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Romana Peace links ongoing slavery to her personal suffering

Respect for the many resistance fighters against slavery connects Romana Peace in 'Time will teach us' with anger at 'the system' in which exploitation continues, and with the pains in her personal life. Lokay, a teenager still, flees from the plantation on St Maarten, is caught again and physically punished by the white owner: a breast cut off, she bled almost to death in hellish... 

Gold from the Golden Coach originating in Suriname; Unknown provenance investigated by Amsterdam Museum, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and NICAS

The Amsterdam Museum, together with VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands Institute for Conservation+Art+Science+ (NICAS) and Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, has conducted research into the origin of the gold of the Golden Coach. For a long time, it was unknown where the gold leaf used to gild the carriage came from. An extensive study compared the composition of the gold with samples from Suriname and South Africa.... 

Yemandja, in setless version, is very much neatly American though.

It shows either enormous guts, or boundless naivety, to make a musical in which a slave trader in Africa is converted by a song to a life of love and respect for fellow human beings. Yet Yemandja, the play that was performed in a setless performance at the Holland Festival, is actually just that. I could also explain... 

Theatre group Alum and Raymi Sambo Create performance on slavery history.

Who should apologise for the history of slavery and what happens when apologies are made? Theatre group Aluin and Raymi Sambo Makes are jointly creating the theatre performance Ik zeg toch sorry about the history of slavery. The premiere is next June during Oerol. After the summer, a theatre tour will follow from September to December 2022. I say sorry anyway is an exciting fusion... 

Entertainment industry turns vulnerable amateurs into serfs

By now, everyone with a modicum of fame in the Netherlands has participated in a show where secrecy is essential. This can range from the relatively innocuous concealment of the winner of De Slimste Mens to the extreme secrecy that is the subject of Wie Is De Mol (WIDM) and which ultimately leads to the strangulation contracts attached to talent shows like The... 

Amsterdam Museum displays Golden Carriage in open air despite lockdown

Today, King Willem-Alexander announced that the Golden Coach will not be used for the time being. However, the restored Golden Coach, which will remain in a glass enclosure in the courtyard of the Amsterdam Museum until 28 February after more than five years of restoration, will be on display again. Indeed, the Amsterdam Museum is opening the gates to its courtyards 

Amsterdam Museum organises symposium on the Netherlands' colonial past with partners

On Friday 26 and Saturday 27 November 2021, the Amsterdam Museum is organising an English-language symposium on the Dutch colonial past and the ways in which this history is treated and shapes contemporary practices in cultural and academic institutions. The Amsterdam Museum is organising the symposium together with ASCA, NIOD, Rijksmuseum, The Black Archives, University of Amsterdam, NMVW & Vrije Universiteit and Stadsarchief Amsterdam.... 

'A big iconic building with a park around it'. Culture Councils Amsterdam and Rijk set high bar for Slavery Museum

The Dutch Slavery Museum has moved a step closer, now that the Arts Council (Amsterdam) and the Council for Culture (Rijk) have issued an opinion on the exploration of a direction group presented earlier this year. This satisfies official procedural due diligence, although establishing the necessary museum in this way seems likely to take at least as much time.... 

The 'weird life' of all-rounder Jef Last is not over

Better to die standing than to live kneeling. The statement is fresh in memory after the murder in the Lange Leidse Dwarsstraat, as a mantra in praise of Peter R de Vries, his fearlessness, non-conformism, straightforwardness and honesty. This same statement jumps out even from the first paragraphs of the introduction to the biography of poet Jef Last, written by Rudi Wester.1.... 

Rijksmuseum puts names to our slavery past and the effect is stunning

It is very easy not to dwell on things. For instance, I learned at school that we sailed to the East to get nutmeg and pepper. Stuff that just rolled off the trees into the boats there and that we could sell very expensively here. Sugar, another thing. That came to us from plantations just like that,... 

Theatrical installation looking at current events from the Maroons' perspective, this summer at Plein Theatre

Swart Gat/ Golden Age (Dunguu olo - katibo-ten) is a theatrical installation about Amsterdam's slavery past and Maroon culture from Suriname. The concept is by Tolin Erwin Alexander, Berith Danse and designer Bartel Meyburg. The theatrical installation, which has lost none of its urgency, has been further finished and will start again in summer 2021! From 17 June (19 June... 

