Colonial Amnesia in Flensburg: Selective Memory of Transatlantic Enslavement Trade and Danish Plantation Economies
Lecture in the context of the lecture series “Unsayable”
Sybille Bauriedl, European University Flensburg, Department of Geography
Sayable is what is remembered. And the colonial period is only selectively remembered in Europe. In history books and tourism brochures, it is described as a “golden age” of overseas trade with “courageous seafarers” and “capable merchants”. The fact that the wealth and prosperity in European port cities of the 17th-20th centuries was based on the labor of enslaved people in the Caribbean and the Americas is concealed. Even in Flensburg, the exploitation and uprisings on the Caribbean sugar cane plantations are not remembered. The lecture explains with examples the practice of colonial amnesia, imperial nostalgia, the concealment of violence as well as the discomfort of colonial remembrance.