The Caribbean Philosophical Association has brought to our attention that the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy (NiNsee) is in danger: there is a possibility that will no longer be subsidized by the Ministry of Education, Research and Science. Yesterday, June 27, 2011, the State Secretary Halbe Zijlstra attended a meeting at the Tweede Kamer (House of Commons) to discuss plans to discontinue the subsidy. If these plans go through, the subsidy may be terminated as early as January 2013, representing the end for NiNsee. Below are some of the concerns responding to the possible termination of the only institute that is concerned with Dutch slavery and its legacy:
The only knowledge institute concerned with trans-Atlantic slavery in Holland will cease to exist.
The impact of the Dutch slavery past on Dutch society, will rarely be discussed nationally or internationally.
The national slavery monument in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark, which is inextricably linked to NiNsee, will become an empty gesture. [See monument in our previous post https://repeatingislands.com/2010/05/29/conference-on-trajectories-of-emancipation-representation-of-slavery-museums-memorial-and-monuments-in-the-21st-century/]
Our shared history will no longer be commemorated on a national level. In this respect, and in the eyes of the Council of Culture, NiNsee can be compared to the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD). The significant role that NIOD plays in the memorialization and understanding of the Second World War, is performed by NiNsee for the much longer period of the slavery past.
The Dutch slavery past will barely be represented in an accessible way, as it is now via publications, exhibitions and teaching packages. Because of this, knowledge will be concealed from the larger public and the next generation of Dutch people, with the disastrous consequence that the voices of our ancestors will gradually disappear from our collective memory.
In the “new” Netherlands that this cabinet envisions, the Dutch slavery past will be completely erased from our memory.
Many Caribbean and Afro Dutch people will again experience alienation within Dutch society.
The only institute that is concerned with the Dutch slavery past and its legacy will not be dismantled in such a careless fashion. Sign the petition to prevent the loss of knowledge and legacy.
If you would like add your name to the signatories who are supporting NiNsee, please copy and paste this link in your browser to access the page: http://www.ninsee.nl/petitie/sign-petition.php
For more information, see http://www.ninsee.nl/