Slavery in the Cultural Imagination

Silent/Loud Voices/Bodies

On the occasion of the conference Slavery in the Cultural Imagination: Voices of Dissent in the Neerlandophone Space, we delve into the musical imagination. Experts from various backgrounds explore silent and loud voices and bodies, of the past and present of slavery. In doing so, we aim to reveal collective emotions and imaginations that cannot be recorded from most historical sources.

At the entrance you are requested to show your coronavirus pass.

This event can also be attended online.

Charl Landvreugd will discuss songs of Afro-Surinamese cultural heritage that have been passed down for generations. They speak of life before, during and after enslavement. Much of their meanings have gone lost in intergenerational interpretation and linguistic translation. However, in an artistic intervention involving translation and poetic interpretation, Landvreugd will trace part of the history that is saved in the songs. He will do so reflecting on his film project ‘movt nr. 7: On Cairo / Performance (1)’ about the song ‘A boat came from Braamspunt’.

Charissa Granger and Francio Guadeloupe prefer to look ahead, as they theorize Trans-Caribbean Daaance. Daaance is part of Jouvay, the unofficial opening of the Carnaval, which originated in Trinidad but is now celebrated in many countries throughout the Caribbean. Trance-Caribbeaning is to daaance flesh to flesh, to be undone by the nonhuman, the epitome of which is sound. From this emerges a trans-Caribbean thought: the translingual work engaged with Caribbean Island(er)s. Granger and Guadeloupe ask what it would mean to think our belonging in terms of entangled histories? And they present art-making as an unworking of humanocentrism.

With poetry and performance by Sandy Bosmans and moderation by Fenneke Wekker.

This programme is part of the conference Slavery in the Cultural Imagination: Voices of Dissent in the Neerlandophone Space, 17th-21st Century. Visit the website.

About the speakers

Charl Landvreugd is an artist, researcher, and educator. As a Goldsmiths (BA), Fulbright and Columbia University (MA) alumnus, Landvreugd completed his PhD in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art in London. Currently, he is Head of Research & Curatorial Practice at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. He is also on the supervisory board of the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and the board of the Akademie van Kunsten (Dutch Society of the Arts ). Next to that, he is connected to the Masters Institute of Visual Cultures AKV| St. Joost as Pathway Leader for Visual Arts & Post-Contemporary Practices.

Charissa Granger is a musicologist and lecturer in cultural studies at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (Trinidad and Tobago) whose teaching and research focuses on Afro-Caribbean and diasporic music-making and performance as decolonising practices. After her BA in visual and performing arts at Northern Illinois University, and a master’s in cultural musicology at the UvA, Granger focused on world music performance practice, attending to how otherness is framed at world music festivals as a doctoral research project at the University of Göttingen. She was awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie LEaDing Fellowship at Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2018-2020.

Francio Guadeloupe is trained as a social and cultural anthropologist and currently works as senior researcher and staff member of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean studies. He also teaches at the UvA. Before, Guadeloupe served for four years as the President of the University of St. Martin. His principal research areas are on the manner in which popular understandings of national belonging, cultural diversity, religious identity, and mass media constructions of truth, continue to be impacted by colonial racisms and global capital. He is the author of Chanting Down the New Jerusalem: Calypso, Christianity, and Capitalism in the Caribbean (University of California Press, 2009). He is currently embarking on a study of climate challenges in the (Dutch)Caribbean from a popular culture and cultural heritage perspective.

Sandy Bosmans is a writer, spoken word artist and coach at the Poetry Circle. As a poetry slammer, she has won several regional slams, and reached the semi-finals of the Dutch Poetry Slam, in 2016. She co-created Art Harder, offering spoken word artists their own platform. In 2019, Bosmans wrote her first play for Nieuwe stukken: Homecoming. She has also worked at the theatre and spoken word show RAUW v/v. Bosmans’ poetry has been published in En ze leefde nog, and Hardop. Last year she co-wrote an animation project entirely devoted to ‘black girl magic’, Anouschka, and co-hosted the podcast tea and tobacco. She worked in collaboration with Rose Stories on her first film script called Hatseflats, and is currently writing a play, Storm voor wie wakker is.

Thalia Ostendorf (moderator) holds a BA and MA in Comparative Literary Studies from Utrecht University, the Netherlands and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in the departments of Social Anthropology and Modern Languages. She is also one of the co-founders of Chaos Press (Uitgeverij Chaos), the only intersectional feminist publishing house in the Netherlands. For the exhibition ‘Surinaamse Schrijvers: De weg naar een onafhankelijke literatuur’ she did archival research at the Museum of Literature (Literatuurmuseum) in the Hague, researching the estates of Surinamese authors Anton de Kom, Bea Vianen, Albert Helman and Rudie van Lier.

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