One Book One Campus 2024

Anton de Kom (ca. 1924)
Anton de Kom, ca. 1924

One Book One Campus is a reading event at Utrecht University which aims to broaden our understanding of the world, our communities, and ourselves through sharing a good book. It offers opportunities to meet and connect with others. This year’s selected book is Anton de Kom's We Slaves of Suriname (1934).

We Slaves of Suriname

Anton de Kom (1898-1945) was a Surinamese anti-colonial writer, activist and poet. De Kom advocated for equal rights for labourers in Suriname. For this work he was arrested and sent into exile by the Dutch colonial governors. During the Second World War he joined the communist resistance against the nazi's. His book We Slaves of Suriname, the first history of Suriname by a Surinamese author, is a scathing history of three centuries Dutch colonial rule. In 2020 De Kom was included into the Dutch Historical Canon. In 2023 the Dutch government rehabilitated Anton de Kom and formally apologized to De Kom's heirs.

Buy your book

Book cover We Slaves of Suriname
Book Cover We Slaves of Suriname

Use the button below to order your copy of the book in the UU web shop for only €7.50. You can pick up your book at the pick up point you indicated in your order, by showing the confirmation you will receive by email.

Unfortunately UU cannot offer the e-book with a discount. It is available through various commercial online shops.

Activities

Curious about We Slaves of Suriname but haven't had time to read it yet? Come to a Meet & Read in the University Library Science Park, City Centre or online! During these sessions, we will read a passage and engage in conversation. No preparation necessary!

On February 29, there will be a workshop for teachers on decolonial knowledge making (with CAT and Anton de Kom University of Suriname).

On March 18, there will be a Studium Generale Cover to Cover event with prof.dr. Guno Jones (Free University Amsterdam, in Dutch).

On March 27, there will be a public event with the Dutch Poet Laureate Babs Gons and writer Karin Amatmoekrim in the Neude Library (in Dutch). 

Creative contest

Does We slaves of Suriname spark ideas you would like to do something with? What would you write to Anton de Kom if he were alive today? Put your thoughts and ideas on paper by submitting a creative response to the book, in the form of a 'Letter to Anton de Kom', and you might win up to €150,-.

Submit your creative response anonymously to onebookonecampus@uu.nl by Friday March 16, 23.59. Look below for the guidelines.

Resources

Do you want to organize an activity around the book yourself, like a reading group? Go ahead! If you are you curious how the book can be linked to various educational fields, use the Resource Guide we prepared for inspiration!

Resource Guide

Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden currently has an exhibition called I Will Fight - about the rediscovery of the work of Anton de Kom by the Surinamese Student Union in the 1960s. 

Filmmaker Ida Does made a documentary about Anton de Kom in 2012 called 'Peace, Memories of Anton de Kom' in which three of his children, all in their eighties, look back on their youth. The documentary is Dutch spoken and has English subtitles.

In episode 21 of the podcast Unsettling Knowledge, you find out why We Slaves of Suriname is such an important book. Listen via Spotify or SoundCloud.

Dr. Sarah Adams (UU) wrote a guide forreading groups on We slaves of Suriname for the University of Ghent (in Dutch). This guide provides background information, discussion prompts and a literary analysis of the book.

Reading guide (in Dutch)

Contact

Questions or suggestions? You can reach us via onebookonecampus@uu.nl; follow One Book One Campus on social media via the buttons below.

One Book One Campus is a collaboration between EDI and the steering committee Slavery past and colonialism. Project leader: dr. Agnes Andeweg

Utrecht University is partner in Leesoffensief Utrecht

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