Het Nieuwe Instituut has a hybrid programme of online and offline activities. Het Nieuwe Instituut Online is the platform for live stream events.
Latest online event
In the second edition of Monument: Monuments and the Reification of Anti-Black Violence, videos by The Black Archives and Quinsy Gario are presented on new rituals and performances to make monuments mean otherwise.
The exclusive online talk with The Black Archives, Quinsy Gario and Simone Zeefuik which will be available on the event page at a later date.
Building Our Monuments
The Black Archives is an Amsterdam-based historical archive for conversations, activities, and literature from Black and other perspectives that are often overlooked elsewhere. Our archives refuse to be controlled by the European master narrative. We refuse that it dominates our memories, thoughts, and emotions. Our peaceful efforts for non-western narratives has often been met with (racial) violence. This video, based on own documentations from 2016–2018, shows how we cherish times of joy, pleasure, and laughter in a world that does not wants us to keep smiling. These moments become sacred to us as we hope that they will last forever.
The Black Archives
The Black Archives documents the history of Black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands. The archive comprises unique book collections, archives and artifacts that are the legacy of Black Dutch writers and scientists. The approximately 3000 books in the collections focus on racism and race issues, slavery and (the) colonization, gender and feminism, social sciences and development, Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, South America, and Africa. The Black Archives are founded by Jessica de Abreu, Mitchell Esajas, Miguel Heilbron and Thiemo Heilbron, and are managed by the New Urban Collective.
How to See the Spots of Der Leopard
In the seventeenth century Duke Jacob Kettler of the Duchy of Courland, a Polish-Lithuanian vasal state in an area that is today western Latvia, commissioned several ships to participate in the violent European project of colonial expansion and resource extraction.
In 1645 one of those ships, De Hoop (The Hope) was spotted off the French coast of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, which was then a joint Dutch–French colony. The ship had been built in Zaandam, a Dutch city, and sailed under Dutch command from Amsterdam to the Grain Coast (present-day Liberia) for grain, then to the Caribbean for timber, and then back to Europe.
In 1653 the ship Der Leopard (The Leopard), also under Dutch command, sailed from Amsterdam to Guinea, where abducted and chained Africans were forced onto it. It then sailed to Martinique, where our ancestors were sold and enslaved to work sugar plantations established on the French colony by Dutch people, who had previously been expelled from Brazil by the Portuguese.
From 1654–1659 the Duchy of Courland had a colony on the island of Tobago, currently part of Trinidad and Tobago, after it had been a Dutch, French, and British colony. Duke Jacob Kettler had heard of the island in the Dutch city of Middelburg, where he was told about the difficulty in colonizing the island for the Dutch Republic.
In 2013 a statue was erected for Duke Jacob Kettler in Kuldiga, Latvia. During his reign, Kuldiga was the seat of his power and was called Goldingen, “the Golden City” in Baltic German, which was the ethnicity and language of the ruling class.
In 2020, Quinsy and Jörgen Gario, who are from Sint Maarten, a former Dutch colony that in 2010 became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, were invited to perform in Kuldiga.
Quinsy Gario is a visual and performance artist from the Caribbean islands that have Dutch colonization in common. He focuses on decolonial remembering and the actions that that remembering can engender. His most well-known work, Zwarte Piet Is Racisme (2011–2012), critiqued the general knowledge surrounding the racist Dutch figure and practice of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), later bringing into the open the governmental institutional support that keeps the figure alive in the Netherlands. He has an academic background in media studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies, is a graduate of the Master Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague and was a recurring participant of the Black Europe Body Politics conference series.