The Tropenmuseum: Coming to Terms with the Colonial Past?

Last week, the exhibition ‘Heden van het slavernijverleden’ (‘Afterlives of Slavery’) opened in the Tropenmuseum. On the website it says that: ‘The exhibition places the enslaved and their descendants on center stage. To initiate a sometimes difficult but productive dialogue, the Tropenmuseum has sought out personal stories from past and present that bring the history […]

Read More

Who is the author of history? The white master as the author of black history.

By, Natalia Martínez Alcalde As museologists, historians, people who dedicate their life to the representation, edification, instruction of human past and, therefore, the construction of contemporary individual and social identities, there is a fundamental question we need to keep in mind: Who is the author of history? “History does not have an author.” You might […]

Read More

Crossing boundaries; the difference between ‘mainstreaming’ and ‘appropriating’ Black History

In Maintaining Boundaries, Eric Gable researches how the United States’ largest living-history museum Colonial Williamsburg talks about black history. As a case-study, Gable asks the numerous museum guides how they treat the concept of antebellum America’s miscegenation; the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, or, in this case, sexual relations.   In Colonial Williamsburg, […]

Read More

The voice of slaves in museums

In the Netherlands there has never been more attention for slave heritage and never been more debate about it, writes Toine Heijmans in the Volkskrant last week on the occasion of the new exhibitions about slavery in the Tropenmusuem. The Dutch slave heritage has become a subject of discussion especially in the ongoing debate around Zwarte […]

Read More