From Past to Present Tense
With: Quinsy Gario, Rudsel Martinus, Nancy Jouwe, Anousha Nzume
Location: IMPAKT main programme online
The Netherlands has tended to downplay the colonial legacy of its once vast mercantile capitalist empire in favour of its historical status as the birthplace of liberalism, yet old ways of thinking persist in innumerable ways, from the jokes we hear, the stories we are told, to the folk wisdom of “spreuktegeltjes”. While the country has undergone substantial political and demographic transformations, reflections on the question of national identity have often been parochial as opposed to cosmopolitan, especially compared to some of its neighbours. This event stages a screening and dialogue on Dutch identity with a particular focus on the value of symbols and storytelling from histories and perspectives that may not typically receive the attention that they are due.
IMPAKT has the pleasure to host the online premiere of Karnaval 1983, a video work by artist Rudsel Martinus. The screening will be followed by a discussion between Quinsy Gario, Rudsel Martinus, Nancy Jouwe (BAK Utrecht, Mama Cash) and Anousha Nzume (Dipsaus, author of Hallo witte mensen).
Karnaval 1983 (NL/CW 2020) by Rudsel Martinus
In the summer of 2019 Quinsy Gario and Glenda Martinus, his mother, went to St. Maarten and Curaçao to produce new work. In Curaçao Rudsel Martinus, his uncle, gave him a bag of Super 8 film shot by him. The footage shows Martinus’ burgeoning family in the 1980’s Netherlands, his studio space at the art academy he was studying at the time, family members on Curaçao at the end of the 1970’s and the beginning of the 1980’s. It also included rare footage from the second and last Caribbean Carnival in 1983 in Utrecht. The footage shows a unity of people from the islands that have continued Dutch occupation in common and who were about to lose that unity. The process of the dismantling of the political entity under which they were grouped since 1954 was already underway with Aruba about to gain a status aparte in 1986. This made it a country within the country. Now looking back at this moment in 2020, ten years after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles as a political entity, the video offers a vision for a decolonial future. One in which the relationship between the islands isn’t solely centered on Dutch occupation but on cultural ties and migration histories.
In the conversation with Nancy Jouwe and Anousha Nzume we will touch upon decolonisation, Black cultural production, Blackness in the Dutch context, intersectionality and much more.
This event is part of the new IMPAKT series: The Grand Narrative. In The Grand Narrative IMPAKT will unpack the kind of new insurgent grand narratives that are challenging the long-held “business-as-usual” assumptions of 20th century liberalism, whether in politics, art or pop culture, and show that narratives remain the most powerful technique of making sense of reality.
As part of this series IMPAKT will open its new exhibition, Abducting Europa, on Friday August 7th.
Quinsy Gario― Speaker
Quinsy Gario is an award-winning performance poet and visual artist from Curaçao and St. Maarten. His work centers on decolonial remembering and unsettling normalisation of colonial practices. Gario's most well-known work is Zwarte Piet Is Racisme (2011–2012) and Action Image (2013-2014). He has an academic background from Utrecht University in media studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies and is a graduate of the Master Artistic Research program of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Gario received among others the Black Excellence Award 2016 and The Kerwin Duinmeijer Award 2014. He is a 2017 Humanity in Action Detroit Fellow, a 2017/2018 BAK Fellow, a 2019/2020 APASS researcher and in October will be a Critical Studies Research Fellow at Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.
Rudsel Martinus― Speaker
Rudsel Martinus is a visual artist and arts educator. He was born in 1956 in Curacao (the former Netherlands Antilles). He studied at Nimeto-Utrecht at the Painting Department from 1977 to 1981, drawing and handicraft at Sol-Utrecht from 1982 to 1987. And he also 1e graads art teacher and art history at the Amsterdam Academy of the Arts from 1987 to 1989. He was the acting director of the Pedagogische Akademie in Curaçao from 1989 to 1999. From 1993 until 2009 he taught drawing and crafts at the Educational Academy of Curaçao. And from 2009 until his retirement in 2016 he was an Arts department faculty member at the University of Curaçao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez. He has exhibited in Great Britain, The Netherlands and Curaçao. In 2019 he exhibited alongside his family in the Van Abbemuseum for Positions #5.
Nancy Jouwe― Speaker
Nancy Jouwe (Delft, 1967) is a cultural historian and works as a freelance researcher, public speaker, publicist and teacher. She teaches at Amsterdam University College and the Utrecht School of the Arts and conducts research for public history project Mapping Slavery. She (co-) published articles and books on postcolonial cultural and social movements and three guides on Dutch history of slavery. The publication Slavernij in oost en west (Spectrum 2020), of which she is co-editor, and A Gendered Empire. (Lost, 2020) of which she is editor, will be released in the fall.
Anousha Nzume― Speaker
Anousha Nzume was born in Moscow. Her mother is Russian and her father is from Cameroon. She grew up in Amsterdam. After drama courses in the Netherlands and New York, she played in various television and theater productions. She participated in Koefnoen and regularly joins as a columnist “Druktemaker" for the radio program De Nieuws BV. Her book De Mama Match, met Tanja Jess, was published in May 2014. Since 2009, Anousha has become an integral part of the debate about racism in the Netherlands. She was one of the women at the Table of 5 for a month, the most talked-about talk show ever. She is active in the movement against Zwarte Piet, and advocates adapting the racist caricature. Her book Hallo witte mensen (Hello White People) was released in 2017, which caused quite a stir and quickly appeared in the Bestseller Top 60. Her second book Hoe was het vandaag (How Was It Today?) In which she addresses the unequal opportunities in education. She regularly gives lectures, is chair, moderator and debate leader, co-presenter and founder of Dipsaus, the fortnightly podcast by and for women of color and anyone interested in a different sound.