MANUAL FOR THE DISPLACED
MANUAL FOR THE DISPLACED is a multidisciplinary performance project by spoken word artist Robin Block, visual storyteller Jeremy Flohr
and curator Suzanne Rastovac (from Beyond Walls). Together, and in co-creation with artists of various backgrounds, they explore
the question 'what does it take for me to feel at home?'
Taking inspiration from the shared history of the Netherlands and Indonesia, this project unravels a more universal story:
the theme of displacement and belonging resonates with many people who have a colonial family history, a migration background
or an upbringing between different cultures. What's the impact of war, diaspora and personal stories of resilience? How to develop
a sense of identity and belonging in between flags and countries?
MANUAL FOR THE DISPLACED gives words, sounds, movement and images to these questions. Stay tuned for more chapters soon!
CHAPTER 1. MY BLOOD
MY BLOOD voices the mixed and often contradictory histories that we literally carry in our bodies and bloodlines:
"My blood. It bears the stench of tobacco. My veins branch out over ancient plantations. My muscles mix calmness and violence. My blood carries children belonging to no one. A country both won and lost.
My blood is a lifeline for survival, a curse bottled in
COMING SOON: CHAPTER 2. JANGAN LUPA
JANGAN LUPA ('do not forget') refers to an integration booklet for people that came to the Netherlands after the Indonesian independence.
In a patronizing manner this booklet explains how to become a 'proper' Dutch citizen: how to clean your house, how to peel potatoes, and how to dress for the Dutch winter. Overriding people's own cultures, experiences and identities, it did not provide tools on how to deal with displacement, war trauma, or how to make your new surroundings a home. This video gives voice, sound and movement to the search for belonging, wherever you are.
Bless the Lord, for there is food.
Pale flesh, potatoes, and
there are tricks to peel
the skin off anything.