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Diana Ferrus

Diana Ferrus tijdens Winternachten 2005 - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Diana Ferrus tijdens Winternachten 2005 - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Worcester, South-Africa, 1953) is a writer, poet and activist for marginalised African women. She works at the University of West Cape, where she also participates in a Women's Studies course. Ferrus is a member of WEAVE (Women's Education & Artistic Voice Expression), an artist's collective in Capetown. She became well known with her poem Tribute to Sarah Baartman. The poem was translated and included in the French governmental documents that were necessary for the transportation of the remains of Sarah Baartman - in nineteen century Europe known as the Hottentot Venus. The remains left Paris and eventually arrived in South Africa in 2002 where they were buried. Ferrus published her first collection of poetry in the Afrikaans language called 'Ons Komvandaan' ('We come from') in 2006 and was the co-editor for a book about fathers and daughters called, Slaan vir my 'n masker, Vader (Forge Me a Mask, Father). She recently released a cd of poetry with music by the band Mamela, called "Never again", "Nooit weer nie".

(WIN 2009)

Archive available for: Diana Ferrus

  • Turkije 2009

    Presentation of the Kurdish novel Sivane Kurmance

    With: Abdelhay Moudden, Diana Ferrus, Frank Westerman, Lasana M. Sekou

    Hoogtepunt van het bezoek van de schrijvers aan Diyarbakir was de slotavond waarin alle auteurs voorlazen uit de zojuist verschenen eerste editie in het Koerdisch van wat wordt gezien als de eerste Koerdische roman, 'Koerdische herder', van Ereb Semo.

    Met İnci Aral, Markar Esayan Lasana M. Sekou, Diana Ferrus, Abdelhay Moudden, Frank Westerman, Mueyed Teyib Şêrzad Barzanî, Vecdi Erbay, Irfan Babaoğlu, Azad Zal, Evrim Alataş, Kesk müzik grubu, Dengbejler Dicle-Fırat. In aanwezigheid van en deelname van de burgemeester van Diyarbakir. Dhr. Osman Baydemir.

  • Turkije 2009

    Diyarbakir - Sümerpark - debate

    With: Abdelhay Moudden, Diana Ferrus, Frank Westerman, Lasana M. Sekou

    Twee debatprogramma's in Diyarbakir.

  • Turkije 2009

    Dyarbakir - opening programme

    With: Abdelhay Moudden, Diana Ferrus, Frank Westerman, Lasana M. Sekou

    In Diyarbakir traden de auteurs samen op met Turkse, Iraakse en Iraanse auteurs, o.a. Mueyed Teyib, Şêrzad Barzanî, İnci Aral. Arjen Arî, Aslı Erdoğan, Vecdi Erbay, Evrim Alataş, Markar Esayan, en Ayça Damgacı.

  • Turkije 2009

    Istanbul - Winternachten reading

    With: Abdelhay Moudden, Diana Ferrus, Frank Westerman, Lasana M. Sekou

    Voor studenten gaven de schrijvers een lezing in Mavikum Bookshop in Istanbul.

  • Turkije 2009

    Istanbul - Literature Café with Hare - City and the Other

    With: Abdelhay Moudden, Diana Ferrus, Frank Westerman, Lasana M. Sekou

    In het ITEF Festival in Istanbul gingen de schrijvers in gesprek in een literair café, Kaktus Cihangir Café.

  • Suriname 2006

    Gran Gala

    With: Astra Singh, Celestine Raalte, Cynthia McLeod, Diana Ferrus, Dominique Martin, Eddy van der Hilst, Els Beerten, Erich Zielinski, Ismene Krishnadath, Jeffrey Quartier, Manon Uphoff, Shahz, Sweet Melody, Tan Lioe Ie

    Een spetterend Gran Gala in Thalia, met de feestelijke bekendmaking van de winnaars van de schrijffestijnen, de wedstrijden die in het kader van het festival werden uitgeschreven. Onder meer voordrachten van werk van overleden dichters, kabra-gedichten, een soko-psalm van Switi Melodia en voordrachten van een reeks nationale en internationale auteurs. En alle bezoekers werden uitgenodigd om mee te doen met het dictee Sranantongo, dat onder leiding van Eddy van der Hilst en Cynthia McLeod gegeven werd.

  • Suriname 2006

    Bookselling and signsessions

    With: Diana Ferrus, Erich Zielinski, Manon Uphoff, Tan Lioe Ie

    In Eftee Bookshop kwamen de schrijvers bijeen om hun werk te signeren. Hiermee kreeg het publiek de kans om in een ongedwongen sfeer kennis te maken met de auteurs en een blijvende herinnering aan een favoriete auteur aan te schaffen.

