<aside> 👨🏽💻 In this workshop will try to find ways to show these hidden histories by using the architecture in Amsterdam as a gateway. The following materials can be used for the concepts, but feel free to use any other sources you may know or find.
The following sources are great if you are new to Dutch colonial history, or you need a quick recap about the VOC and WIC.
Amsterdam played a big role in funding and profiting from slavery in the colonies. In the following spreadsheet and map, you can see where they lived, and how many people contributed to slavery and exploitation in the colonies. The involvement varies, some people owned actual plantations. Other people funded slavery by having shares in companies like the VOC and WIC.
Shareholders in slavery
In 200 years of systematic human trafficking and enslavement, did no-one come forth to say this was unethical? Many mayors or city council members, were also shareholders or board member in the VOC or WIC. Mayors were elected every year by the members of the city council, so having friends would be beneficial. Circles were kept small through marriages of convenience, which left little room for outsiders to have a say about slavery and exploitation.
To make this elitist group even more tight-knit, many of these politicians and investors were also neighbours. Their wealth was the reason why the city center looks the way it does today.
Once arrived in the colonies, we could not just take whatever we wanted and leave. The Europeans were way outnumbered by the native inhabitants. This meant we had to either trade with the locals, or take a more violent approach.