Press Release

Foundation Anton de Kom Statue in The Hague Established

The newly founded ‘Stichting Standbeeld Anton de Kom in Den Haag’ is working on erecting a statue of the anti-colonial and anti-fascist activist and resistance fighter Anton de Kom in The Hague to commemorate his life and work in The Netherlands.

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS, January 20, 2021 – The newly founded Stichting Standbeeld Anton de Kom in Den Haag has set itself the goal to erect a commemorative statue for the anti-colonial and anti-fascist writer and activist Anton de Kom in the city where he lived, worked and joined the local resistance in the Netherlands. Whereas many Dutch cities, including The Hague, have commemorated and immortalized their local resistance heroes through street names; commemoratives plaques and/or statues, the Dutch-Surinamese resistance fighter Anton de Kom is strangely still missing in the commemorative landscape of The Hague.

In the wake of societal discussions on the public commemoration of colonial and minority histories, this foundation feels that the development of a statue of Anton de Kom in the city where he lived, worked, married and joined the resistance, is a way to create a more inclusive memory landscape in the multicultural city of The Hague and honour the memory of De Kom and his services to the people of The Hague and the Netherlands in general.

The ‘Stichting Standbeeld Anton de Kom in Den Haag’ was set up by Dr. Anne Marieke van der Wal, a history lecturer at Leiden University, and Makayla Bata de Albuquerque Freire and Emma Nündel, representing the Africa Student Committee of Leiden University in January 2021.

In order to fund the planning and building of the statue, the foundation is collecting donations. Additionally, the foundation is organizing awareness raising campaigns to increase societal knowledge of Anton de Kom’s life and works and increase awareness of the link between the fight against fascism and the fight against colonialism. The first public lecture will take place during ‘Black History Month’ on February 22, 2021, Anton de Kom’s 123rd birthday, at Leiden University. The speaker at the event is Dr. Karwan Fatah-Black, a historian whose work focuses on the history of slavery and the Dutch transatlantic trade and will be followed by a Q&A mediated by the student representatives of the Africa Committee. The event will be hosted by both the Africa and Latin America Committee of BASIS (the student association of the Bachelor of Arts International Studies programme at Leiden University). The guest lecture will be accessible online, and the link will be published on this website as well.