ZAM Reporter


In her 2023 ZAM Nelson Mandela Lecture, Zimbabwean/South African writer and academic Panashe Chigumadzi strongly criticized the absence of any reference to Southern Africa in the Dutch official acknowledgement of slavery as a crime against humanity.

The Black Archives, in collaboration with HKU fellow Nancy Jouwe, now this hidden story and its afterlife in its new exhibition CAPE X UTRECHT. It opens for the public on Saturday, October 7 at AG, the HKU’s space for new art and media. The exhibition features unique archival material and by spoken word artist Jasper Albinus, poet Diana Ferrus, composer Neo Muyanga, musician/performer Sishani Vranckx, artist Judith Westerveld, alumna HKU Photography Farren van Wyk and artist/curator Carine Zaayman.

The exhibition drives into the relationship between the Cape colony and Utrecht. Who remembers the history of Indian Ocean slavery? How does this history a people in current-day South Africa? And why is this history largely forgotten in the Netherlands?

For thousands of years, |xam, Khoekhoe, and many other peoples lived in Southern Africa. From 1652, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) established a colonial settlement in the Cape, which by 1658 relied completely on an inhumane system of slavery, one that also linked Utrecht to the Cape. This history laid the foundation for the cruel system of apartheid.

More information here.