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We are calling on UvA students, employees and alumni to submit ideas for the public programme in the 'VOC-zaal'.
VOC-zaal (photo: Bob Bronshoff)
Photo: Bob Bronshoff

Decolonial Dialogues

There has been a historical reconstruction of the Dutch East India Company on view in the so-called VOC-zaal (Dutch East India Company room) in the Bushuis since the 1990s. For some time, there has been growing unease among staff and students about the way in which the colonial past of the Netherlands is presented/represented at this location. For that reason, the room has been closed since the summer of 2022 and following a period of reflection, the Faculty Board has decided to fully open the VOC-zaal in 2023 with a new goal: the public programme for the project Decolonial Dialogues@Humanities

From January 2023 to December 2023, researchers and students from the Faculty of Humanities, together with partner institutions and interested parties, will consider the future of the so-called VOC-zaal and the colonial past of the Bushuis. The aim is to create a safe and inspiring place for dialogues about decolonisation.

Submit your proposal

The programme team is looking for proposals for the public programme between March 2023 and June 2023.

Do you have an idea for the programming? Have you been occupied with these subjects for some time or are they close to your heart? Submit a proposal via the application form. If you have an idea, but it’s not totally concrete yet, you can also submit that. We will be happy to share our ideas with you.  All submissions from anyone within and outside the University are welcome.

The main focus in the public programming will be on themes such as: 

  • Decolonisation and diversity;
  • Slavery in the East;
  • Dutch East India Company (VOC) and Dutch West India Company (WIC);
  • Colonialism and post-colonialism;
  • Disputed cultural heritage, etc. 

The programming may include the following:

  • Lectures;
  • Performances;
  • Workshops;
  • Film shows;
  • Debates.

All programming will be curated by the programme team. For that reason, we may make changes, additions or suggestions in terms of the content before we can accept the submission. We will strive to programme as many ideas as possible. It is therefore possible that we combine certain proposals.

Deadline for proposals: Friday, 31 March 2023.

Practical information

There is room for events that take up one half-day (i.e., morning, afternoon or evening). Please note: all programming will be free and open to the public. The project will offer support with the production and content of the programming before, during and after the event. There is a budget for expenses, such as speaker fees, catering, performances, hire, etcetera. Please note: the budget is not all-embracing.

Following submission, the project group will get back to you within a month.