The Black Archives

 contributes to

Transnational dialogue: blackness, futurity and creativity within Europe,


The Black Archives (TBA) is a historical archive. It elucidates black and other perspectives by means of inspiring conversations, content-based activities and books that tend not to be discussed elsewhere. The Black Archives is supported by the organisation New Urban Collective. The archive includes various collections of books, records and artefacts that are the legacy of black writers and scientists. It contains more than 5000 books on racism and racial issues, slavery, colonisation and decolonisation, gender and feminism, social sciences and development. The book collections contain literature that is hardly discussed in schools and universities, if at all. They are intended to be initial collections that can grow through donations and partnerships with others. This makes Black literature, knowledge and information accessible for study and viewing. In November 2017, The Black Archives opened the exhibition Black & Revolutionary: the Story of Hermina and Otto Huiswoud. The exhibition won the Amsterdam Prize for the Arts in 2018.

The Black Archives aims to highlight the history of people of African descent within the Dutch context, and beyond. For the Contour Biennale the artist Raul Balai created, in collaboration with TBA co-founder Jessica de Abreu, an adapted version of his series Never as an integrated part of the Pop-Up book exhibition of TBA. Never focuses on the way the ‘West’ shapes the world, it’s perennial declaration of the perverse account of history as global fact or truth. How these are present in the everyday and the everywhere, that allow the exploitation of true heritage with colonial and imperial centre partiality; often revised culturally, and the way the media and academia repeats and frames our world as part of the western ‘situation’, its peoples bravado and its countries heroism

The founders of The Black Archives are Jessica de Abreu, Mitchell Esajas, Miguel Heilbron and Thiemo Heilbron.