gathering #1: stories across the atlantic and beyond

21 January 2023 | 8 pm - 9.30 pm

An evening programme about the relationship between Europe, Africa and it’s diaspora relating to Ibrahim Mahama’s art installation Garden of Scars, currently on show at the Oude Kerk. 

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about the gathering
During the evening, artists, writers, scientists and musicians will share stories that touch on the centuries-old relationship between Europe, Africa and it’s diaspora and relate to themes that play a central role in Mahama’s work. In its centuries-long relationship with Europe, Africa and its diaspora have faced the horrors of being torn apart. At the same time, there is a capacity for growth in this otherwise exploitative destructive relationship.
*Please note the language of communication during the programme is English.

about the moderator and the speakers
Ama van Dantzig curates the programme and moderates the evening. Van Dantzig divides her time between Amsterdam and Accra. She is co-founder of Dr. Monk, a creative and socially innovative studio that works on solutions to (inter)national social issues that are always about sustainable and equal solutions that make the world fairer and more just. One of her big dream projects is linked to Mahama’s work in the Oude Kerk. She would like to establish a historical-cultural centre aimed at children, in the old, neglected Ussher Fort – former Fort Crèveceour, built by the Netherlands in 1649 – on the coast in Accra. Mahama’s installation shows the connected history of forts like Ussher and the Oude Kerk.

Historian Natalie Everts shares stories about the families at Fort Elmina. What was life like on the West African coast and who were the people who came into contact with the Dutch? The Netherlands did not just leave behind a series of dilapidated forts in Ghana: hundreds of Ghanaian families are descended from unions between Dutch men and African women. Everts regularly publishes on intercontinental cultural connections, in particular those over Elmina

Music journalist John Collins shares his story of the evolution of rhythm and sound on the journey across the Atlantic.

Curator and artist Raul Balai talks about cultural clashes, exchanges and transformations.

Lisette Ma Neza is a poet, elocutionist and musician. In her writing, music and film, she focuses on overtold stories of people in words images and melody.

The evening will be moderated by Ama van Dantzig.

programme around garden of scars
In the Oude Kerk Ibrahim Mahama’s space-filling installation Garden of Scars is currently on view. Mahama has been working for the past two years on Garden of Scars, which connects the history of the Oude Kerk with an international (historical) context.

Photo: Maarten Nauw