In this article, I argue that the commemoration of slavery should be seen as a process of emplacement. It refers to a specific politics of belonging in the Netherlands that is focused on autochthony and that carries strong notions of place. I discuss two strategies of emplacement that both engage in these politics of belonging. One is the search for roots in Africa, through which black Dutch negotiate their place in Netherlands as citizens. The other engages in the transformation of the Dutch memoryscape through formal commemorations and monuments. I understand both strategies as processes generating local subjects in Appadurai’s sense, emphasizing that locality as a relationship of body and place is a fundamental ingredient in processes of political subjectification.
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