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Frank Martinus Arion

Frank Martinus Arion - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Frank Martinus Arion - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Curaçao, 1936) studied Dutch Language and Literature at Leyden University. He lectured at Amsterdam University and from 1975 to 1981 taught at a teacher training college in Surinam. After that he returned to Curaçao to be appointed head of the Instituto Lingkwistiko Antiano. He founded a Papiamento secondary school based on humanistic principles: the Kolegio Erasmo. He writes stories, essays, poetry and novels. His successful debut novel Dubbelspel (Double Play, 1973) is presently being adapted for the screen. Following Dubbelspel the novels Nobele wilden (Noble savages, 1979) and De laatste vrijheid (The last freedom 1995) appeared, which won him the Cola Debrot Prize in 2001. In November 2001 the collection of stories De eeuwige hond (The eternal dog) appeared. His latest novel De deserteurs (The deserters) was published in 2006.

(WIN 2001)

Archive available for: Frank Martinus Arion

  • Antillen 2012

    Krusa Laman - Villa Maria Curaçao

    With: Cathleen Giterson, David Van Reybrouck, Favell Maduro, Frank Martinus Arion, Grupo Serenada, Guineta de Palm, Helon Habila, Lucille Berry-Haseth, Merietza Haakmat, Petina Gappah, Rodaan Al Galidi

    A wonderful evening full of stories, poems and songs in a beautiful open air theatre in Curaçao, Villa Maria. Merietza Haakmat & Favell Maduro will be the MC's for the Belgian writer David van Reybrouck, the poet from Curaçao Lucille Berry-Haseth, writer Petina Gappah from Zimbabwe, the singers of Serenada, the stories by Guineta de Palm, writer Helon Habila from Nigeria, author Cathleen Giterson from Curaçao and poet Rodaan Al Galidi from The Netherlands. All authors will perform in their own language. Translations to English and Papiamentu will be projected on screen simultaneously.

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 2

    Changá: The great Dubbelspel (Double Play) Translation Game

    Finally the great Curaçaoan novel Dubbelspel (Double Play) by Frank Martinus Arion has appeared in Papiamento. Tonight we'll test the knowledge of Papiamento of the Curaçaoans, Bonaireans and Arubans living in the Netherlands. How to translate the Dutch of the novel into Papiamento? Translator Lucille Berry-Haseth had to make a number of difficult choices. The prominent Papiamento speakers Erik Molina, Olga Orman, Igma van Putte en Gilbert Wawoe, the audience and the writer himself will play the great Double Play translation game, hosted by Ruben Severina. Members of the audience can win prizes in this translation game by giving the correct translation of some tricky sentences. Papiamento expert Igma van Putte leads the jury end explains the choices the translator had to make. Changá!

  • World Speakers 21 november '06

    Living Apart Together - Education and multiculturalism in The Netherlands

    With: Fouad Laroui, Frank Martinus Arion, James Cummins, Louk de la Rive Box

    The second in a series of three panel discussions on the future of a multicultural Dutch society. The Dutch educational situation will be the topic of this evening's discussion. The Dutch education system is starting to experience problems brought about by changing population dynamics. Is the current situation of education in the Netherlands sufficiently geared to our multicultural future? Writer and educational reformer Frank Martinus Arion (Curaçao), professor Jim Cummins (Canada), renowned for his studies in minority education, and professor in International Cooperation Louk de la Rive Box (The Netherlands) search for three commandments for successful education in a Dutch future multicultural society. The moderator of this evening is Dutch/Moroccan writer Fouad Laroui. The panel discussion is in English.

    The World Speakers series brings together prominent minds from the worlds of science and art. It is jointly organized by the Institute of Social Studies and Winternachten.

    Tickets: Korzo theater, Prinsestraat 21, Den Haag - 070 3637540 -

  • Winternachten 2006

    VPRO O.V.T. - live from Winternachten

    With: Breyten Breytenbach, Frank Martinus Arion, Mathijs Deen, Merietza Haakmat en Hershel Rosario, Paul van der Gaag

    The final sounds of Winternachten 2006 come from cafe brasserie Dudok on sunday morning, during a live broadcast of O.V.T., the historical VPRO radio programme. This edition focusses on literature. One of the literary subjects is the history of the Netherlands and the anti apartheid struggle. With the presence of the South African poet Breyten Breytenbach. The writer from Curaçao Frank Martinus Arion talks about his new historical novel De deserteurs (The deserters) and about Uncle Tom's cabin , the novel that initiated the movement to abolish slavery in the United States. Accompanied by guitarist Hershel Rosario, Marietza Haakmat will sing Antillean songs. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006

