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Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam

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photo: Max Dereta

Unveiling of the Rotterdam Slavery Monument

On 16 June 2013 the Rotterdam Slavery Monument was unveiled under great public interest at the Lloydkade

The unveiling coincided with the Surinamese holiday Keta Koti on 1 July in which the abolition of slavery is commemorated, this year 150 years ago. As an image, the work reminds us of a tragic episode of our collective history, but on the other hand the image looks hopeful. Many people praise the location, visibility and lightness of the image. In the presence of Minister Plasterk and deputy mayor Karakus, a mix of people from Rotterdam spoke out for the initiative to give the commemoration of slavery a permanent place in Rotterdam. With loud applause the monument was cast under a giant Rotterdam flag.
The artist Alex da Silva found inspiration in dance and designed slaves who emerged as dancers on top of the shape of a ship. Da Silva: "Dance is not only liberating but also brings cultures together." He opted for metal and not bronze. Bronze is heavy and he did not want heavy material for a subject that is already so loaded.
The Shipping and Transport College adopts the image and also integrates the theme of slavery into education, as a result of which slavery is anchored in our urban consciousness.
Specific information about the image
Slavery monument Rotterdam
Title artwork: Clave
Artist: Alex da Silva
Year: 2013
Short description: A stylized ship with four free-dancing slaves
Location: Lloydkade / Lloydstraat, Rotterdam
Material: Corten steel and hot-dip galvanized steel
Size: 900 cm wide x 120 cm deep x 450 cm height
Made possible by: Center for Visual Arts Rotterdam, Municipality of Rotterdam

Publication date: 18 / 06 / 2013

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