” Liberty ” artwork for Keti Koti festival 2012 ( Art in Public )

 A multitude of chickens, together in the yard of a big manor house;Chickens that were only intended to lay eggs for their masters; Chickens that could plainly be sold, or maybe even eaten; Chickens without any identity. Who would have ever thought there’d be one chicken who refused to take it any longer. This chicken simply knew he belonged up high instead of down below;Surely he never felt at home being a simple chicken of the manor. So fly away and determine your own route. Perhaps today there might be others, who just like you, have the courage to stand up against ever again being  enslaved. 

On July 1st I participated in the celebration of the Keti Koti Festival 2012. The Keti Koti is a festival that is celebrated yearly in the Netherlands and this year they chose to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the former Dutch colonies.

The festival took place in Oosterpark (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and everyone who attended could enjoy different food, presentations and a wide variety of art,among which I had the honor to exhibit my life piece of art (poa).

Other artists that also participated in the Keti Koti festival of this year were, Charles Corsen, Armando Baag, Cliff San A Jong, Ruben La Cruz, Panopticum, Remy Jungerman, Angels Entoundi Essamba, Charl Landvreugd and Marquez Malacia.

As the festival started and the public crowded Oosterpark, I got ready to start what was going to be another art in public. Model? check!, 4x4m backdrop painting? check,

an enthusiastic team of helpers? Check!, Mood? Definitely check! Slowly but steadily the people started surrounding as the end result took form with every stroke of the brush.

The main theme of the festival was to go beyond emancipation. And the central focus was on the abolition of slavery. I wanted people to think further than the simple emancipation of which we are told in history; those slaves who once lived and have already been abolished from slavery. I wanted to leave them behind with a deeper message to ponder on.

So for this occasion I made this piece of art named Liberty. With the main message to pursue true liberty in our ways of thinking, in our feelings and in our behaviour. ‘Cause aren’t we, in the end, still a slave to whatever dominates or deprives us?
And so my piece of art rather spoke of liberty to the slaves we might still be today, rather than speaking about the slave that once was.

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