    The language conflict - a debate on language policy in Surinam, the Antilles and the Netherlands

    With: Drisana Deborah Jack, Frank Martinus Arion, Liesbeth Koenen, Rappa, Ronald Severing, Ruben Severina

    Papiamentu, Papiamento, Sranantongo, Sarnami, English, Dutch... The languages of the Antilles and Surinam are under pressure. What is the status of Papiamentu on Curaçao and Bonaire, of Papiamento on Aruba and English on St Martin? And what about Surinam, where Dutch is the official language, but where everybody speaks Sranantongo and the language of the largest group of inhabitants (the Hindustani) is Sarnami?

    A strong language policy is missing on the Antilles and in Surinam, and therefore Dutch remains the technical and official language. In the Netherlands the Dutch language is under pressure from the increasing amount of English words that find their way into everyday life and education. Another threat is the growing interest for regional languages. There is no strong language policy in the Netherlands. Is the status of the Dutch language stronger in Surinam and on the Antilles than in the Netherlands? The panel members will discuss this amongst themselves and with the audience. With Liesbeth Koenen (Dutch linguist), Rappa (writer and teacher of Dutch in Paramaribo), Drisana Deborah Jack (poet and artist from St Martin), Ronald Severing (director of the FPI, foundation for language planning on Curacao) and his fellow islander the writer Frank Martinus Arion. Panel chairman is Ruben Severina. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Film choice of Frank Martinus Arion

    "Read the book before it's destroyed by Hollywood!" Authors and the filming of books are at odds with one another. The Curaçaon author Frank Martinus Arion awaits with a certain amount of scepticism for the filming of his masterpiece Dubbelspel (Double play) . "Film assumes the necessity of amusement and is not concerned about consistency in portraying reality." This evening he philosophizes about the ideal filming of a book. He illustrates his arguments with film fragments of successsful and less successful attempts. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    The remake of Uncle Tom's cabin

    "Aha, you must be the lady who started the civil war and has abolished slavery", said president Lincoln at the time to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's cabin. Can literature have such an important role? When history has overtaken fiction, as is the case in this novel, must a novel be adapted to make it more relevant? Writers Frank Martinus Arion, Vamba Sherif and Christine Otten attempt this. They rewrite parts of Uncle Tom's cabin and explain why their version is better suited to the modern reader than the original. Panel chairman is Pieter Steinz. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Colonial history of the East and West

    Frank Martinus Arion (1936, Curacao) en Eka Kurniawan (1975, Indonesia) met each other last summer during the Winternachten tour of Indonesia. Despite different generations and continents they found in each other a common interest, that of colonial history. Chaired by Chris Keulemans, they talk about the way they give the history a place in their work by using fact and fiction in a playful, ironic way. Frank Martinus Arion reads from his new novel De deserteurs (The deserters), about the struggle against slavery. Eka Kurniawan acquaints us with his historical novel Cantik itu luka (The wounded beauty), a story that takes place in the declining days of the Dutch East Indies and up to the recent past of Indonesia. English spoken.

  • Indonesië 2005

    Universitas Indonesia - optreden voor studenten Nederlands

    With: Antjie Krog, Ellen Ombre, Frank Martinus Arion, Ramsey Nasr

    Als afsluiting van de tournee in Indonesië traden de vier schrijvers op voor studenten van de vakgroep Nederlands van de Universitas Indonesia, in Depok, bij Jakarta. De studenten hadden een programma voorbereid, waarbij ook zij literair werk voordroegen in het Nederlands en Afrikaans. Na hun optredens gingen de schrijvers in op vragen uit de zaal.

  • Indonesië 2005

    Winternachten Overzee in het Erasmushuis

    With: Antjie Krog, Ellen Ombre, Frank Martinus Arion, Ramsey Nasr, Richard Oh

    Het laatste openbare optreden in deze tournee was in het Erasmushuis, het culturele centrum van de Nederlandse Ambassade in Jakarta. Hier traden alleen de vier voor Winternachten meereizende schrijvers op. Ze droegen voor uit hun werk en werden  geïnterviewd door schrijver en uitgever Richard Oh. De schrijvers lazen hun gedichten en proza-fragmenten in hun eigen taal, terwijl de Indonesische vertaling simultaan werd geprojecteerd. De populaire muziekgroep Krakatau trad voorafgaand aan het programma en na de pauze op.

