Kat’s Korner: The Culture Work of KIP Republic (Amsterdam)

In thinking about how to sum up my recent trip to Amsterdam, I couldn’t. It was an amalgamation of release, intrigue, inspiration, and critical analysis all wrapped in community and reunion.¬† I explained the purpose of the trip in a previous post that you can read here, so I won’t go into detail about the meaning behind the event. Almost two weeks later, I am still processing how to talk about what I witnessed because it is a case study of what culture work looks like and how success is attained via communal action and corporate buy in- a space that rarely breeds authenticity. At the center is an important conversation around liberation, purpose, and remembrance. The broken agreements, like the ones spelled out in Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ” Letter from a Birmingham Jail” echo throughout the diaspora when thinking about the global emancipation of enslaved Africans. None of us are untouched by this mass incaceration of Black bodies and the promises to end bondage, for many, was a promise that was mired with big talk, and little action. To celebrate emancipation is one thing, to specifically call out the broken promises, is the work. KIP REPUBLIC did the work and it was an honor to witness first hand. So here are some tidbits from the trip along with a clip from an interview I did connecting Juneteenth and Keti Koti (my interview begins at the 48:44 mark.

On July 1st we commemorate and celebrate Keti Koti (broken chains in Surinamese), Dia Di Lucha Pa Libertat, Emancipation Day, the abolishment of slavery in Surinam and the Dutch Antilles that happened in 1863. This is a day of reflection and celebration in the former colonies and in The Netherlands with a national commemoration at the Slavery Monument in Amsterdam and festivities throughout the city.

In 2020, KIP Republic initiated the FREE HERI HERI movement, to bring more awareness to KETI KOTI and bring communities closer together through handing out free HERI HERI meals, as food unites.

As we continue to fight and dismantle systemic injustice and inequality, the movement continued on July 1st 2021,  with the distribution of 15.000 free Heri Heri meals, commemoration, celebration whilst sharing the stories of our ancestors.

In this podcast we touch on Keti Koti and the importance of commemoration, the movement behind FREE HERI HERI FOR ALL and the similarities between Keti Koti and Juneteenth.

This podcast is a collaboration between Canvas Black and KIP Republic and made possible bij Felix Meritis.

In this episode you heard, Leroy Niemel in conversation with Ayra Kip, Romana Vrede and Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi.

Music by: Winne – Winti and Kenneth Arias – Wi na wan


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