Traces of Slavery Utrecht: Exploring the City’s Darker Past

Traces of Slavery Utrecht: Exploring the City’s Darker Past

Members of the tour standing outside one of its stops, the former winter home of the Van Zuylen family. Photo taken by Nkele Martin on Mar. 15, 2024.

In 2021, research at the University of Utrecht highlighted the city’s – and the school’s – troubled past and direct involvement with the transatlantic slave trade.

Since then, a number of initiatives have been launched to educate about this previously hidden history. Sporen van Slavernij Utrecht believes that this past is still not properly recognized, and has worked to combat that since 2011. In this piece, reporter Nkele Martin visited one of their events, a walking tour of the city centre that “makes visible” this history.

About The Author

Nkele Martin

Nkele Martin (2003) is a young journalism student from Toronto, Canada. Growing up in a busy city, he was fascinated by the way culture continuously morphed the world around him. An avid sports fan, this interest in culture has become intertwined with football - his favourite sport - handled him to explore the intersection of both topics. Aside from these topics, he covers politics, race, and art.