QUACO • MY LIFE IN SLAVERY
Quaco – My Life in Slavery is the first major graphic novel about the Dutch history of slavery. It is a reconstruction of the true story of Quaco, the protagonist. Quaco is of Akan birth and came from an area that covers present-day Ghana and Ivory Coast. After his abduction, he was first enslaved in West Africa, then in Suriname and the Netherlands. Quaco was one of the millions of Africans who became victims of the transatlantic slave trade, in which the Dutch were also involved.
Quaco is a tense graphic novel that informs the reader (age 11+) about the Dutch history of slavery through image and text. More knowledge is needed and more stories need telling because, although colonial exploitation and slavery form an integral part of our legacy, this part of history is still often overlooked, also in the current school curriculum.
The English edition of Quaco includes a 15-page information section and is suitable for secondary school students in Key Stage 3. The package includes additional teaching materials and a teachers’ guide with suggestions for four separate sessions.
You can dowload the worksheets and the teachers’ guide free from this website.
THE CREATORS OF THE GRAPHIC NOVEL QUACO
Cartoonist Eric Heuvel, the creator of adventure comics such as January Jones and Bud Broadway, gained international recognition with his educational graphic novels about the Second World War. Over half a million copies of A Family Secret, The Search and The Return found their way into schools worldwide.
In 2012, Heuvel was awarded the prestigious oeuvre prize for graphic novelists, the Stripschapsprijs (Comic Strip Prize), the most prestigious comics award in the Netherlands. His educational comic, Nieuwe vrienden (New Friend) focuses on prejudice and also received an award.
Ineke Mok develops teaching materials on topics such as sexual diversity, racism, and anti-semitism. Together with Els Schellekens, she developed lessons and a teachers’ guide to go with Eric Heuvel’s educational graphic novel The Return.
She is co-author of the real-life story of Jacquelina, slavin van plantage Driesveld (Jacquelina: Slave of plantation Driesveld) (NiNsee/KIT 2010). She also wrote the information booklet for the exhibition Kind aan de ketting – opgroeien in slavernij (Child in Chains – growing up in slavery) (NiNsee 2009, www.kindaandeketting.nl).
With Dineke Stam, she developed Hoezo, Haarlem & de slavernij? (What do you mean, Harlem and slavery?) (2013), which consisted of a city tour, an exhibition, and a set of lectures. Ineke Mok also writes about Quaco on her blog (in Dutch): www.cultuursporen.nl/blog.