijksmuseum before, such as objects that were cherished by people in slavery, and tools that were used on plantations.

Once visitors have seen the exhibition, artists David Bade and Tirzo Martha from Instituto Buena Bista in Curaçao invites visitors to process their impressions in new, own artworks, entitled Look at me now.

Tronco (Multiple Foot Stocks) for the constraining enslaved people, c. 1600–1800. Rijksmuseum, gift from Mr J.W. de Keijzer, GoudaTronco (Multiple Foot Stocks) for the constraining enslaved people, c. 1600–1800. Rijksmuseum, gift from Mr J.W. de Keijzer, Gouda 

The Dutch colonial period on four continents

The exhibition spans the Dutch colonial period from the 17th to the 19th century. It features the trans-Atlantic slavery in Suriname, Brazil and the Caribbean, and the part played by the Dutch West India Company (WIC); and Dutch colonial slavery in South Africa and Asia, where the Dutch East India Company (VOC) operated. The effects of the system in the Netherlands during the period are also highlighted. As a whole it offers a geographically broad and at the same time specifically Dutch view which has never been seen before in a national museum.

Look at me now

The stories in the exhibition – about João, Wally, Oopjen, Paulus, Dirk, Lokhay, Van Bengalen, Surapati, Sapali and Tula – stand for millions of other stories about the slavery past of the Netherlands, and its continued effects. At the end of the exhibition, the artists David Bade (Curacao, 1970) and Tirzo Martha (Curacao, 1965), both from Curacao’s Instituto Buena Bista, invite visitors to give expression to their own stories through the ten new artworks making up the Look at Me Now project. 
Visitors can follow the progress of this project via the website.

Collaboration

The exhibition and accompanying events and activities are the result of collaboration with a wide variety of external experts, including historians, heritage experts, cultural entrepreneurs, artists, theatre practitioners and performers.

Narrative advisor
Jörgen Tjon A Fong

Think tank 
Reggie Baay, Raul Balai, Aspha Bijnaar, Mitchell Esajas, Karwan Fatah-Black, Martine Gosselink, Dienke Hondius, Wayne Modest, Ellen Neslo, Matthias van Rossum, Maurice San A Jong, Alex van Stipriaan, Jennifer Tosch, Urwin Vyent, Simone Zeefuik and Suze Zijlstra

Online exhibition

The Rijksmuseum is also presenting the ten stories in an online exhibition that features video and audio clips, animations, an overview of the exhibition galleries, and objects that can be viewed in exceptional detail. Visitors to the website will be able to see the Slavery exhibition in ten episodes, whenever and wherever it suits them.

Rijksmuseum & Slavery

For the coming year, more than 70 objects in the permanent collection will have a second museum label that explores and highlights what has been, until now, an invisible relationship between the object and slavery. Subjects covered range from former rulers to the presence of people of colour and the way they are portrayed. &Slavery is taking place concurrentlxy with the Slavery exhibition, but it is not part of the exhibition. 

Audio tour

The audio tour is an integral part of the exhibition and is offered free of charge. There is a special interactive audio tour for children.

Accompanying book

The Rijksmuseum and Atlas Contact Publishers are jointly publishing Slavery, a richly illustrated book describing the lives of ten people who were part of the Dutch colonial history of enslavement. Authors: Eveline Sint Nicolaas, Valika Smeulders et al. Available in the Rijksmuseum shop and in bookshops.

Exhibition design

The exhibition design is by AFARAI, the agency led by architect Afaina de Jong.
The graphic design of the exhibition and the book are by Irma Boom Office.

Symposium

The Rijksmuseum partnered with the National Library of the Netherlands and the National Archive of the Netherlands to present an English-language online symposium on 23 April 2021, focusing on what it means to increase inclusivity in source usage by museums, archives and libraries. What sources are available to people making presentations and conducting research on the subjects of slavery and the slave trade? Click here to view the symposium.

Benefactors

The Slavery exhibition is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Fund, Blockbuster Fund, Fonds 21, DutchCulture, Democracy & Media Foundation, Stichting Thurkowfonds, ThiemeMeulenhoff, Boomerang Agency and via the Rijksmuseum Fonds: Scato Gockinga Fonds, Fonds de Zuidroute, Zusjes Nieuwbeerta Fonds, Fonds Dirk Jan van Orden, Henry M. Holterman Fonds and Bestuursfonds Hollandse Meesters.

