Wednesday 8th March, Caribbean Ties opened at the Old University Library (Oude UB) in Leiden University. The exhibition will be available to the public free of charge Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00 until the 20th May.
The Caribbean Ties exhibit is one of the major outcomes of the Nexus 1492 project: New world encounters in a globalizing world supported by the European Research Council between 2013 and 2019. The project and the exhibit aim at contributing to a novel narrative on Caribbean Indigenous history and addresses the impacts of colonial invasion, exploitation, and the transformation on Caribbean cultures and societies. The exhibit seeks to increase the historical consciousness, protection, and safeguarding of the tangible and intangible heritage of the Caribbean region.
Caribbean Ties. Connected people, then and now is an international exhibition that reflects the complex diversity that existed in the Caribbean archipelago before 1492. This cultural diversity remains a vibrant reality today. Combining local, regional, and global perspectives, the Caribbean Ties exhibit focuses on the connections between past and present Indigenous cultures and the current multi-ethnic communities in the Caribbean, and as such explores the living and current impact of Indigenous heritage.
This version of the exhibition is a collaboration between the Kunstcommissie Oude UB (Judith de Wilde, Yvonne Leunisse and Linda van Putten) and the CaribTrails project (Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman, Marianny Aguasvivas, Drs. Marlena Antczak and Menno Hoogland) with the help from the Diversity office from Leiden University, the Latin American and Caribbean region group, and the Centre for Indigenous Americas studies. The students from the faculty of Archaeology Jasper Meijer, Georg Mueller, Willow Dawson and Kai Tjong-Ayong worked to adapt the exhibition to the context of the Oude UB by creating additional pannels and helping with the set up.
The exhibition was inaugurated with speeches by Judith de Wilde (Kunstcommissie Oude UB), Prof. mr. Annetje Ottow (President of the Executive Board), Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman (Professor of Archaeology of the Caribbean), H.E. Dr. Juan Bautista Durán (Ambassador of the Dominican Republic), Frans Malajuwara (Member of the Indigenous Community of Suriname) and Irvince Nanichi Auguiste (Former chief of the Kalinago Territory in Dominica).
The students currently doing the Public Engagement and Museum education internship at the faculty of Archaeology (Marloes Attema, Leo Kalajian,Suze van der Salm, Katiebeth Gaynor and Clara le Moigne) are preparing the Program for the exhibition activities during the next two months. The plan is to engage with the general public, local schools and the Caribbean diaspora in the Netherlands. They will be working closely with artists and members of the Caribbean diaspora to contribute to the visibilisation and safeguarding of Caribbean tangible and intangible heritage.