  • Indonesië 2005

    Winternachten in Teater Utan Kayu - Jakarta (3)

    With: Ellen Ombre, Frank Martinus Arion, Ramsey Nasr

    Op de laatste avond van het driedaagse literatuurfestival in Teater Utan Kayu traden Ellen Ombre, Frank Martinus Arion en Ramsey Nasr op met  het Royke Kaopaha ensemble, Iswadi Pratama, de Turkse schrijfster Asli Erdogan, de Amerikaanse auteur Robert Olen Butler, Landung Simatupang en de Australische dichteres Jan Cornall.

  • Indonesië 2005

    Winternachten in Teater Utan Kayu - Jakarta (2)

    With: Antjie Krog, Frank Martinus Arion, Ramsey Nasr

    Op de tweede avond van het festival in Teater Utan Kayu traden Ramsey Nasr, Frank Martinus Arion en Antjie Krog op met het Royke Kaopaha Ensemble, Radhar Panca Dahana, Budi Darma, Arswendo Atmowiloto, de Turkse schrijfster Asli Erdogan, N. Riantiarno en de Amerikaanse auteur Robert Olen Butler.

  • Indonesië 2005

    Winternachten Overzee in Bandar Lampung - Sumatra (2)

    With: Ellen Ombre, Frank Martinus Arion

    Op de tweede avond in Bandar Lampung traden Ellen Ombre en Frank Martinus Arion op met Humaidi Abbas, Jimmy Maruli Alfian, Tan Lioe Ie, Martin Aleida, Inggit Putria Marga, de Amerikaan Robert Olen Butler en de Australiërs Jan Cornall en Lauren Williams.

  • Indonesië 2005

    Winternachten Overzee in Bandung

    With: Antjie Krog, Frank Martinus Arion, Ramsey Nasr

    De tournee van Winternachten startte in Bandung, met optredens op twee avonden. Op deze eerste avond  traden drie van de vier voor Winternachten meereizende schrijvers op. Andere optredenden waren de Indonesiërs Soni Farid Maulana, Nur Wahida Idris, A.S. Laksana, Kurnia Effendi, de Australische Jan Cornall en de KeTUK Group.

  • Antillen 2003

    Krusa Laman - Curaçao - writers evening

    With: Barche Baromeo, Changa Hickinson, Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Gibi Bacilio, Laura Quast, Lupe Reyes, Nelleke Noordervliet, Rayda Jacobs, Roland Colastica, Sitok Srengenge

    An evening with readings by writers and poets from South Africa, Suriname, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. With a performance by the Surinamese jazz-singer Denise Jannah, accompanied by local musicians. Jannah sang poems from Suriname, the Antilles and South Africa, accompanied by the Curacaoan guitarist Pierre Dunker and percussionist Ernie Gregorio . The programme was presented by Roland Colastica.

  • Antillen 2003

    Krusa Laman - Curaçao - opening evening

    With: Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Nelleke Noordervliet, Rayda Jacobs, Roland Colastica, Sitok Srengenge

    In co-operation with Teatro Luna Blou. Frank Martinus Arion, writer from Curaçao, lead a discussion on the theme 'from fact to fiction', with writers Cynthia McLeod (Suriname), Rayda Jacobs (South-Africa) and Nelleke Noordervliet (Netherlands). These writers, and the Indonesian Sitok Srengenge, read from their work. Also a performance of the Surinamese jazz-singer Denise Jannah, accompanied by the Curaçaoan guitarist Pierre Dunker and percussionist Ernie Gregorio. Jannah sang poems from Suriname, the Antilles, the Netherlands and South-Africa. Presented by Roland Colastica.

  • Antillen 2003

    Crossing the Seas - Sint Maarten

    With: Changa Hickinson, Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Ian Valz, Joy Reiph-Arnell, Lyzanne Charles, Nelleke Noordervliet, Rayda Jacobs, Sitok Srengenge

    An evening with readings by writers and poets from South Africa, Suriname, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. With a performance by the Surinamese jazz-singer Denise Jannah, accompanied by Anastacia Larmonie. Jannah sang poems from Suiname, the Antilles and South Africa. The programme was presented by Joy Reiph-Arnell.

  • Zuid-Afrika 2002

    Cape Town Festival - Cape Town

    With: Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman, Seno Gumira Ajidarma

    The Cape Town Festival (16 to 24 March 2002) is an annual multidisciplinary festival. This year Winternachten took care of the literary programme: a two day festival called Trade Winds, a sumptuous literary feast with spoken word, music, and video (Passaatwinde - 'n vrolijke fees rondom die gesproke woord, musiek en video).