22.05.2021 | by Alícia Gaspar | colonial period, dutch slavery, exhibition, history, slavery

Disco and the Angolan Cilvil War

To create his latest body of work, Stan Douglas took on the persona of a fictitious nineteen-seventies photojournalist who documents both the disco scene in New York City and the liberation struggle in the southern African country of Angola. Using period clothing, props, and decor, Douglas staged what he calls “fragmentary costume dramas” from these disparate milieus. “The nineteen-seventies was when everything changed,” Douglas told us. “It was a time of the greatest concentration of wealth and the least amount of productivity. What the Angolan Civil War and disco shared, in their earliest moments, was that they were both utopian spaces destroyed by the intrusion of outsiders.”

“A Luta Continua, 1974,” 2012“A Luta Continua, 1974,” 2012

Read more at The New Yorker.
Check online the Exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery.

09.04.2012 | by herminiobovino | exhibition, Photography

"One caption hides another" - exhibition

One caption hides another


16 november 2011 until 28 january 2012
With: Agency, Daniel Boyd, Peggy Buth, Jimmie Durham, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Camille Henrot, Patrizio di Massimo, Uriel Orlow, Francis Upritchard, Françoise Vergès (Maison des Civilisations et de l’Unité Réunionnaise), Susan Vogel.

“When men die, they enter history. When statues die, they enter art. This botany of death is what we call culture.”
Statues also die (1953), Chris Marker and Alain Resnais

One caption hides another aims to expand the field countering official history by taking as a departure point a key topic in current museological debates, that of anthropological restitution. Inspired by the recent repatriation of the Maori warrior head from the Museum of Rouen to its ancestral home, New Zealand, this exhibition and series of events propose an exploration into the ethical, scientific, political and legal issues arising from cases of restitution.
One caption hides another further aims to problematise the displacement between traditional and cult object, on the one hand, and historical and museological object, on the other. Can an object have different statuses?
Who can legitimately make this decision? Are there different possible narratives to understand and read these objects? A critical deconstruction of these questions will make visible and legible the fact that a caption on an exhibition label often hides another beneath it.
Addressing the topics of collective memory and heritage, One caption hides another creates a meeting point for artworks, ethnographic and juridical documents, films and museographic projects. Documenting real situations, making use of fiction or radicalising one’s relation to heritage, the artists, researchers and platforms invited in this project are all engaged in reflexive endeavours concerning the museological object and challenging
ethnographic representation.

BETÓNSALON
9 esplanade Pierre Vidal-Naquet
Rez-de-Chaussée de la Halle aux Farines
13th district - Paris
+33.(0)1.45.84.17.56
info@betonsalon.net
Postal address: 37 Bd Ornano/ 75018 Paris

04.11.2011 | by joanapires | exhibition

Trash Anthology - Anthology Trash by Yonamine

 Eduardo Aquino Eduardo Aquino

Yonamine was born in Luanda in 1975 and lived in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, UK and Portugal. His spatial installations and video works deal with Angolan history, simultaneously they are also inspired by popular culture and pop-art itself. The archeology of images from the collective archive is challenged by ironical comments concerning the present situation in Africa, playing with icons and heroic figures. Starting point for the installation Anthology Trash – Trash Anthology was the publication archive of the Iwalewa-Haus, whioch is deconstructed and questioning.

Exhibition Time: 27.11.11 to 04.03.12

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany

 

 

01.11.2011 | by nadinesiegert | angola, Art, Bayreuth, exhibition, Iwalewa-Haus, trash anthology, yonamine

'Ordinary Rendition' / Peterson Kamwathi

Untitled Study, 2011Untitled Study, 2011

Peterson Kamwathi Waweru, born 1980 in Nairobi, has occupied himself for a long time with symbols and their meaning. In the exhibition he shows current drawings, woodcarving and graffiti, negotiating the historical, social and psychological mechanisms of conditioning and manipulation not only in his own society.

There is also a new publication - a cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and Verlag fuer Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, edited by J. Hossfeld and U. Vierke.

