Fellowship

Fellow 2018/2019

Jessica de Abreu

Jessica de Abreu is an anthropologist, curator, and activist who graduated from the departments of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Culture, Organization and Management at VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam. Her passionate commitment to the field of African Diaspora has led to research on upward social mobility in New York, Amsterdam, and London. Her recent research project on organizational anthropology focused on social entrepreneurship in Black British communities from a postcolonial perspective. She is a board member at New Urban Collective and co-founder of The Black Archives, both Amsterdam.

Jessica de Abreu

Jessica de Abreu is an anthropologist, curator, and activist who graduated from the departments of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Culture, Organization and Management at VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam. Her passionate commitment to the field of African Diaspora has led to research on upward social mobility in New York, Amsterdam, and London. Her recent research project on organizational anthropology focused on social entrepreneurship in Black British communities from a postcolonial perspective. She is a board member at New Urban Collective and co-founder of The Black Archives, both Amsterdam.

Fellowship Research Trajectory

Anthropologist, activist, and curator Jessica de Abreu’s research trajectory focuses on how Black women, particularly from the organization Vereniging Ons Suriname (VOS), fit into the legacy of Black women’s activism in the Caribbean and Netherlands. VOS is one of the oldest migrant self-organizations in the Netherlands, celebrating its hundred year anniversary in 2019. While founders and activists such as Julius Jacob Gemmel, Eddy Bruma, and Otto Huiswoud are familiar names, little is known about the women within the organization and how they built an anti-colonial movement, a community, and other political work in the Netherlands. This research encourages intergenerational work to develop intersectional perspectives around archives, following the question: How did Black women’s activism develop at VOS between the 1940s and 1990s, and how was art used as a tool for education and social change?

Especially considering discourses around colonial history and its marginalized legacy, art as a space for social change can give voice to these silenced archives and histories. Moreover, the collaboration between art and postcolonial archives gives further meaning around healing from hate, erasure, and struggle.

Vereniging Ons Suriname: 100 Years of Emancipation and Struggle at the Black Archives

The exhibition Vereniging Ons Suriname: 100 years of Emancipation and Struggle (2019–2020), celebrating Vereniging Ons Suriname‘s 100th anniversary, at The Black Archives, Amsterdam is co-curated by BAK 2018-2019 Fellow Jessica de Abreu, 2019/2020 Fellow Mitchell Esajas along with colleagues at The Black Archives. It showcases the often hidden histories of Surinamese activism and anti-racist work in the Netherlands. The exhibition features research conducted during the Fellowship as well as art works by 2018/2019 co-Fellow Patricia Kaersenhout, depicting revolutionary women of color, including de Abreu.

Archival Propositions

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Yasmine Eid-Sabbagh present at Propositions #7/6: Archive, the final iteration of the public series Propositions #7: Evidentiary Methods. The event also features Ariel Caine (Forensic Architecture, London) and takes place at BAK in the context of the exhibition Forensic Justice (18 October 2018–27 January 2019). This program is […]

Naomie Pieter: The Body in Black Women’s Activism

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Patricia Kaersenhout, along with BAK, convene the January 2019 Fellows Intensive, focusing on the body as an archive, as a form of resistance, and the colonial legacies embodied today. Activist and artist Naomie Pieter leads the Fellows in a workshop on the use of the body as a […]

Arun Saldanha: Reontologising Race and the Post-Colonial Body

BAK 2018/2019 Fellows Jessica de Abreu and Patricia Kaersenhout, along with BAK, convene the January 2019 Fellows Intensive, focusing on the body as an archive, as a form of resistance, and the colonial legacies embodied today. Geographer and theorist Arun Saldanha joins the Fellows to present his work on reontologising race, affect, and ecologies, and […]

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Thiago de Paula Souza Co-Curates Frestas

BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Thiago de Paula Souza has been chosen to co-curate Frestas, Triennial of Arts, São Paulo in 2020. Co-Fellow Haseeb Ahmed shows at the exhibition.

Civilization at the Crossroad: Co-Curated by Lukáš Likavčan

Lukáš Likavčan and Pavel Sterec curate Civilization at the Crossroad: Engineers of Scientific-Technical Revolution at FUTURA gallery, Prague (4 December 2018–17 February 2019), reflecting on research done by philosopher Radovan Richta and his team in the 1960s and “a new Czechoslovakian socialism.” In addition to historical documents and media, the exhibition includes works by artists: […]

Practicing Tactical Solidarities: A Roundtable on Mutual Aid, Emergency, and Continuous Care

Streaming online at bakonline.org/prospections and on social media: @BAKUtrecht on Facebook and @BAK basis voor actuele kunst on YouTube With Afrikaanderwijk Cooperative (including BAK 2018/2019 Fellow Jeanne van Heeswijk), Rotterdam; the Basic Activist Kitchen, Utrecht; Brigate Volontarie per l’emergenza, Milan; and Homebaked Anfield, Liverpool Coordinated communitarian responses to this crisis have abounded, with individuals and […]

Seminar with Françoise Vergès

Political scientist, historian, and feminist Françoise Vergès joins the discussion via Skype on how artistic research can contribute to decolonial methodologies. With introduction by Olivier Bouin (director of the Network of French Institutes for Advanced Studies) and 2017/2018 BAK Fellow Pelin Tan.

Publications