Amsterdam's Architecture of Colonial Exploitation
The city of Amsterdam is riddled with references – both direct and indirect – to the Dutch history of slavery and colonial exploitation. The photos and descriptions of places in the city in this article—which appeared in Failed Architecture, an online platform for critical urban discourse—comprise a small, illustrative selection of sites.
In collaboration with Alex Raúl.
Contrary to popular belief, the VOC (1602-1800) was deeply involved in the slave trade and the exploitation of both native populations, as well as forcibly migrated individuals, to different regions in Southeast Asia. In fact, until the late 18th century, the VOC surpassed the WIC (Dutch West India Company) with the number of people it held enslaved (75,500 people in ‘The East’ versus 64,000 people in ‘The West’, around 1750).