Fterlives of slavery, exposition, photography by Kirsten van Santen
Permanent exhibition

Afterlives of Slavery

In Afterlives of Slavery visitors are confronted with today’s legacies of slavery and colonialism in the Netherlands. 

Slavery and the personal accounts of the enslaved form part of a common history shared by black and white – a past that continues to shape and influence Dutch society today.

In collaboration with scientists, activists and artists, Afterlives of slavery developed a history of slavery: an exhibition with a discussion platform that places the stories of the enslaved and their descendants centre stage. 

 For Dutch black people, the links between slavery and inequality, racism and discrimination are painfully obvious. White Dutch people may not have the same daily experience, but this common history is just as much about them. 

Four key figures in the current debate - Gloria Wekker, Karwan Fatah-Black, Amade M'charek and Marian Markelo - share their perspectives on the various legacies of slavery via video portraits. Contemporary and historical pieces from the collection on slavery and the resistance to it, books from The Black Archives, photos of protests from the ‘70s to the current day and the personal stories of the enslaved and their descendants help to promote discovery and raise awareness of this issue. 

From 2021

The exhibition places the enslaved and their descendants centre stage. To initiate a sometimes difficult but productive dialogue, the Tropenmuseum has sought out personal stories from past and present that bring the history of slavery and its current-day legacies up close. The pieces on display from the Tropenmuseum’s collection – tangible relics of the history of slavery – serve to intensify the experience. Afterlives of Slavery presages the permanent display on the contemporary legacies of slavery and colonialism (2021).

The exhibition Afterlives of Slavery is co-funded by the BankGiro Loterij, Creative Europe program of the European Union and Mondriaan Fund. The illustration used in the in the campaign  image was created by Brian Elstak. 

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