17 November 2011 by darlene anita scott
I don’t know about this. So I read this article about the history of “African” fabrics and am still thinking (insert Scooby Doo voice here), Huh? Dutch you say? The same Dutch that colonized South Africa?
Critics of the side-eye I’m giving to “the “true original” Vlisco will likely argue that the Dutch’s main stomping grounds were largely in the southern, rather than western, part of the continent.
But history shows that they at the very least began their colonizing of the continent in the west. That was around 1600 when they had so much influence there that it was called the “Dutch Gold Coast.”
So when I read that “since 1846” this wax printing company has been “inspired” by the artwork of a people they subjugated, I have a hard time accepting “inspired” as the right term for the company’s motivation.
When you subjugate a people, practicing and commodifying their art is not inspired–it’s self-serving. As self-serving as planting your flag there in the first place.