Flensburg experienced a period of economic prosperity in the 18th and 19th century thanks to trade with the colonies in the Danish West Indies. Luxurious colonial goods were in high demand and were refined and manufactured further at farms in Flensburg. Sugar and rum were the raw materials of this new lifestyle of pleasure. Flensburg’s history as the “Rum City” remains an integral part of its identity to this day. However, few consider the fate of millions of Africans who had been abducted and forced to work under inhumane conditions as slaves on the plantations of the Caribbean “sugar islands” by the European colonial powers. This colonial heritage has received hardly any attention and critical examination until now.A fellow from the West Indies will address the issues of colonial legacy, historic responsibility and the present-day US Virgin Islands. In this way, the project lends the African-Caribbean perspective a voice of its own.
A fellow with expertise in Cultural Anthropology, Postcolonial Studies/History of the West Indies will be invited to offer a post-colonial and African-Caribbean interpretation of the collections and archives in Flensburg. The results of this research will be incorporated into the exhibition „Rum, Sweat & Tears” which will be shown in Flensburg and the US Virgin Islands.