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

my bones."

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.

 

TEAM

JEREMY FLOHR

VISUAL STORYTELLER

Jeremy Flohr is a filmmaker, visual storyteller and audio producer. His work is at the interface of colonial history, personal stories and social themes. He has made films for, among others, New Dutch Connections, National Committee 4 and 5 May, Keti Koti Utrecht and PRIDE. For Mapping Slavery he produced the series Traces of Slavery together with Nancy Jouwe and Babs Gons in 2018. In 2020 he produced the documentary DIASPORA about the current significance of colonial heritage for a young generation with roots in various parts of Indonesia. His work has also been shown in museums such as the Jewish Historical Museum, Museon and The Hague Historical Museum. In co-creation with Read My World, he produces Gentrified Stories, a film project about the consequences of gentrification in various city districts in Amsterdam.

ROBIN  BLOCK

POET & MUSICIAN

Robin Block is a poet, musician, storyteller.

In his work he explores the boundary between language, sound and movement. Based on personal stories, he creates work that touches on the shared history of the Netherlands and Indonesia with the aim of building a bridge between the two countries. He has released several music albums, including the Lagu Rindu EP with songs in Indonesian. In his solo performance Samudra he combines storytelling, music, spoken word and the martial art pencak silat. In October 2019 he released the bilingual poetry collection In Between, Di Antara in co-creation with the Indonesian writer Angelina Enny. He recently started the multimedia performance project Manual For The Displaced about displacement, war and the impact of the colonial past. 

SUZANNE RASTOVAC

HISTORIAN & CURATOR

Suzanne Rastovac is a historian and curator of art & heritage projects. She is co-founder of Beyond Walls. With Beyond Walls she develops and curates public programs & projects within the cultural sector and beyond, like Heritage under Fire and DIASPORA. The combination of history, arts and (visual) storytelling is key to her work.  She collaborated with many different partners such as World Museum Rotterdam, Tropenmuseum, Research Center for Material Culture, Amsterdam Museum, National Committee 4 and 5 May, Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), National Archives, World Cinema Festival and more. She also enjoys moderating programs on important topics like 25 Years after Srebrenica, by Read My World. Her background lies in colonial history and International Relations (BA and MA) with a specialization in colonial and contemporary history of Indonesia. She lived in Malaysia where she completed the minor postcolonial studies at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and developed music education programs for young adults in Java and Bali. Before starting independently she developed and curated public program series and cross-disciplinary projects like Gepeperd Verleden, Blind Spots and Huizen van Aankomst at the Indies Heritage Center.

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Jangan Lupa (still)

Photo by Ezmejpg.com