  • Suriname 2006

    Oral literature: a versatile tori-neti

    With: Boike Tojo, Diana Ferrus, Elly Purperhart, Fiamba, Sapto Sopawiro, Sombra, Tan Lioe Ie, Tanuya Manichand

    Traditionele vertellers uit verschillende Surinaamse bevolkingsgroepen vertelden hun verhalen, al dansend, pratend, zingend, met of zonder poppen. De Balinese dichter Tan Lioe Ie zong zijn gedichten, Diana Ferrus uit Zuid-Afrika vertelde een oud verhaal uit haar familie. Tot slot een traditioneel Javaans-Surinaams wayangspel. Een afwisselend programma dat werd gepresenteerd door woordkunstenaar Sombra.

  • Suriname 2006

    Literary programme for International Women's Day

    With: Arlette Codfried, Celestine Raalte, Diana Ferrus, Els Beerten, Hillary de Bruin

    In het kader van de internationale dag van de vrouw presenteerde het festival een speciaal programma. De Zuid-Afrikaanse dichteres Diana Ferrus schreef een gedicht over Saartje Baartman, de 'Hottentotvenus', een Zuid-Afrikaanse Khoisan die in de negentiende eeuw als kermisattractie door Europa reisde. Haar skelet, geslachtsdelen en hersenen werden bewaard in een Frans museum. in 2002 werden ze op verzoek van Nelson Mandela teruggebracht naar haar geboorteland en begraven in de Kaap. Diana Ferrus' gedicht, 'A Tribute to Sarah Baartman', speelde een sleutelrol bij het besluit van de Franse regering om de resten van Sarah Baartman vrij te geven voor teruggave aan Zuid-Afrika. Deze avond werd, na enkele voordrachten van Surinaamse schrijfsters, de documentaire 'The Life and Times of Sarah Baartman' van de Zuid-Afrikaanse regisseur Zola Maseko vertoond. Diana Ferrus las haar gedicht en vertelde over de geschiedenis van deze vrouw. Ook in dit programma een voordracht van auteur Arlette Codfried, een bijdrage van Celestine Raalte en een open podium.

  • Suriname 2006

    Opening programme

    With: Alphons Levens, Ashna Phoelsingh, Celestine Raalte, Diana Ferrus, Elly Purperhart, Els Beerten, Erich Zielinski, Guyz Nextdoor, Ifna Vrede, Ismene Krishnadath, Jit Narain, Manon Uphoff, Norma Bouterse, Robin Anoewarte, Roué Hupsel, Soecy Gummels, Sombra, Tan Lioe Ie, Tessa Leuwsha

    De openingsavond van het internationaal literatuurfestival bestond uit korte optredens van een groot aantal schrijvers uit binnen- en buitenland. De muzikale omlijsting was van de groep Guys Next Door. Ismene Krishnadath, voorzitter van de Schrijversgroep '77, opende het festival.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Krusa Laman - Villa Maria

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Jopi Hart, Laura Quast, Mario Kleinmoedig, Merietza Haakmat en Hershel Rosario, Myra Römer, Putu Wijaya

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Mario Kleinmoedig. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their fellow-authors from Curaçao, Philip Rademaker and Laura Quast. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from Saint Martin.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in Papiamentu and English. There is also music in the programme, by the young talented singer Maritza Haakmat.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Krusa Laman - Power to the poets - Teatro Luna Blou

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Gibi Bacilio, Mario Kleinmoedig, Merietza Haakmat en Hershel Rosario, Putu Wijaya

    Power to the poets is the title of an international literary programme with readings and debate, led by Mario Kleinmoedig. The social commitment of the writer and the poet is subject of debates with three authors. Gerrit Komrij from the Netherlands (former Dichter des Vaderlands - inoffical poet laureate- , renowned poet, novelist, columnist, essayist, anthologist and dramaturg). Diana Ferrus from Cape Town, South-Africa, became well-known through her poem on Saartje Baartman - the 'Hottentot-Venus' -  a black South-African woman who was forced to tour in circus in Europe. Her remains were kept in a museum in Paris. In South-Africa a campaign was raised to have her remains buried in her home country after all these years. Diana Ferrus' poem played a major role in this campaign. Drisana Deborah Jack, is a poet from Sint Maarten. Het poems show strong commitment to the future of Sint Maarten independence.  The participant from Curaçao is poet/performer Gibi Bacilio. During this evening there are also readings from two other writers: Putu Wijaya from Indonesia, and the Surinamese/Dutch author Clark Accord. Singer Maritza Haakmat will give a short poetry recital. Al readings of foreign authors will be in their mother tongue. Translations into Papiamentu and English will be projected simultaneously on a screen.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Krusa Laman - Bonaire