    The festival offerd - similar to theWinternachten festival in The Hague)-a parallel programme on three stages, withstand-up comedy, video, music, performing poets and discussions with writers. Michaël Zeeman presented a number of talks of the 'Winternachten-writers' with their South African collegues. Henk van Woerden and André Brink discussed 'rewriting history'; Cynthia McLeod met her fellow-writer E.K.M. Dido in a talk about'breaking down stereotypes'. Frank Martinus Arion discussed the subject of 'creolisation and hybridity' with Achmat Dangor andthe Indonesian writer Seno Gumira Ajidarma met his fellow jazzy writer Keorapetse Kgositsile, discussing writing on'jazz and struggle'.

    The VPRO documentary'Korreltjie Niks is my Dood' bySaskia van Schaik onthe South African poet Ingrid Jonker, had its South African premiere, with an introduction by its scenarist Henk van Woerden.

    Jazz singer Denise Jannah sang her poems set to music, accompanied by Cape Town based musicians. Other participating writers and performers were Gcina Mhlope, Jeremy Cronin, Gert Vlok-Nel, Loit Sôls & Jethro, Mark Lottering and Dianna Ferrus. The audience danced into the night withmusic by DJ Jools en DJ Mtone Edjabe.

  • Zuid-Afrika 2002

    Time of the Writer - Durban

    With: Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman, Seno Gumira Ajidarma

    In the festival Time of the Writer (11 to 16 March) in Durban Winternachten presented the evening programme 'Rewriting History - the Dutch Connection'.

    Michaël Zeeman moderated the conversation with the four writers, who share the theme of 'rewriting history'. Jazz singer Denise Jannah performed with South African musicians. She sang love-poems frombSurinamese, Dutch, Afrikaans and Antillian literature, selected for her by the Dutch poetbGerrit Komrij. The South-African writer Nadine Gordimer also performed in this programme, reading from her literary work.

    In this week the four writers, Michaël Zeemanand singer Denise Jannah also gave workshops and readings at universities, schools for journalism and secondary schools in the city and in the townships. They also gave workshops foraspirant writers, and took part in a conference for writers and publishers. Denise Jannah gavea workshop with a youth choir, and presented the results in the festival.

    Winternachten-photographer Serge Ligtenberg joined the group to Durban to teach two young students of photography the skill of theatre photography.

  • Winternachten 2002

    Live Anthology: taboos of love and literature

    With: Antjie Krog, Ayu Utami, Basil Appollis, Ernest Pépin, Fouad Laroui, Frank Martinus Arion, Gerrit Komrij, Manon Uphoff, Michaël Zeeman, Pauline Melville

    'These are the same people who used to think that anything goes and everything should be allowed. Now they want to prohibit everything which they suspect might bring enjoyment to someone else' (Gerrit Komrij).
    Maybe 'taboo' is the most culturally specific notion possible. In the Netherlands, taboos in love or literature seem out of date since the 1960s. But in South Africa, a novel about homosexuality comes as a shock, and a South African makes internationally controversial movies about power, love and violence. Cultures collide when talking about taboos, so this should be a great starting point for a discussion with a collection of internationally renowned authors. This afternoon, eight writers read their favorite fragments from world literature with the theme of the taboo. In the ensuing conversation, the boundaries of culture and religion become apparent. Dutch/English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002

    Wingewest van het geweten 2

    With: André Brink, Cynthia Mc Leod, Frank Martinus Arion, Henk Schulte Nordholt, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman

    In 1998 Winternachten organized a panel-discussion with the same title. During that meeting writers Frank Martinus Arion and Adriaan van Dis formed a committee for the erection of a national slavery-monument. In june 2002 the monument will be unveiled. Time for a second panel-discussion with the writers involved. For whom will this monument be? Do the Dutch have any idea of their history of slave-trading? Is this only a monument for the descendants of the slaves, now living in The Netherlands. A dicussion on historic awareness and the influence of colonial history on the national identity of the Surinamese, Antillians, Indonesians, South-Africans and the Dutch. With writers taking part from the different countries, and the audience participating in the discussion. Moderator was Michaël Zeeman. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 1

    Sermonizing: Frank Martinus Arion

    'Many of the problems of the Antilles would be solved if the men would understand more of female sexuality'. A preach on morals by the writer from Curaçao. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 2

