2nd conference: Sustainable Art Communities: Creativity and Policy in the Transnational Caribbean
Nancy Jouwe, Mapping Slavery NL
Mapping Slavery NL In 2013, the cultural and heritage sectors in the Netherlands faced stormy weather: severe budget cuts were rife and diversity policies were considered outdated. Hence, key postcolonial institutions a. have been disbanded: • Ninsee (National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy) in 2012 • Museum Maluku and Museum Nusantara in 2012 • The Tropical Institute Library (closed Jan 2014) b. are fighting for their survival: • the Tropenmuseum has been cut in half and has merged with two other museums • the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies Similarly, the cultural platform Kosmopolis (my affiliation) had to deal with a severe blow. Our (government) funding is 0% as of January 2013. Kosmopolis had branches in the four largest cities of the Netherlands. Our core business was to develop and strengthen an intercultural dialogue through the arts, culture and debate. In my talk I will focus on how to persevere in our work within the context of an institutional backlash and discuss this by way of the following case study. Mapping Slavery NL In 2011 Kosmopolis Utrecht initiated Traces of Slavery in Utrecht. The project had three parts: 1) gatherings with speakers, discussion and creative intermezzi (speakers included Professor Catherine Hall, journalist Isabel Wilkerson); 2) a walking tour through Utrecht city together with a physical publication and a digital app of the walking tour (both in English and Dutch) and; 3) an artist in residency with Surinamese visual artist Marcel Pinas (he worked with 700 schoolchildren, and created an exhibition and gave artist’s talks). Our main partners were the Centre for Humanities of Utrecht University, the Treaty of Utrecht, Gallery SANAA and Marcel Pinas. As a follow up the project Mapping Slavery NL has just begun. The Free University (Amsterdam) and Kosmopolis Utrecht are partners in this project. We want to literally map traces of slavery in the Netherlands, Surinam, and The Dutch Antilles and connect this transnational shared heritage with slave trade/enslavement histories in the Dutch East Indies. Actors involved are: researchers, cultural entrepreneurs, tech professionals, students, heritage institutions representatives (archives, museums), universities, interest groups and, in the future (visual) artists, educators and media professionals. This topic seems all the more relevant because in 2013 The Netherlands is engaged in a nation-wide debate on race for the first time in history. Biography: Nancy Jouwe (Delft, The Netherlands, 1967) studied Women Studies and Cultural History in Utrecht and York. As an activist she has been part of the women’s and squatters’ movements. She has travelled through South-East Asia, the South Pacific and Europe to lobby for indigenous and women’s rights. As a professional (management, research, lecturing) she has worked for Utrecht University, Mama Cash, Kosmopolis Utrecht, Papua Heritage Foundation, and SIT. She is connected as an advisor and board member to several cultural and heritage organizations such as Framer Framed, the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, and others. Jouwe’s work is at the crossroads of postcolonial, intersectional thinking and organizing and involves heritage, culture, arts, human rights and trans/international cooperation. She has published books and articles on Papuan heritage and women’s issues, and is co-editor of Caleidoscopic Visions: The Black, Migrant and Refugee Women’s Movement in the Netherlands, (2000).