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AiRich
Bloody Gold

AiRich sees the Tribute from the Colonies panel as a misleading and “toned down” version of history. For her, the inhumanity and coercion that was inherent to Dutch colonialism are missing from the images on the coach. In BLOODY GOLD. TRIBUTE FROM THE COLONIES / WHAT ABOUT REPAIRING THE DAMAGE?, she adds other images to the original panel. Among these are illustrations by the eighteenth-century colonial officer John Gabriel Stedman, in which the abuses enslaved persons were subjected to are clearly shown. The images have an important significance for the artist because, for the first time in her life, she saw in them the history of slavery, the slave trade, and colonialism depicted.

While photoshopping, the Golden Coach’s panel transformed into a slave ship. Making this collage was, according to AiRich, “a struggle to balance the pursuit of beauty with the horror of these historical images.” Through her work, AiRich hopes to make people more aware of slavery’s past.

AiRich (Amsterdam, Netherlands 1991) works in the tradition of Afrofuturism, an exploration of the African diaspora through elements of science fiction. She makes digital collages and creates portraits in which the African identity of strong characters is key.

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