The installation reflects on the Golden Coach as a symbol of Dutch Glory and the Colonial Empire. The starting point is the positioning of women as a symbol of innocence and greatness as opposed to the actual role they, too, have played and continue to play in our shared history. The allegorical female figures on the coach as well as in paintings in the collection of the Amsterdam Museum and other museums, form the the installation’s core.The work is inspired by the public apology of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima after their vacation in Greece during the pandemic last year. Mlotshwa hopes the royals will have a role in further opening the curtain that still shrouds the history of colonialism and slavery. Only in this way can awareness grow in (Dutch) society regarding the many threads which connect the past and present, both with each other and with places all over the world.
Sithabile Mlotshwa (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe 1975) is a visual artist, curator, and cultural producer. Her major project Ubuntu questions our shared history. From the perspective of “trade” and through an artistic lens, Mlotshwa explores and makes connections between the reproduction of violence, inequality, oppression, racism, sexism, and environmental impact.