Arjan took these bricks from his own Museo Labizjan in Tera Kòrá. They look quite ordinary but that is nothing less than an optical illusion.

“These bricks were made in the IJssel region in the Netherlands and were important goods for transatlantic trade, probably in the 18th century. They were crucial for the Dutch trade triangle between the Netherlands, West-Africa and the Caribbean in which they alternately loaded their ships with cargo and enslaved people.”

“The bricks came to Curaçao in the ships of the West Indische Compagnie where they served as ballast. The weight of the bricks kept the ships stable in the restless Atlantic Ocean. Here the bricks were used for the construction of forts and colonial buildings in the city. On the way back to Holland the ships carried salt that was produced by enslaved Africans in the salt pans. The salt was essential back then as it was used for food conservation.”

Arjan got these bricks from an acquaintance in Bandabou. Another optical feature of the bricks: IJssel bricks are never identical. Their yellow color is due to the calcium-rich clay that they are made with.”

“They were crucial for the Dutch trade triangle.”