200 Years Later



200 Years Later

In November 2008, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN and AfricAvenir International e.V commemorated the bicentenary of the abolishment of the transatlantic trade of enslaved human beings by holding a series of inter-disciplinary events titled '200 years later'.

African resistance to deportations is underestimated, overlooked or even forgotten. The WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN wanted to dedicate this anniversary to the eminent African men and women who fought against this abominable 'trade' and to also counter the cynical myth of 'slave docility and quiescence'.

At the center of the events was an exhibition which specifically focused on the individual portrayal of Africans who had the courage and strength to rise up against one of the greatest crimes against humanity and to ultimately combat it. The exhibition looked at various sources like archeology, settlement patterns, architecture, demographics, autobiographies, history and biographies to offer a detailed image of the varied strategies Africans used to defend themselves and mount attacks against the slave trade.

From portrayals of fighters such as Queen Nzingha leading battles against the Portuguese and the Dutch; Joseph Cinque who was immortalized in the movie Amistad; Queen Nanny of the Maroons whose image appears on the Bank of Jamaica's $500 currency note and was known as a military tactician and is a symbol for unity and strength in Jamaica; Rei Amador who is still a national hero in São Tomé because of his successful resistance against the Portuguese to abolitionists like Frederik Douglass, who gained prominence for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing in the 19th century and many more...

The events featured lectures on anti-slavery movements, workshops, performances and films on resistance to deportations of Africans in Africa and the Americas, films looking at the political, cultural and economic situation in Africa before the arrival of Europeans, and it also included discussions about the different strategies of resistance which were developed and still live on in everyday cultural practices, examples being Candomblé, Capoeira, Blues, Jazz and Calypso.

Program (PDF, German)