#1. Space Cowboys and the Slavery Monument Tilburg
About two years ago, Dedden and Keizer responded to a call in BK Information in which artists were sought to create the Slavery Monument. In addition to a portfolio, a cover letter was especially important. The call stated that the monument should be hopeful and connective, but it should also tell of the captivity and suffering of the past.
Dedden and Keizer researched slavery monuments around the world and saw many pained images. Above all, suffering was depicted, they observed as they sought to use imagination to connect.
Dedden and Keizer researched slavery monuments around the world and saw many pained images
What is remarkable about the whole procedure is its public nature. At the request of the municipality Tilburg, Kunstloc Brabant supervised a committee composed of Tilburgers with roots in Suriname or the (former) Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The committee was tasked with choosing a monument, and based on the portfolios and letters, three artists were chosen to make a sketch design, including Dedden and Keizer. Then the public was allowed to vote on one of the sketch designs, and that outcome was passed along to the committee as a recommendation. Voting was massive, and not only by residents of Tilburg, but from all over the world.
The committee had decided early on that they wanted to choose a work of art and not a specific creator
The committee had already decided in the early stages that they wanted to choose a work of art and not a specific maker, as has happened with other slavery monuments. This allowed Dedden and Keizer from Deventer to create this monument; it would not have been possible any other way. This duo wanted to create an obvious and unambiguous presence of the slavery past in the public space.
To engage with each other, because the history of slavery is a part of Dutch history. Every year on July 1, Keti Koti will be celebrated at this monument and because of its location, right next to Central Station, many people will be reminded time and again of this monument and why it is in Tilburg.
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