Slave or enslaved? Talk by Jean Casimir at Jan van Eyck, on 17 June

On Monday 17 June, 16.00, the Jan van Eyck Academie will host a talk by the sociologist, anthropologist and scholar Jean Casimir (b. 1938, Haiti). Focusing on the dynamic between modernity and coloniality, the expert will discuss various aspects of regional histories.

A talk by Marjolein van Pagee will follow at 17.30. Entrance is free and all are welcome!

Jean Casimir is a leading expert in Haitian history and culture, and his work focuses on the Haitian nation and land. Linking together capitalism and the threat of ethnocide amongst underdeveloped countries, he points out the influence modernity has over oppressed cultures, consequently shedding light on the challenges these cultures must face.

Casimir’s talk – Slave or enslaved? How to make sense of the Haitian Revolution and its subsequent history? – aims to ignite a conversation about the ways colonialism continues to shape the region in its post-independence years.

From 17.30 – 18.30 the Jan van Eyck Academie will also host Marjolein van Pagee, who will talk about the importance of language within a decolonial context.

The exceptionality of the Dutch colonization of Indonesia is that the colonizers did not teach the Dutch language to the masses. Only the elites got the chance to learn how to speak it. This language barrier is still a current issue, consequently preventing Indonesians to access archival sources and confidently take part in various debates regarding the topic of colonization. In the Netherlands, this has led to few critical Indonesian voices that are able to confront the former colonizers by challening their perspectives on history. Without receiving fierce resistance, it is easy for the Dutch to keep reproducing colonial views. In her talk, Van Pagee will argue that human rights have been violated due to the neglection of the said language barrier.

Marjolein van Pagee is a Dutch photographer, publicist and historian focusing on the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. The differences between Dutch and Indonesian views are what motivated Van Pagee to set up the online platform Histori Bersama (Shared History). The website offers translations of Dutch and Indonesian articles that reflect on colonial history. One of the goals of Histori Bersama is to encourage critical discourse. As such, the website draws attention to the growing concerns of the research on violence during the Indonesian independence war (1945-1949) – sponsered by the Dutch government -, its approach, independency and outline.

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