Slavery and Cape Town: an Overview with Joline Young

Slavery and Cape Town: an Overview with Joline Young


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Join an expert tol 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.

Joline Young is a historian, researcher, and author who holds a Master's degree in Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town, with Distinction. Joline has spent the past decade researching the history of Simon's Town and is an authority on the subject. Joline's tours and seminars of Cape Town focus particularly, but not only, on the history of slavery in the town. Joline also offers social history and slavery tours throughout the Western Cape.

This conversation is suitable for adults and not especially recommended for young children.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.