News! // Theatrical installation Swart Gat/ G̶o̶u̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶E̶e̶u̶w̶ (Dunguu olo - katibo-ten) can be visited this summer in Plein Theater, Bijlmer Parktheater and Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam!

Swart Gat/ G̶o̶u̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶E̶e̶u̶w̶ (Dunguu olo - katibo-ten) is a theatrical installation about Amsterdam's slavery history and the Maroon culture from Suriname. The concept is by Tolin Erwin Alexander, Berith Danse and designer Bartel Meyburg. The theatrical installation, which has not lost any of its urgency since it was started in 2020, has been completed and will start again in the summer of 2021!

The theatrical installation can be visited in the Plein Theater from 17 June (June 19 premiere) to 1 July, Keti Koti month, and from 7 July to 18 July in the Bijlmer Parktheater. The installation can then be seen in Theater Zuidplein in Rotterdam from 30 July to 3 August.

With Swart Gat/ G̶o̶u̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶E̶e̶u̶w̶, Tolin Erwin Alexander and Berith Danse want to draw attention to an underexposed part of Dutch culture and history, that of the Maroons.

The Maroons descend from West Africans who managed to liberate themselves from slave traders in Suriname. They escaped to the Amazon and settled in harmony with the environment. The theatrical installation shows wisdom from a Maroon perspective, such as their vision of freedom, medicinal plants and dealing with death, in relation to today's events.

For Berith Danse, Swart Gat/ G̶o̶u̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶E̶e̶u̶w̶  is the seventh project in the past 18 years on the history of Dutch slavery: “Now that the Rijksmuseum – finally – opens a major overview exhibition on the history of Dutch slavery, with Swart Gat/ G̶o̶u̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶E̶e̶u̶w̶ ̶we want to shine the light on a more specific part of the history in Suriname, that of the freedom fighters Maroons. Through the art of performance, theater and imagination, we open up insights into the subtle workings of exclusion through mainstream thinking and the deep-rooted apartheid that results from it.”

In the installation you are alone and you walk your own path. In the labyrinth, theater and filmmaker Tolin Erwin Alexander takes you from his quarantine to his homeland in the Amazon of Suriname.

Check out our agenda for tickets!

Spoken language: NL



How it started

The installation was set up in the summer of 2020 and opened in the Plein Theater amid the worldwide corona restrictions and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. In June 2020, Tolin Erwin Alexander would be an Artist In Resident at Plein Theater and work in collaboration with Berith Danse on the installation that would be at the Keti Koti Festival in the Oosterpark, the Kwaku in the Nelson Mandela Park and the Moengo Festival in Suriname. .

The lockdown withhold the Artist In Resident from traveling from Ecuador and the festivals were cancelled, but that didn't stop Berith Danse and Tolin Erwin Alexander from making the installation via email, zoom and whatsapp. The starting point was his quarantine and vision on current affairs from the Maroon culture. They collaborated with, among others, designer Bartel Meyburg and video designer Ramon Coelho. In 2021, the installation will be completed under the same conditions and will open in June!

About the makers:

Tolin Erwin Alexander, originally Maroon from Suriname, is a theater and filmmaker (IDFA Documentary Stones Have Laws 2018 and Praise for Freedom – Suriname 2018). His work is typified by making the culture of the Maroons visible in Suriname and beyond through theater and documentaries. He is also involved as artistic director in various art and culture festivals and events at national and international level, such as Literary Festivals, Carifesta, Moengo Festival and Fiesta del Fuego.

Besides director of Plein Theater, Berith Danse is also a theater maker and naturopath. Since 2001 Berith Danse has already conducted an in-depth research into the Dutch Slavery past in Suriname, Ghana, Senegal, Amsterdam and Zeeland and the cultural sources that refer to the true story. Previous theater exhibitions on this subject by Berith Danse include Slavernij Moment Nu in Amsterdam (2003), Zeeuws Slavernij Moment in Zeeland (2005), Slavery Labyrinth at the Keti Koti (2008), Amsterdam; The Swarte Bocht in Amsterdam (2013) and The Voyage of the Hasten Slowly in Amsterdam (2016).

Concept and creators: Tolin Erwin Alexander and Berith Danse
Design and concept: Bartel Meyburg
Video design: Ramon Coelho
Actors on video: Ruth Alexander Sotong, Giovanni Smit
Voice over: Tolin Erwin Alexander
Talking Trees sound: Bert Barten
Props: Monique Koster and Richard Neef
Film fragments: Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan and Dwight Sergio Samson
Show control: Jeffrey Steenbergen
Advice Botany: Tinde van Andel
Campaign image and design: Studio Matusiak
Photos: Eddy Wenting
Production: Plein Theater

With thanks to: Fonds voor Oost, Mondriaan Fonds, Dutch Culture, de Nederlandse Ambassade in Suriname, VSB-fonds, Fonds Cultuurparticipatie, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, BNG Cultuurfonds en Gemeente Amsterdam Stadsdeel Oost

June in Plein Theater

In the month of June, the Plein Theater is all about celebrating the reopening of cultural institutions and the urgent need for encounters, reflection and introspection. In addition to Swart Gat/ G̶o̶u̶d̶e̶n̶ ̶E̶e̶u̶w̶ in the theatre, there are various activities on the square and in the public space, such as Babok's intimate installation performance ReFlex and a walk with plant stories by Annet Breure. The café/restaurant with terrace will also be open!


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