Cape Town and slavery: an overview with Joline Young

In this home seminar we will discuss the historical factors that led to slavery at the Cape and the extent to which slavery contributed to the shaping of this city.

The Dutch East India Company created a settlement at the Cape in 1652, which resulted in the violent and traumatic dispossession of the indigenous people, who had lived there for millennia. As the landscape was altered for agriculture, enslaved people were brought from foreign shores to be the labour-force for the Dutch East India Company at the Cape. What followed was an intersection of diverse people and cultures whose presence would profoundly shape the character of the vastly unequal society that unfolded at the Cape.

The discussion will take attendees through the historical changes that occurred over time and how these changes shaped the ordinary lives of people who were either dispossessed or enslaved at the Cape, ending with Emancipation. In particular we will discuss gendered experiences as well as the experiences of children whose lives were overshadowed by Dutch East India Company rule that ended in 1795, British rule during the first and second British occupations and the three year period of Dutch Batavian rule wedged between these occupations.

The conversation will conclude with a reflection on historical trauma.

Duration: 90 minutes including Q&A

Audience: Recommended for adults

Price: $20.00

Date and time: Sunday 16 August, 2020 at 3pm (ETA).