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The monument of flight and resistance was commissioned by the city of Utrecht to commemorate 150 years of abolition

In 1713, the Peace of Utrecht was signed in the Town Hall, which put an end to a series of long bloody wars between Spain, England, France and Portugal, but was also important for the Asiento de Negros – the exclusive contractual right to sell enslaved Africans in Spanish America. By signing the Asiento, the city of Utrecht and its City Hall played an important role in the development of the global history of slavery.The pact put an end to religious wars. But at the same time the truce was an enormous boost for world trade and thus the colonial project.The triangle symbolizes the Transatlantic Triangular Trade that has made Utrecht very rich. But also symbolizes  a ship. The platform can be entered via a staircase. Which also refers to an auction block since  20,000 cowry shells are deposited under the platform, the price of a human being.The sides of the 'ship' has openings the same size as the space enslaved people had on a slave ship. The public is invited to feel the spaces.The flying figures with cornrows symbolize freedom and resistance. Via a QR code to stories of flight and resistance. 

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Mea Culpa (2020)

Patricia Kaersenhout is commissioned by the German Foundation for Art and Culture in Bonn (DE) to develop a new work for the international traveling exhibition Diversity United - Contemporary European Art. Shown from 12-11-2020 til 14-02-2021 at the New Tretyakov Gallery Moscow (RU) and afterwards in Berlin and Paris.

Kaersenhout’s proposal is based on an investigations into the legacies of power and wealth associated with slavery in the regions historically controlled by today’s European powers. Its title, Mea Culpa, refers to the traditional Christian practice of atoning for sins through enduring physical hardship during ritual pilgrimages. Kaersenhout brings this practice into the present day by suggesting the acceptance of guilt by figures representing today’s powerful elites, onto which the audience is invited to project their own understanding of the crimes for which they may wish to atone.

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