In 2021 it was exactly 70 years ago 12500 Moluccan people were shipped to the Netherlands, never to return to their homeland. Several initiatives were started to shed light on this story. So did the Moluccan community in Culemborg. They asked me to help set up a talkshow. The idea started amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial question was to facilitate a skype/zoom call with some notable people in the community and talk about the past, present and future of our community. Together with our team we turned this in a talkshow with a live audience in our local theatre. I was responsible for everything technical, from camera angles to livestreaming. I used all my skills from design to filming theatre shows and from animation to cocreation to turn an idea into more than they even aimed for. With help from the local broadcaster we were able to livestream a talkshow filled with stories and music.
I filmed and edited the interview with Paul Souhuwat, one of the few remaining elders that came to the netherlands 70 years ago. I also developed a visual style for the bumpers and the big screen in the theatre. The aim was to incorporate 70 years of history into those animations without using several well known videos and without it being to melancholic or negative. This was a great challenge for me as the Moluccan Historical Museum granted me access to their archives. I dove into an archive of thousands of pictures and videos. I found pictures of family members, no one in our family had ever seen. I saw Culemborg grow from meadows to a city. And I saw 70 years culture develop in their own way.
At times it was hard not to be too cliché as I know our target audience loves bold and clear symbolism. I put the symbolism in the way I presented the content. Instead of begging for a place at the table we created our own table and we presented history through our own unique frame. Thats why all content is contained within a frame. We follow a dotted line. It stands for the journey our elders have made and the journeys we have yet to embark on. As an island people water is always of importance, be it the sea or the three rivers that sprout at the most sacred place on our mother island. The stories I presented through pictures behave like a liquid, like water. They lay on top of our historical journey for stories are the only way our culture has been able to survive into the future.