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Saminah - St. Joost Graduation Show 2023
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My ancestors were merely passengers of their own destiny. Can I be the captain of mine?

As someone with a Surinamese-Javanese background who was born and raised in the Netherlands, I’d compare my experience of identity to a lost ship at sea. It’s been unclear to me where family traditions and stories come from and how they relate to a collective cultural heritage.

To explore this absence of knowledge, I navigate through personal and national archives. I extract images from their original context and let them sail in another direction. My work drifts between personal experiences and collective memory, making me aware of the way the past seeps into the present.

In my film “Saminah” I reveal treasures, like family records and vintage footage from Suriname and Indonesia, and emphasise the struggle of exploration, for a voyage will always be full of calm waters and rough seas.

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