This portrait is based on a photo of an enslaved black child from circa 1880. The boy is being auctioned in Zanzibar (Tanzania). He probably went to Brazil. There it was not until 1888 that slavery was prohibited by law. Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery. When the boy is auctioned, he is strong and powerful. He is also still a child and does not know what to expect. Unfortunately we know that these were not golden times for him.
With this painting I want to remember him, and all children who did not have a life in freedom.
Andra Daans' paintings are all life portraits, drawn and painted by the artist herself. She mainly uses photographic sources, only black and white. Archive photos found on the internet from magazines and newspapers, as well as self-taken snapshots. However, her paintings are never an identical copy of the photos: for example, she cuts out the image and transforms it from black and white into a bright color palette. She uses African patterns and contemporary fabrics to create an informative image of color, shape, and content.