Schipbreukeling – Mathieu Charles
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The Black Archives & Yinka Ilori

Sound Waves of Resistance: Exploring Hidden Black History Through Archives and Sound

Arnhem is known, amongst others things, for its extensive Sonsbeek park in the heart of the city. Standing prominently in the green landscape on the Hartjesberg is the Witte Villa, or villa Sonsbeek. Sonsbeek is bordered to the north by the Zypendaal estate, a wooded estate developed in an English landscape garden style. The country house Zypendaal is situated in the middle of the estate.

These estates were once the country houses for the Dutch nobility and regent families, and are now public parks where people can leisurely walk, rest and relax. Behind the lush landscapes and mansions lie hidden histories of forced colonial labour of enslaved people in Suriname, Indonesia and other colonies.

The archives show that where there was forced labour and oppression, there was also resistance. In this exhibition—a collaboration between designer Yinka Ilori, The Black Archives and the project team of Sonsbeek 20➝24—we invite visitors to explore hidden histories of enslaved labour and resistance through archives of sound, paper and pictures.

The Black Archives (2016, Amsterdam) is a physical and digital archive and cultural platform working at the intersection of archives, cultural heritage, art, and education based in Amsterdam. TBA documents the history of black emancipation movements and individuals in the Netherlands. The archives consist of unique book collections, archives and artifacts that are the legacy of Black Dutch writers and scientists. TBA aims to uncover narratives that stimulate Black emancipation, equality and social justice through archiving, organising, research, dialogue and producing.

Yinka Ilori (1987, London) is a London-based multidisciplinary artist who specialises in storytelling by fusing his British and Nigerian heritages to tell new stories in contemporary design. Humorous, provocative and fun, every project that he creates tells a story that brings Nigerian verbal tradition into playful conversation with contemporary design, touching on various global themes that resonate with different audiences all over the world. Ilori studied Furniture and Product Design at London Metropolitan University and has since exhibited internationally in numerous group and solo shows. He is a recipient of London Design Medal, Emerging Design Medal (2020), and was named Elle Decoration New Designer (2019).

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