MAAS makes performance at Keti Koti

On Tuesday 30 June and Wednesday 1 July 2020, Aan tafel can be seen at the Maaspodium, Rotterdam, a performance on the history of slavery as part of Keti Koti. It is the third year in a row that Maas is trying to make this painful part of history palpable through theatre. The performance will be made (coronaproof) and performed by Sue-Ann... 

'My dreams were always about death.' Alfred Birney on his new novel 'On hold'

Shortly after Alfred Birney was awarded the Libris Literature Prize in 2017 for The Interpreter of Java, he ended up in hospital with a heart attack. In his new novel On Hold, Birney's alter ego Alan Noland is in hospital waiting for open-heart surgery. He was just starting to feel fit again after his five-way bypass surgery and two years of patching up... 

Colson Whitehead writes gripping book on cruelty in US juvenile justice: 'The system is still intact'

With his slavery novel The Underground Railroad, American writer Colson Whitehead broke through worldwide. His impressive new book The Nickel Boys is once again about a gruesome page in recent American history. Torture, rape, even murder: at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, it was the order of the day. For as many as 111 years, the... 

Hilda Paredes immortalises African-American freedom fighter in her opera 'Harriet'

On 3 October, the opera Harriet by Hilda Paredes will premiere, dedicated to legendary African-American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman (c. 1822-1913). In the mid-19th century, she escaped from a slave existence, after which she risked her life to free many peers via the so-called Underground Railroad. After years of wrangling, the US Department of the Treasury decided in September 2018 to take Tubman's effigy and... 

Steve mcQueen's End Credits buzzes long after

Steve McQueen is an artist who narrates big and difficult subjects in a physically tangible way. Hunger strike, sex addiction and our discomfort with male sexuality, slavery. These are the things we would rather not see anymore, not want to discuss and certainly not want to feel. In his feature films, McQueen manages to strike a balance between the aesthetic and the physical ... 

Who pays the artist? Lower House hears about shocking reality in the arts in roundtable discussion

Whether the artists performing on DWDD got paid for their performance. Esther Ouwehand of the PvdD did not know. She was not the only one, at the roundtable session on Wednesday 25 April on the labour market in the cultural sector. None of the MPs, fund managers, trade unionists present knew. So we asked on facebook and twitter how it was even done.... 

Millennial Poets at Poetry International (@poetry_en) - Social Justice with Self-mockery and Laughing at Rape... Is it possible?

Poets Danez Smith and Patricia Lockwood once broke the internet with their virtuoso wordplay. Smith with a frothy tirade about ineradicable racism and police brutality in America (Dear White America) and Lockwood with a heartbreaking/funny poem about her rape (Rape Joke). Both have outgrown their hypes. They have secretly been doing a fantastic job for years, using Twitter, YouTube, paper and stage... 

Really Happened is No Excuse, or: How playwright Sadettin Kırmızıyüz gets passed left and right by De Luizenmoeder

I attended the try-out of Metropolis #1 at The Hague's Theater aan het Spui and a week later - because I couldn't believe my eyes the first time - I also went to the premiere. Rarely did I see something so blood-curdlingly exciting on stage. But unfortunately for the wrong reasons. A lot of a-musical notions Metropolis is the... 

Witte Corneliszoon De With. Painting by Abraham van Westerveld

Why it makes sense for Witte de With to be renamed

Good timing always remains tricky. Just as the middle class is getting ready for the Sinterklaas season, the Supervisory Board of Kunstencentrum Witte de With announces that the name is going to change. That name came up for discussion in the wave of public agitation over appropriation, unionist images and reparations for the Netherlands' slavery past. Initially, it seemed to... 

The new theatre system is just about finished. Only seven 'dilemmas' remain.

[This post was already online under the title 'Save us from the Transition Office', but has been updated in a few details] While you are preparing for a well-deserved holiday, people in the arts sector are working on a new model. That new model is needed because the old model is no longer adequate. That old model, and we are of course talking about our... 

Dramatic increase in volunteering in theatres and concert halls.

One of the highlights of the year is always the presentation of 'the figures' by the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors (VSCD). As it happens, these are unabatedly positive. For years. And so for years it has been a challenge to find out why those positive figures are so difficult to reconcile with the picture of reality. That not at all... 

They don't half know how bad it is. Sign up for Culture Panel

In art, you work because of your passion, not because of the money. That is so, that was always so. In art, it is even suspect if you care about money. And if you do worry about money once, it immediately comes out rotten. Are you going to shout about culture, march der your... 

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