Exhibition from 27.11.11 to 04.03.12

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany

 

 

 

01.11.2011 | by nadinesiegert | Africa, Art, Bayreuth, exhibition, Iwalewa-Haus, Kenya, Peterson Kamwathi

'Not in the title' / Sam Hopkins

Not in the title / photocollage 2011Not in the title / photocollage 2011

Sam Hopkins´ installation „Not in the title“ is inspired by Nigerian and Ghanaian horror movies from the collection of the Iwalewa-Haus. A selection of these movies is shown in the original version mixed with manipulated sequences that are integrated digitally. The installation asks about authenticity and searches for the reception of global artworks in a local context.

Sam Hopkins lives in Nairobi (Kenya). His art is concerned with public space and interactivity. Examples are the media collective Slum TV and Urban Mirror Nairobi.

Exhibition from 27-11-11 / 04-03-12

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany

 

 

 

01.11.2011 | by nadinesiegert | Africa, Art, exhibition, Kenya, Nigeria, Nollywood, Sam Hopkins

IWALEWA-HAUS Archive Laboratory Utopia

In October 2011 Iwalewa-Haus celebrates its 30th anniversary - a motive to reflect, celebrate, critically discuss, experiment, imagine and visualize under the headlines of archive, laboratory and utopia. Exhibitions, a workshop and program take place in that context to present the past, present and future of Iwalewa-Haus.

The focal point of the archive tells the history of Iwalewa-Haus with the exhibitions ”Spuren - 30 Jahre Iwalewa-Haus’ and ‘Visions d’ailleurs’. In the laboratory we show three projects developed in the context of short time artist residencies by three young artists from Kenya and Angola. Finally utopia considers the future of Iwalewa-Haus. In an international workshop we discuss important topics such as local and international cooperations, museum pedagogics, teaching and research, exhibition and publication practises and the artist in residence program.

 

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany.

 

 

01.11.2011 | by nadinesiegert | Africa, Art, exhibition

The Mews - Charlotte Moth and Yonamine‏

12.10.2011 | by joanapires | exhibition, the mews

Spacecraft Icarus 13: Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere

Kiluanji Kia Henda, The Spaceship Icarus 13, Luanda, 2007, photo, part of the series Icarus 13Kiluanji Kia Henda, The Spaceship Icarus 13, Luanda, 2007, photo, part of the series Icarus 13

The exhibition Spacecraft Icarus 13, as its title suggests, symbolically collapses together the narrative of the mythical flight of Icarus with that of a concrete historical saga, namely the United States’ space-conquering mission Apollo 13. In so doing it creates a ground from which to seek out the contemporary Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere indicated in its subtitle. The Apollo space program, which played out the US’s competition with the USSR in the ideological fight for Cold War supremacy under the flag of “progress,” saw its 1970 mission fall short when grave technical failures made a lunar landing impossible. Similarly, if an imaginary “Icarus 13” set out on a mission to the sun—as one of the works in the show proposes—it would necessarily fail: just as in the case of its Greek predecessor, getting too close to the sun would cause the craft to fall to its death.

 Johannes Schwartz Johannes Schwartz

Yet the absurdity of such a mission is not what’s at stake here, and neither is a desire to revitalize the discussion about the divisions of the world driven by the doctrine of progress. Despite the complex philosophical, political, and historical controversies the notion of progress invites into the discussion, there is a powerful motivational aspect inherent in it. As a forward-looking ideal of improvement, it invites us to think the future beyond today’s devotion to the principle of unfettered global economic growth. This is what curator Cosmin Costinaş had in mind when he brought together artists from various parts of the world—but mainly from “elsewhere”— in order to identify a network of knowledge and dialogue from beyond the territories once (directly) involved in the Cold War rivalry. The works speak powerfully about the necessity to think beyond, in Costinaş’s words, “today’s neoliberal brand of progress,” which repackages “decay and confusion” into its incessant hegemonic practice. And although it might seem improbable to imagine an end to this neoliberal mission—perhaps as implausible as landing on the sun—where if not in the space of art can we shift the limits of what is imaginable, and with it the boundaries of possibility? (Maria Hlavajova)

Artists: Neil Beloufa, Patty Chang & David Kelley, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Federico Herrero, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mikhail Kalatozov, Cristina Lucas, Yasuzo Masumura, Omar Meneses, Mauro Restiffe, Glauber Rocha, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lin Yilin

Curated by: Cosmin Costinaş

The exhibition is on view from 8 October until 23 December 2011 at BAK, basis voor actuele Kunst, Utrecht.
Spacecraft Icarus 13 is a research exhibition within the framework of the project FORMER WEST.

