Keti Koti – “the Chains Cut” – is the yearly 1 July memorial and celebration of slavery and its abolition in The Netherlands and its colonial belongings worldwide. Specially the Afro-Caribbean descendants of enslaved persons in Surinam and the Dutch Antilles, together with people from all over the world, join and share in multiple festivities and ceremonies, to honour their forebears, to denounce the unjustices done to them, to celebrate life and liberty, and to create new human relationships based on togetherness and diversity. Historical memory is intimately linked to matters of peace, human rights and social cohesion in the XXI Century.
Since 2002, the national Keti Koti celebrations in Amsterdam have steadily grew up to a major festival on July 1 in the park around the Memorial Monument, and a constellation of smaller and very diverse celebrations, rituals, marches and artistic activities during the whole month of June, named as “Keti Koti Month”. These become the focus for debate on crucial themes as racism and integration, migration and refuge, employment and urban culture, multicultures and globalization. In 2018 the movement is exploring a new dream: the creation of a permanent National Slavery Museum.
LASO documents and participates in this cultural and political process, offering a Latin American as well as global and local perspectives. We work with participatory and qualitative research modes, producing visual and textual presentations, and supporting individuals and organizations in Amsterdam. Also we stimulate contact with social organizations and researchers in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa, such as the Docklands Museum in London. We invite interested people worldwide to join us in this exchange.