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The Politics of Atlantic Memory in The Netherlands
230 pages, 11 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-80073-160-8 $120.00/£89.00 Hb Not Yet Published (August 2021)
eISBN 978-1-80073-161-5 eBook Not Yet Published
“This book offers a fascinating study of the often implicit ways in which the memory of slavery affects present-day relations in the Bijlmer, a suburb of Amsterdam that since the 1970s became ever more marked by Afro-Surinamese presence.” • Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam
Looking at the ways in which the memory of slavery affects present-day relations in Amsterdam, this ethnographic account reveals a paradox: while there is growing official attention to the country’s slavery past (monuments, festivals, ritual occasions), many interlocutors showed little interest in the topic. Developing the notion of “trace” as a seminal notion to explore this paradox, this book follows the issue of slavery in everyday realities and offers a fine-grained ethnography of how people refer to this past – often in almost unconscious ways – and weave it into their perceptions of present-day issues.
Markus Balkenhol is a researcher at Meertens Institute. His most recent publications include Atlantic Perspectives: Places, Spirits and Heritage, co-edited with Ruy Llera Blanes and Ramon Sarró, (2019, Berghahn Books).