The Welcome Table

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There is a long tradition of black resistance in the Netherlands. An important role has been played by the Vereniging Ons Suriname ('Society Our Surinam'), which is celebrating its centenary this year. Based on documents from The Black Archives, various speakers reveal the many connections between Surinamese-Dutch activists and the artistic Afro-American Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s. Hear stories about writers Langston Hughes and Claude McKay and dancer and actress Josephine Baker and their connections to Ons Suriname. Includes Jessica de Abreu and Mitchell Esajas, co-founders of The Black Archives and New Urban Collective.

background information

The Welcome Table is an unfinished play by the American writer James Baldwin, a prominent anti-racism activist in his country. The play consists of two characters (based on the dancer Josephine

Baker and the American professor and critic Henry Louis Gates Jr.) at a set table. Incomplete freedom they discuss the condition of the Afro-American community. During the Holland Festival a contemporary version of The Welcome Table will be staged at various venues for a variety of conversations about festival artists’ work and themes. The topics covered will include literary and ideological movements like Négritude and the Harlem Renaissance, the films Échangeur and Touki Bouki, Martiniquan philosopher Édouard Glissant’s work and life, and of course James Baldwin.


This performance was made possible with support by