21.09.2011 | by joanapires | alternative visions, exhibition, exposição de fotografia, progress

GhostBusters [from nightmare to memory]

'Mutilado' by Bofa da Cara'Mutilado' by Bofa da CaraClaudia Cristovao, Nastio Mosquito
GhostBusters I [from nightmare to memory]
A Project by SAVVY Contemporary Berlin and Iwalewa -Haus Bayreuth

 

SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin
Richardstraße 43/44
12055 Berlin, Germany

 

The exhibition project GhostBusters [from nightmare to memory] features the work of two outstanding young artists: Claudia Cristovão and Nástio Mosquito. The projects’ concept derives from the metaphor of Africa as a phantom in the post-colonial, post-socialist and post-war mind, explored and imagined by the artists in very different ways. The artworks (video-work, installation and photography) deal with imagination as aesthetic practice, approaching different layers of memory and (imagined) history. One of the leading ideas is the exploration of (absent) memories in the cultural archive, of visual tropes in the wasteland of the bizarre and the uncanny.

Nástio Mosquito and Claudia Cristovão have both been born in Angola in the 1970s. While Claudia Cristovão later moved to Portugal and the Netherlands, Nástio Mosquito returned to live and work in Angola after some years abroad. Both artists explore the project theme in individual but complementary ways. The question of origin and belonging is one of their common topics, widening the imagination of the phantom Africa. The question of a possible future – also as artist in and from Africa – is also questioned alongside the project.

The project GhostBusters [from nightmare to memory] starts in September 2011 in Berlin at SAVVY Contemporary and continues in April 2012 with GhostBusters II [from memory to vision] at Iwalewa-Haus in Bayreuth. Both artists stay in Berlin and Bayreuth for short-term residencies to be able to develop a relationship to the exhibition-spaces as well as the cities. Time and space are given to explore the phantoms within the respective urban-scape of the cities, thus finding a way to find tracks and traces of dreams and nightmares in both imaginary and real space. The real and the mental space work as analogon within the whole project. Especially the peripheries of both spaces with their forgotten and obscure places are considered. The artist’s exercises of re-membering thus unlock and unpack the (inner) marginal landscapes.

07.09.2011 | by nadinesiegert | Berlin, Claudia Cristovao, exhibition, GhostBusters, Iwalewa-Haus Bayreuth, memory, Nástio Mosquito, nightmare, Savvy Contemporary

Wondering in the Afropolis

Special Tour with Gabi Ngcobo and Christiane König

A conversation between curator and director of the Centre for Historical Re-enactment, Johannesburg, South Africa and film and media scholar Christiane König about and in the exhibition Afropolis (Iwalewa-Haus).

Gabi Ngcobo is a Johannesburg based curator. Projects include collaborative and individual projects: Second to None at the South African National Gallery, Olvida quen soy/ Erase me from who I am at CAAM, Canary Islands, 2006, Titled/Untitled, a curatorial collaboration with Gugulective collective and Scratching the Surface Vol.1 at the AVA Gallery, Cape Town. In 2010 Ngcobo co-curated rope-a-dope: to win a losing war at Cabinet, New York, Second Coming, a curatorial collaboration at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College and Just How Cold Was It? At ‘6-8 Months’ project space, New York City.  She recently co-founded the “Center for Historical Reenactments” (CHR) an independent platform based in Johannesburg. At CHR she curated “PASS-AGES: references & footnotes” and an ongoing project titled Xenoglossia, a research project.

Christiane König, Ph.D., is assistent professor at the Anglo-American Institute, History Department, Cologne University. Her main fields of interest are Film Theory and History, Media Theory and Archaeology, digital cultures, biological and informational Cybernetics, Science Studies, Feminist Theory, Gender and Queer Studies.

See more on www.christianekoenig.de

 

Mo 06 May 2011, 6pm

Iwalewa-Haus, University of Bayreuth, Germany

02.06.2011 | by nadinesiegert | África do Sul, afropolis, curator, exhibition, Gabi Ncgobo