Nel Simon – Monument for emancipation
Desenkadená. Emancipation monument by visual artist Nel Simon (Curaçao, 1938). Nel Simon started out as an autodidact artist. He currently lives and works in the Netherlands. Another well known artwork by Nel Simon is the bronze sculpture ‘Mama Africa’ (1999), displayed in Museum Kurá Hulanda in Willemstad.
‘Desenkadená’ is a national monument. This bronze sculpture-group was executed between 1996 and 1998. ‘Desenkadená’ means ‘Unchained’. The scene shows three large figures, two male and one female. Two figures are about to be released from a chain by the figure holding the sledge hammer.
In 2013 Curaçao commemorates 150 years abolition of slavery on July 1st. Abolition is remembered yearly at the emancipation monument by Nel Simon in the Parke di Libertad at the Rif. This park at the seaside has three monuments relating to slavery, the fight for freedom and abolition.
The location of this monument has been declared a ‘Culture of Peace Messenger Site’ by UNESCO, in September 2000.