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What’s to be Repaired?

What’s to be Repaired?

Postcolonial Justice in Postcolonial Europe
International Symposium
22nd-24th of June 2022
Utrecht Univeristy – BAKCasco Art Institute

About the symposium:

In 2001, the UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, also known as the Durban Conference was one of the first instances where the countries of the Global North were asked to address and repair the legacy of transatlantic slave trade and of their colonial history. The conference acknowledged and regretted “the massive human sufferings and the tragic plight of millions of men, women and children as a result of slavery, slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, apartheid, colonialism and genocide” and the Durban Declaration categorised slavery, colonialism, apartheid and genocide as international crimes against humanity.

The meeting was also one of the first instances where the connection of slavery and colonialism was made with contemporary forms of anti-black discrimination, racism, and racial inequalities. Since Durban, however, calls for colonialism and slavery reparations by decolonial activists, anti-racist advocacies and human rights groups have been met with scepticism by European governments. More recently, after the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the long wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the globe, international debates on reparations seem to have gather momentum.

Twenty years after Durban, this three-day symposium brings together interdisciplinary academics, experts, and activists to discuss postcolonial reparations as a strategy for fighting postcolonial inequalities, combating structural racism, and decolonising societies in Western Europe.

The symposium will also host:

On the 22 the screening of the film The Object’s Interlacing (2020) by Kader Attia at BAK, with an introduction by Maria Hlavajova (BAK) and Wietske Maas (BAK).

On June 23 the European launch of the African Futures Action Lab – a newly founded for knowledge and policy development committed to strengthening racial justice movements across Africa, Europe and the Americas – with co-founders  Amah Edoh and Liliane Umubyeyi.

On June 24 the guest lecture by Mame-Fatou NiangFrench, but not (Q)White?: Expanding Frenchness for the 21st Century”, as part of the Lecture series Race et culture organised in partnership by Utrecht University, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne,  and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon.


Valerie Arnould (ASF-Lawyers without borders, Brussels), Alessandra Benedicty Kokken (Research Center for Material Culture at Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Amsterdam), Magali Bessone (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne), Leana Boven (Casco Art Institute), Binna Choi (Casco Art Institute), Arnaud Dandoy (ASF-Lawyers without borders, Tunis), Amah Edoh (MIT/African Futures Action Lab), Maria Hlavajova (BAK), Ajmal Hussain (University of Warwick), Nicole Immler (Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht), François Janse van Rensburg (Senior Provenance Researcher, Pressing Matter: Ownership, Value and the Question of Colonial Heritage in Museums), Wietske Maas (BAK), Brianne Mc Gonigle (Utrecht University), Mame-Fatou Niang (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh), Rafał Pankowski (NW-Never Again/Collegium Civitas, Warsaw), Liliane Umubyeyi (African Futures Action Lab), Carine Zaayman (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam/Research Center for Material Culture at Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Amsterdam), Cindy Zalm (Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen, Amsterdam).

Click here for the Symposium Programme.

For registration, please send an email to this address:


Connect Online

You can also take part in ‘What’s to be Repaired?’ Postcolonial Justice in Postcolonial Europe – symposium online (via Microsoft Teams) in case you cannot take part in person: Thursday 23rd of June – Link here Friday 24th of June – Link here You can find the daily programme from here Make sure to register by sending us an email

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Hosts: Dr Jamila M. H. Mascat is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Graduate Gender Programme and a research affiliate at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry (ICON) at Utrecht University. Her transdisciplinary research works across the fields of Political Philosophy (German Idealism and Marxism in particular), Postcolonial Studies, Feminist Theories, and Critical Race Theories. Her current research interests focus, on the one hand, on theories of partisanship and political engagement and, on the other hand, on theories of postcolonial justice and postcolonial reparations. She holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Siena with a dissertation on Hegel’s critique of the notion of abstraction. Krista King is a…

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Symposium Programme

Wednesday 22nd of June 17:30-19:30      Screening of the movie: The Object’s Interlacing (2020) by Kader Attia, with an introduction by: Maria Hlavajova (BAK)Wietske Maas (BAK)Location: BAK (basis voor actuele kunst) – Pauwstraat 13A, 3512TG Utrecht Thursday 23rd of June 9:30-10:15       Coffee and Welcoming  10:15-11:45      Roundtable: “What’s to be repaired?” Durban conference after two decades Valerie Arnould (ASF-Lawyers without borders, Brussels)Arnaud Dandoy (ASF-Lawyers without borders, Tunis)Ajmal Hussain (University of Warwick)Brianne Mc Gonigle (Utrecht University)Rafał Pankowski (NW-Never Again/Collegium Civitas, Warsaw)Location: Utrecht University, Academie Gebouw, Belle van Zuylenzaal, Domplein 29, 3512JE  Utrecht 12:00-14:00      Lunch Break 14:00-15:00     How to recognize Dutch colonial injustice? A dialogics of justice approach Nicole Immler (Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht) Location: Utrecht University, Academie Gebouw, Belle…

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