Freedom Colonies: the initial resistance, the original safe spaces

Darold Cuba

Learn about the communities of people targeted by Western colonialism’s racialized human rights abuses that resisted and escaped, creating the original “safe spaces” to protect themselves from terrorism.


This installation is a part of INTER\VIEWS: an inter\active oral history exhibition, showcasing multimedia projects and stories recorded by the 2018-2019 cohort of Columbia University’s Oral History MA program. Register here!



Palenques in Colombia, quilombos and mocambos in Brazil, maroons throughout the Caribbean, Latin America, the Great Dismal Swamp region of North America and Asia, “freedom countries” like Haiti, and Liberia, and the numerous "freedmen settlements" across the North American continent, as well as such other communities throughout Africa and Australia. All exist as testament to the resistance people targeted by white supremacy’s racism immediately practiced. An archetype of #TheResistance, these practices have existed since the beginning of Western Colonialism, its mass genocides and the Atlantic Slave Trade.

The first ever Wikipedia Fellow & Wikimedian-In-Residence at Columbia, Darold is a journalist/producer, an alum of the NYT, VICE and TriBeCa Enterprises. His thesis is #MappingFreedom: documenting the “freedom colonies” along Western colonial pathways -a collaboration with the CGUI Lab, where he also serves as a Wikipedia Visiting (Research) Scholar. The founder of WikiHBCU/DIO, the International Association of Freedom Colonies (iAFC) & #HackingRacism, he’s a family rancher & serves in Public Affairs at the Shankleville & Baird historical societies.