top of page


Welcome to the Virtual Experience, a space where you can follow an online journey of Future for the Past. On the route you will move through historical text, listen audio fragment and watch 360 video's. These tours allow you to navigate through stories from The Netherlands to South Africa, from past to present to future.


Portugese Synagoge - Amsterdam

The first Portugese Synagoge in Amsterdam was built in 1639; now it's a busy traffic circle. The current large synagogue was built between 1671-1675, with woodwork from Brazil. Some Jewish  merchants traded slaves, in networks with Christian enslavers.  Black Jewish men and women were active in this synagogue. After a while the board decided that the negras y mulatas, black and mixed-race women, were no longer welcome in the first rows, but in ‘the  fourth row from below. If they do the opposite they will be ordered to leave.’ To maintain peace and quiet on the street, the women were banned from coming to the synagogue before 4 pm. The Synagoge is located in the area that is now known as the Black community of the 17th century


Church Square - Cape Town

Church Square was created in the early 18th century. It was  named after the Dutch Reformed Church or Groote Kerk which the Dutch built in 1701, using the labour of the people they enslaved. Opposite the church, on Church Square, stood a fir tree. It was under this tree, that the Dutch colonisers carried out the inhumane and dehumanising act of “selling” and “buying” people they held in forced labour. The tree was cut down in 1916. Today there is a traffic island where the tree once stood. A ground-level stone plaque is the only thing that honours the story of that tree.


Hortus Botanicus - Amsterdam

In 1636 the city of Amsterdam established a botanical garden to study and display the seeds and plants that VOC and WIC ships brought to Amsterdam from all over the world. The VOC and WIC stole hundreds of seeds, saplings, and plants from across the world, and brought them back to The Netherlands. The colonisers also took their own seeds, plants, and trees and planted them in the colonized areas. In the Hortus stands the oldest potted plant in the Netherlands, known to the Xhosa people in South Africa as the Breadfruit Tree.


Maritime Museum 

The maritime repository, now home of the Maritime Museum, was built in 1656 as the main warehouse of the Amsterdam Admiralty, providing canons, flags, sails, rope, water and other supplies for the VOC and WIC ships.  The ship De Amsterdam is a replica of a VOC ship that sank on its maiden voyage from Texel to Batavia in 1749. This type of ship, a so-called hooker, was also adapted for the transportation of people captured from Africa and South East Asia. 

Castle of Good Hope.jpg

Castle of Good Hope

The VOC headquarters Kasteel de Goede Hoop (Castle of Good Hope) was built between 1666 and 1679 by enslaved, Khoe, free burghers, and company workers. It is the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa, and replaced the original Fort de Goede Hoop, which was constructed by Jan van Riebeeck, the first Commander of the Cape. In 1652 Van Riebeeck was sent to //Hui !Gaeb, today known as Cape Town, to start a refreshment station for the VOC, to restock the passing ships. It developed into a colony once farming permits were issued, in February 1657, to nine company servants (who became the Free Burghers). The first people the VOC enslaved were held captive in the fort until the Slave Lodge was completed in 1679.



Hoerikwaggo means “sea mountain” –  the name for Table Mountain in the Khoi language

Schermafbeelding 2020-07-17 om 17.29.07.

The quagga (/ˈkwɑːxɑː/ or /ˈkwæɡə/)

An interpretation of the Horse shoe found on the door of the torture chamber at The Castle of Good Hope. It represents the people of the Cape, and other lands ravaged by Dutch colonization who have been enslaved. This symbol is used in conjunction with the Golden Mole as a representation of the oppressed people resisting and fighting back. 

The quagga (/ˈkwɑːxɑː/ or /ˈkwæɡə/) (Equus quagga quagga) was a plains zebra that lived in South Africa until becoming extinct late in the 19th century. After the Dutch settlement of South Africa began, the quagga was extensively hunted, as it competed with domesticated animals for forage. Some were taken to zoos in Europe, but breeding programmes were unsuccessful. The last wild population lived in the Orange Free State; the quagga was extinct in the wild by 1878. The last captive specimen died in Amsterdam on 12 August 1883.

The Golden Mole

Here the Golden Mole is thought of as the silent disruptor of the colonial garden, a figure of resistance to the botanical conquests of the VOC. A figure of revolution from underground, beneath the soil where acts of oppression happen. Stealing seeds and plants is an extension of the conquering of natural land which the VOC engaged in to create the garden back home in Amsterdam. The Golden Mole Gang then acts as a metaphor that comes to disturb the project of relishing in stolen goods, interrupting the celebration of colonial conquest.  


Golden Moles occur only in SubSaharan Africa, and nowhere else in the world. The Cape Golden Mole is found in the southwestern Cape, from the Cape peninsular region extending up the Namaqualand coastal plains to Port Nolloth. The westerly distribution extends inland to the western fold mountains, but does not occur in the Karoo. The Cape Golden Mole inexplicably also occurs on Robben Island.



Concept & Co-producers - Jennifer Tosch & Katy Streek  

​Director - Katy Streek   

Storyteller - Jennifer Tosch

Script - Jennifer Tosch, Jörgen Gario, Toni Giselle Stuart & Katy Streek  

Poetry - Jörgen Gario & Toni Giselle Stuart 

Choreographer & dance artist - Jomecia Oosterwolde & Luke de Kock

Artist & Print design - Raul Balai aka el bastardo & Jarrett Erasmus

Visual artist & costume designer - Alejita Silva 

Music & Soundscape - Jörgen Gario, Toni Giselle Stuart & Jarrett Erasmus

Dancers Amsterdam - Kiki Nat, Yona Lukken, Jahcysha Boschman, Stacy Thiraw, Aultorio Duncan (PACT+)

Dancers Cape Town - Keagan Damons, Savannah Petrus, Abigail Overmeyer, Liam Lottering, Rian Jansen, Lisakhanya Nongqongqo (Jazzart Dance Theatre)

Performers Poetry Circle Nowhere - Houda Bibouda, Sarah Lucassen & Stokely Dichtman

Creative producers - Gina-Alina Patilea & Natalie Harper

PR & Marketing - Chantal Tjin

Social Media -  Ivana Zakova

360 Video recording & editing - Shortfilms

360 Video recording Cape Town - Lindsey Appollis

Audio recording & design - Dennis Slot 

Audio recording Cape Town - Zaheer Banderker

Interactive design - Bianca Lurvink & Cris Mollee

Historical sources - Mapping Slavery Project, Castle of Good Hope; and Historian Mark Ponte

For further reading visit: Amsterdam Slavery Heritage Guide



bottom of page