Monument van Vlucht en Verzet

Artist patricia kaersenhout
Client Gemeente Utrecht


Production and realization of the monument ‘Vlucht en Verzet’ ('Flight and Resistance')

The new monument symbolizes Utrecht's transatlantic slavery past

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With the triangular shape, the artist refers to the triangular trade: a system of transatlantic exchange in three directions between Europe, Africa and America. The 'Flying Africans' at the top of the work are figures from an African legend who escape slavery through a magical passage back across the ocean. The hair of these figures is braided into cornrows. Cornrows were used by enslaved people to communicate with each other. On the side of the monument there are inlets to lie down in, the exact measurements of the space enslaved people had on slave ships. Hidden beneath the artwork are 20,000 kauri shells, the price of an enslaved person.

The monument about the transatlantic slavery past is an initiative of descendants of enslaved people. They had an important say in choosing the design. The monument is to be a central place for the annual commemoration and celebration of the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Caribbean part of the Netherlands.

Monument van Vlucht en Verzet, patricia kaersenhout