*DISCLAIMER: This story is entirely fictional. Any similarities to real life events or people is purely coincidental and not meant to provoke any negative reactions.
|Silver Coin from 1683 with the family crests of the 12 rulers of the WIC in Groningen.|
In this context one of the stones that trace the Citywalk (Mapping Slavery).
|St Anthony Gasthuis (Wikipedia)|
Leaving the Gasthuis they turn into the Oosterstraat. “Okay, so even if slavery did exist here in Groningen, it was the exception. Just because some rich families benefited from it does not mean that the common person back then had anything to do with slavery,” Joris says. “That does not justify it though,” Dirk replies. Turning into a small alley they find themselves standing in a courtyard where Dirk spots the next QR Code and reads the text written on the building in front of them. He looks up after a few moments. “Actually, you are wrong! It was obviously not the case that every family was involved in slavery but nonetheless many people benefited from it. See, for instance, this house used to be a tobacco manufacturer, and a shop for colonial goods.” “So what?” Joris replies, “that is how the world economy has always worked. People trade goods with each other.” “But that is the point! You cannot see slavery and the Atlantic trade as a purely economic transition, it was in its nature linked and justified by racism and the idea that some people were superior.”
After visiting a few more sites, the friends walk home. “I have to admit,” Joris says, “I really did not know these things before and today I really saw Groningen in a different light.” Dirk is not sure if Joris really understands it, but he is glad that they could broaden their horizon. “Yeah, I agree. Also those silver coin tiles, those were great and I loved to learn about their history.” “The app also offers a book on this topic, let’s buy it, man. I want to learn more!”
BY: AD, NH, MD, TB
Henkes, Barbara. "Traces of Slavery City Walk." Guided Tour. Groningen. 6 June, 2018.