The story of João, Wally, Oopjen, Paulus, Van Bengalen, Surapati, Sapali, Tula, Dirk, Lohkay.
What did a woman living and working in slavery know about her ‘owner’ over in the Dutch Republic? What did a sugar refiner in Amsterdam know of the conditions in which the raw sugar he processed was produced? And what did a freedom fighter on Curaçao know of the struggle for equal rights being waged in Europe?
Under Dutch rule during the colonial era, more than a million men, women and children from Asia and Africa were enslaved and shipped to the other side of the world. Very little is known about their lives. Using a variety of sources, Slavery provides a portrait of ten people from this period: people who suffered under the slavery system, people who rose in resistance against it and people who profited from it. This broad palette of individual experiences reveals diverse facets of the Dutch history of slavery and gives us a unique insight into the societal reality of the time.