The 2017 Commemoration of the Centennial of the "Transfer Day",
the sale of the Danish Caribbean islands to the USA
Mapping Urban Vestiges of the Transatlantic Trade with Enslaved People
Artist talks · lectures · exhibitions · literature readings · postcolonial guided city tours
short films · cinema films · art bike tours (partly in English; see program)
May - September 2017 in Hamburg and Altona
SANKOFA is a West African Adinkra symbol - a bird that looks back to its own egg as its origins:
For a better understanding of the future take a look into the past.
Denmark in its 19th century entirety encompassed regions in Northern Europe, Greenland, India, China, West Africa, and the Caribbean. Within this colonial empire, Altona near Hamburg - today a city district - was the second largest town. From here, specially equipped ships embarked for the notorious atlantic triangular trade, and with a freight of enslaved people from the West African coast, they continued to sail to the Danish West Indian "sugar islands" St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Still now numerous vestiges of the colonial merchants' legacies can be found in urban space in Altona and Hamburg.
2017 marks the centennial of the "Transfer Day", the sale of the Danish Virgin Islands to the USA. In 1917, the local population was not consulted concerning this transaction.
The three US Virgin Islands and Denmark commemorate the "Transfer Day" with numerous international events and exhibitions throughout the year. A controversial discussion about an apology on the part of Denmark for the suffering of the then enslaved African people has flared up and will have an influence on the commemoration year. Artists and NGOs are developing a novel decolonizing Triangular of Reconciliation.
The SANKOFA - ALTONA IN THE CARIBBEAN program takes the 100th anniversary as an opportunity to debate about the local history of the transatlantic trade in Hamburg-Altona. The focus is on the commemoration cultures in the former colonies, and we welcome experts from the US Virgin Islands, the USA, Denmark, Trinidad, Ghana, and Hamburg.

The Altona/Germany based colonial merchants left vestiges in the Caribbean: "Altona" is the name of a city district in Christiansted in St. Croix as well as in Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas where also a street is called "Altona".


Altonaer Museum
Stadtteilarchiv Ottensen/Geschichtswerkstatt für Altona
International Slavery Museum in Liverpool
Kunsthaus Hamburg
Buchhandlung Christiansen in Altona
Kino 3001
Stadtteilschule Eidelstedt
Kulturagenten für Kreative Schulen
funded by
Ministry of Culture and Media
Bezirksamt Altona
Behörde für Schule und Berufsbildung, Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung Hamburg


the project

the 2017 program


contact · kontakt













NEWS 2017
terra incognita
Stadtteilarchiv Ottensen
2nd June - 20th August
Invisble Heritage: Transfer 2017
Monica Marin, Johanna Bermúdez-Ruiz, Gerville R. Larsen
Kunsthaus Hamburg
Mo 12th June 7 p.m.
How Can We Reshape the Colonial Narrative?
Jeannette Ehlers
Stadtteilarchiv Ottensen
Tu 20th June 7 p.m.
space installation
exhibition opening
Joe Sam-Essandoh
Altonaer Museum
We 21st June 7 p.m.
cinema film by
Raoul Peck
3001 Kino
Tu 27th June 7 p.m.
Sunday in the
Altonaer Museum
Activist & Agitator: Ten Years International
Slavery Museum in Liverpool
Altonaer Museum
Su 17th September
4 p.m.
Program in German language