Dutch artist Judith Westelveld (1985, Netherlands) presents a brand new series of photocollages - Monetaria moneta, resulting from her ongoing research focused on the post colonial world we live in and on how the traces of the past are still shaping our present.
By exploring the coast of the Dutch province Zeeland, Judith retraces the route of colonial money cowries which, emanated from the bellied of VOC ship wreckages sanked during storms, traveled to Maldives and was then used to buy enslaved people along the West coast of Africa. The money cowries on the beaches of Zeeland are a witness from this past and present us with poignant traces of the significant role the Dutch played in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Starting from this very realization, Judith performed a series of actions at locations where these shells can still be found as they wash ashore. In the presence of a large anatomic ear the artist embodies to what extent we are willing to hear and see, speak about, and listen to a painful history.