Siudadanos in Stedelijk Bureau Amsterdam
Dutch Caribbean Video artist and Filmmaker Sharelly Emanuelson presented her two-channel sound and video installation at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, which was recorded during her stay in Sint Maarten. Kamarado, the title of the exhibition, is a curatorial collaboration between Amsterdam and Bombay that brings together a diverse group of artists from various regions of the world. What these participating artists share is an interest in visualizing how political ideas and abstract political forces affect people’s lives, work, and their social interactions. The conceptual core from the exhibition around which all these individual voices and artistic practices revolve is the idea of the comrade, a term that originally meant “one who shares the same room.” Within this framework, a surprising range of historical complexity arises, including some important, yet almost unknown, Dutch figures that made remarkable contributions to world history. The newly commissioned and existing works enter into conversation with each other, deciphering and bringing the ideas and reversals in Kamarado to the fore.
Kamarado, which takes place from the 12th of September till the 8th of November 2015 is the fourth and last collaborative exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum’s Global Collaborations program executed in the museum’s project space, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. In December 2015 Kamarado will travel to Clark House Initiative, Bombay, India in an adapted form, at which time a compendium catalogue covering both exhibitions will be published. During her visit to teach at the University of St Maarten/St Martin Miss Emanuelson made a two-channel sound and video installation that uses several voices, musical genres, and atmospheres. The artist’s installation captures the Caribbean sense of life and the new becoming of (international) relations. Her installations are predicated on months of research into local customs and cultures, and recordings of first- hand accounts in interviews and photography. She explores the expressions and interrelations of the concept of “siudadanos” (meaning “citizens” in Papiamentu), and “comradeships” in the context of St.Maarten, but also in the wider Dutch Caribbean region and its metropole. For this work she spoke to several members of the Sint Maarten community. “When we apply the term comrade,” says the secretary of the Independence for St. Maarten Foundation, Rhoda Arrindell, “we are referring to people who are in a struggle of social justice, so the labor union, the writers; these are the ones who I see using it denoting a struggle for justice. So meaning partner, brother. And by employing the term we become part of the same movement of social justice and we know we can count on each other because we stand for the same thing”. Arrindell is one of the people interviewed by Emanuelson for Siudadanos, her contribution to Kamarado. In Papiamentu, Siudadanos means citizens and relates to the notion of the comrade as it resonates in the Dutch Caribbean. Emanuelson agrees with people like Arrindell and the anthropologist Francio Guadeloupe that struggles for independence or autonomy are inextricably connected to the use of the term comrade in the Caribbean. After the dissolution of the Dutch Antilles in 2010, people in Sint Maarten, where Emanuelson recorded Siudadanos, in the words of Guadeloupe, are grappling “to construct a sense of national unity, an open sense of oneness based upon the recognition of the ever-changing pluriver- sality of the islands’ population.” (KW) Sharelly Emanuelson (b. 1986, NL) is a filmmaker and video artist based in the Dutch Caribbean. She acquired her B.A. in Audiovisual Media from HKU University of the Arts, Utrecht, followed by an M.A. in Artistic Research at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. With her previous video installation “Doh Mix Meh Up” (2014) she won the Master award. Her early documentary film “Su Solo I Playanan” (2010) was screened at several film festivals and public debate platforms and won an audience award at the Africa in the Picture Film Festival (2012).