This essay seeks to speculate on the reception of de Anton de Kom’s Wij slaven van Suriname (1934) within a very different context of political debates on race; decolonization; the politics of solidarity; and internationalist and anticapitalist struggles—all themes that De Kom’s narrative tackles in unique ways—and on the question of time. The author attempts to displace De Kom’s book away from its entanglement of political and intellectual connections and toward the diverse temporalities of Suriname’s decolonial struggles, seeking to explore what could be called the “collateral effects” produced by the 1934 publication of Wij slaven by a Caribbean publisher and institution. The author then compares the 1981 Spanish translation of De Kom’s work, Nosotros, esclavos de Surinam, with a different set of debates and texts addressed to diverse audiences and subjects entangled in distinct networks of political engagements and projects.
Displacing Wij slaven van Suriname: Other Collateral Effects
Olívia Maria Gomes Da Cunha is professor of anthropology in the Graduate Program in Social Anthropology at the Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. Her research interests include plantationocene and extractivist effects in the Caribbean, with a focus on the Maroon cosmopolitics in the Guianas. She is the author of The Things of Others: Ethnographies, Histories, and Other Artefacts (2020) and the editor of Maroon Cosmopolitics: Personhood, Creativity, and Incorporation (2018).
Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha; Displacing Wij slaven van Suriname: Other Collateral Effects. Small Axe 1 March 2023; 27 (1 (70)): 67–77. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-10461843
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