For three hundred years, the city of Amsterdam was a player in the slave trade and slavery in the East and West. But what political and personal role did the city’s administrators actually have in this? To what extent did slavery influence the development of Amsterdam and its inhabitants? And how did the choices of Amsterdam administrators affect the lives of the hundreds of thousands of enslaved people in America, Africa and Asia? And finally: does this past still affect the city today?
In Slavery in East and West some forty experts try to find answers to these kinds of questions. Using accessible essays, they shed light on Amsterdam’s worldwide slavery history from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, and its significance today.
Pepijn Brandon is a senior researcher at the International Institute of Social History and assistant professor at the Free University. Guno Jones is an interdisciplinary researcher at the Free University. Nancy Jouwe is a freelance researcher and co-author of, among others, the Guide to Slavery History Amsterdam. Matthias van Rossum is a senior researcher at the International Institute of Social History. The image editing is provided by Merve Tosun.