The Hague to get slave trade memorial

The Hague will get a monument to memorialise the victims of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. South African artist Buhlebezwe Siwani was given the commission to create a monument on the Lange Voorhout, close to the Binnenhof.

The monument should become a place where people want to go and feel comfortable through recognition of the slavery past. A place which makes The Hague’s colonial and slavery past part of its collective memory.

Artist Buhlebezwe Siwani with her design for the monument
Artist Buhlebezwe Siwani with her design for the monument

Selection of artist

Three artists created a draft design for this monument. A focus group of descendants of people who were enslaved provided input on what they wanted to see reflected in the monument. Following the presentation of the preliminary draft designs, the design by Siwani received the most votes by the participants.

The monument

The confrontational monument ‘Remember Our United Beginning’ by Siwani radiates strength, according to the descendants. It will invite viewers to interact with it and should become a place for reflection and encounters in the future. The monument will also contribute towards providing more knowledge and awareness about the history of slavery.

The location

The monument will stand on the Lange Voorhout. The street is the historic and administrative centre of The Hague where decisions were taken on slavery and colonial trade. The location was chosen together with the descendants and other interested parties on the basis of research by The Hague’s Engineering Office (Ingenieursbureau).


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