‘This Land is My Land’ was the theme of De Facto Live #6 in a sold out Roode Bioscoop. An evening with talks, art and music about curious borders and contested territories. From territorial claims set in stone to tattooed bellies and from the Kurdish cause to colonial residues in names, it was a great evening.
De Facto’s own Floor Koomen delved into the story of the Black Hills in the United States. This area has a long history of meaning and claims. For the Native Americans of the Lakota nations, the Black Hills are a sacred space and became symbolic for the wrongdoing by settlers by buying land that wasn’t for sale. Descendents of settlers made their mark on the landscape by cutting out the rocks to form the faces of four important presidents of the United States of America. In reaction, a new project to cut out a huge statue of Native American icon Crazy Horse has started, and is in itself also not free of disputes. Singer-songwriter Dusty Stray (Jonathan Brown) accompanied these stories about the Black Hills with music and even some childhood confessions.
From territorial claims set in stone, we went to political use of the traditional Cyrillic script. From flags from the front in Ukraine to tattooed bellies, these Cyrillic signs are intended to express domination of Slavic culture. Designer Inna Kochkina took us to the past and present day use of the the Cyrillic alphabet and how it is used to dominate former members of the USSR.
After the break, documentary maker Reber Dosky took us to the unrecognized state of Kurdistan with some fragments of his impressive documentaries. By using his camera as his Kalashnikov, he is stepping in his grandfather’s footsteps, a freedom fighter for Kurdistan who lost his life doing so. Jorie Horsthuis interviewed him about the twists and tangles the Kurdistan people are in and the practicalities of working in an area that is not being recognized as a separate state. His prizewinning documentary Sidik and the Panther can be watched online, as is the impressive Radio Kobani (only after 8pm), his latest film Daughters of the Sun will be on NPO in August.
And of course, there was also a quiz by Suzanne Hendriks, designed specifically for all people who love maps, stamps and geographic and/or nerdy facts. Topics went from colonial residual names like Greenland and Madagaskar to twinning up with non-existing states, and the winning team took home herbs from the non-recognized state of Somaliland by making a very accurate guess about the number of kilometers between Amsterdam and Oranjestad.
De Facto Live #7 will be organized on 20 September at de Roode Bioscoop, with the theme ‘When Nature Calls’. Join us!