Keti Koti Table

A woman reading a card during Keti Koti Table
Thursday 15 Feb 2024, 17:30 - 20:30
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A woman reading a card during Keti Koti Table
Stichting Keti Koti Tafel

On February 15, 2024, IDEA Center is organizing a Keti Koti dialogue table, a new tradition to talk about our shared colonial and slavery past and its consequences.

This year, July 1, marks the 161st anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Suriname and the Antilles by the Netherlands: 'Keti Koti' means 'chains broken'. As this was followed by another decade of compulsory labor 'under state supervision', it has only been 151 years since the enslaved people were actually set free. Extra significance was given to the celebration of these milestones by the apology for involvement in slave trade and slavery and its consequences offered by the prime minister on behalf of the Dutch government. Erasmus University Rotterdam considers it important to pay attention to this loaded and shared history.

What is the Keti Koti Table?

The Keti Koti dialogue table is a new tradition developed specifically to talk about our shared colonial and slavery past and its consequences. Already, more than 300 organizations and 37,000 people in the Netherlands and abroad have participated. Participants exchange personal experiences, emotions, and insights according to a specially developed method. During this dialogue, three questions are answered around a theme determined specifically for this meeting. The theme we have chosen for our table is: Civil courage versus Silence.

What happens during the Keti Koti Table?

During the dialogue participants share a meal and recall our slavery past. Some rituals referring to slavery are performed at the beginning and at the end of the session. Between conversations, the Fri Yeye choir will sing songs of mourning and liberation that were sung on the plantations. With this dialogue meeting, Erasmus University Rotterdam, together with Keti Koti Table Foundation, wants to contribute to battling prejudice and discrimination and to strengthening mutual empathy and compassion.

The language during the plenary parts will be Dutch, and we have arranged an interpreter so that simultaneous translation into English is available.

Waiting list

We have reached the maximum number of participants for Keti Koti Table. If you would like to be on the waiting list, please let us know through

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