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An Imagined Past? The Politics of History Making 7
21 Apr. 2021 -
15:30 - 17:30
#50YRS, Lecture

An Imagined Past? The Politics of History Making

Annual NIAS Lecture 2021

This year’s Annual NIAS Lecture talks about violent and imagined pasts, and how can we make amends with it.

When we talk about the history of a country or a city, whose history are we talking about? Due to mobilizations such as Black Lives Matter, dominant narratives have become publicly contested; contested to include stories which were left forgotten. But if we talk about a shared history, such a normative history has to go beyond only including multiple perspectives. Groups that suffered from exclusion and worse, demand apologies for the wrongdoings of the past. So, how can we revisit the past, not in a sporadic but in a productive way, which paves the path towards making reparations?

Download the Programme Book for the  Annual NIAS Lecture 2021

An Imagined Past? The Politics of History Making

Joining us are

An Imagined Past? The Politics of History Making 6

Jennifer Tosch (from right)  is a Cultural Historian, founder of Black Heritage Tours in Amsterdam and New York, and co-founder of the Sites of Memory Foundation. Her tours make the cities’ ‘hidden’ histories visible as you explore their early Black presence and colonial history. She is a Co-author of Amsterdam Slavery Heritage Guide and Netherlands Slavery Heritage Guide, which highlights histories of black presence in Amsterdam and beyond. She was born in Brooklyn, New York to Surinamese parents and resides in Amsterdam.

Femke Halsema is the Mayor of the City of Amsterdam, and has written several books including on migration titled Nergensland: nieuw licht op migratie (2017) as well as Pluche (2017) and Geluk! Voorbij de hyperconsumptie, haast en hufterigheid (2008) en Zoeken naar vrijheid (2010)

Christophe Bertossi is a Political Scientist, and Director of the French Institute of International Relations – Ifri’s Center for Migration and Citizenship. His research focusses on migration and citizenship, nativism and belonging, and European immigration policies.

Our speakers will explore from their own field of expertise, the nuances and challenges of making an inclusive history.


3.30 pm – 4 pm CEST

Artistic programme

4 pm – 5 pm CEST

Talk by Jennifer Tosch, Christophe Bertossi and Femke Halsema

5 pm – 5.30 pm CEST 

Q&A and wrap-up

The Programme Book  for the Annual NIAS Lecture 2021

About the Annual NIAS Lecture

The NIAS Annual Lecture offers new perspectives in ongoing public debates. On the occasion of NIAS’ 50th anniversary, this year’s topic is part of a longer exploration on the theme of Belonging.