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Henri Toré, Linda Coffie, Myra Römer, Putu Wijaya, Tica Sealy-Nicolaas, Tiri Trinidad & Kathleen Thielman-Winklaar

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Tica Sealy-Nicolaas. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their Bonairian fellow-authors Henri Toré and Linda Coffie. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from Saint Martin.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in Papiamento, the language of Aruba. Also in the programma a presentation of Bonairian poety by the local performers Tiri Trinidad & Kathleen Thielman-Winklaar.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Crusa Lama - Aruba

    With: Belén Kock-Marchena, Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Jessica van der Linden, Johnny Scharbaay, Myra Römer, Olga Zaandam-Buckley, Putu Wijaya

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Mirto Laclé. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their Aruban fellow-poets Olga Zaandam-Buckley and Belén Kock-Marchena. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from Saint Martin.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in Papiamento, the language of Aruba. There is also music in the programme, by the Aruban musician  Johnny Scharbaay.

  • Antillen/Aruba 2005

    Crossing the Seas - Sint Maarten

    With: Clark Accord, Diana Ferrus, Drisana Deborah Jack, Gerrit Komrij, Joy Reiph-Arnell, La-Vaune Henry & Mosera, Myra Römer, Papa Mpho, Putu Wijaya, Ruby Bute

    A programme with literature and music from Indonesia, the Netherlands, South-Africa, Suriname, Saint Martin, Curaçao and Aruba, with MC Joy Reiph-Arnell, and musical performance by singer La-Vaune Henry, accopanied by artist and musician Mosera. Six authors travel from island to island in these weeks, for the festival Crossing the Seas. This evening they perform with their Aruban fellow-authors Papa Umpe and Ruby Bute. The Dutch former 'Dichter des Vaderlands (inoffical 'poet laureate') Gerrit Komrij will perform his poems. One of the main writers from Indonesia, Putu Wijaya, wil read one of his wonderful stories. The Dutch/Surinamese novelist Clark Accord - known through his debut-novel De Koningin van Paramaribo (The Queen of Paramaribo) - wil read from his latest novel Tussen Apoera en Oreala (Between Apoera and Oreala). Poet Diana Ferrus comes from Cape Town. She became known through her poem on Saartje Baartman, the  'Hottentot-Venus', a black South-African woman who in the 19th century was forced to travel through Europe as a kermiss-attraction. Myra Römer, born in Curaçao, now lives in The Netherlands. Early she a surprising writers' debut with Verhalen van Fita (Stories of Fita), about a girl growing up in Curaçao in the fifties. Drisana Deborah Jack is a poet from this island.  All foreign authors will read in their mother tongue, while their text is simultaneously projected on a screen in English.

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 1

    VPRO De Avonden - live from Winternachten

    In the second hour of this live broadcast from Winternachten, Wim Brands and Roel Bentz van den Berg present the Dutch poet Alfred Schaffer, Erich Zielinski from Curaçao who made his debut later in life, the South African poet Diana Ferrus and the Dutch writer Thomas Verbogt. Zielinski wil talk about his much praised De Engelenbron (The Angels well), Ferrus will recite some of her Afrikaans poetry, and Alfred Schaffer, who only yesterday re-emigrated from South Africa, will recite some of his poems. De Avonden (The Evenings) is an informative cultural radio programme from the VPRO. It can be listened to on weekdays between 21.00 to 23.00 on 747AM.

    Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Look, a Negro!

    Up until 1997 one could admire a preserved and mounted human being in a museum in the Catalonean town of Banyoles, 'El Negro' was a black South African who, after persistant worldwide protest, was returned and buried in Africa. This little bit of history inspired Frank Westerman to write El Negro en ik (The Negro and me).
    The South African Diana Ferrus wrote a poem about Saartje Baartman, also known as the 'Hottentot venus', a South African Khoisan, who in the nineteenth century travelled through Europa as a fairground attraction. Her skeleton, genitals and brain were kept in a French museum. In 2002, on request of Nelson Mandela, these remains were brought back to her native country and buried in the Cape. How did the white man look upon the black man then, and how does the white man look upon the black man now? Annie M.G. Schmidt's biographer Annejet van der Zijl writes about this matter in her novel Sonny Boy, acclaimed as 'the best novel in 2004'. A discussion about 'us and them', chaired by Noraly Beyer.

    Dutch/Afrikaans spoken