    Every Bakra his Own Mistress

    To add a little color to a very Dutch relation, teacher Theo from the Dutch town Hoorn, begins a relationship with a Surinam woman in Joost Zwagerman's novel De buitenvrouw (The Mistress). Surinam writer and teacher Annel de Noré, Frank Martinus Arion (Curaçao) and Zwagerman discussed these notions with the theme of the novel as a starting point. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 2

    Hidden Hostility

    A monument to remember slavery is an important and sensitive subject matter at the moment, especially for the different (ex-) colonial territories the Caribian. Frank Martinus Arion (Curaçao) is an important spokesman in this matter. With Pauline Melville (born in former British Guyana), author of The Ventriloquist's Tale and Ernest Pépin, from the French colony Guadeloupe, he discussed hidden hostility and the consequences of interfering with tradition. English and French spoken.

  • Tournee NL 2002

    Winternachten Tilburg

    With: Ed van Eeden, Frank Martinus Arion, Joko Pinurbo, Roland Colastica, Ronald Giphart

    "Many of the problems in the Antilles would be solved if men would understand more about female sexuality", says writer Frank Martinus Arion, famous for his novel Double Play. An evening in Bookshop Gianotten on passion and love in literature in Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the Antilles.

  • Tournee NL 2002

    Winternachten Utrecht

    With: Annel de Noré, Ayu Utami, Ed van Eeden, Frank Martinus Arion, Manon Uphoff

    Love builds itself a Hell, in spite of Heaven. This motto of the Surinamese writer Annel de Noré sounds wonderful, but wouldn't we all like to know what that hell would look like? Does the underworld know its limits, geografical and sexual? Does it acknowledge traditions and cultural differences, and, above all, is everyone allowed to do it with everyone else or is this hell a place of sexual abstainers? Four authors from four continents discussed these questions. An evening in Boekhandel Broese, organized in co-operation with Stichting Literaire Activiteiten Utrecht.

  • Winternachten 1999

    Live Anthology

    With: Arahmaiani, Aya Zikken, Breyten Breytenbach, Dan Jacobson, Denis Henriquez, Frank Martinus Arion, Gerrit Komrij, Henk van Woerden, Jit Narain, Michiel van Kempen, Pim de la Parra, Rendra, Rudy Kousbroek, Soli Philander

    The final programme in this festival was a 'live anthology', composed by writers reading their favourite poems and prose-fragments from the literatures of each other's cultures. In this way a colourful anthology was created from Surinamese, Indonesian, Antillian, Dutch and South-African literature.

  • Winternachten 1999 – Winternacht 2

    Surinamese and Papiamentu anthologies

    Jeroen Vullings presented a programme with two anthologists. Michiel van Kempen, editor of an anthology of Surinamese literature, talked to Aart Broek, editor of a recently published anthology of Papiamentu literature. Broek introduced three Antillian authors: Gibi Bacilio, a poet and performer form Curaçao, accompanied by percussionist Xavier Cordoba; Frank Martinus Arion (Curaçao) and the Dutch Aruban writer Denis Henriquez. Michiel van Kempen introduced Antoine de Kom and Jit Narain, from Suriname.

  • Winternachten 1998

    Wingewest van het Geweten

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Etienne van Heerden, Frank Martinus Arion, Gerard van Westerloo, Shrinivási, Toeti Heraty

    A panel discussion of writers from Indonesia, South-Africa, the Antilles and The Netherlands, titled 'Wingewest van het geweten'. Theme was the development of the cultural orientation of the different countries on eachother. During this meeting Frank Martinus Arion and Adriaan van Dis founded a committee to promote the erection of a National Monument for the commemoration of Slavery.

  • Winternachten 1998

    East- and West-Indian Winternight

    With: Aart van Zoest, Arahmaiani, Arthur Japin, Astrid H. Roemer, Basha Faber, Coen Pronk, Cynthia Mc Leod, Frank Martinus Arion, Gamelan Ensemble Widosari, Grupo Zamanakitoki, Helga Ruebsamen, Michaël Zeeman, Monique Hoogmoed, Paula Gomes, Paulette Smit, Radhar Panca Dahana, Rudy Kousbroek, Shrinivási, Toeti Heraty, Warih Wisatsana

    The third edition of the Indische Winternacht, this time from the East and West-Indiest. Apart form artists from Indonesia and The Netherlands, now also writers, musicans and story-tellers from Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles were invited.
    Michaël Zeeman and Aart van Zoest interviewed the participating writers after their performance. They were introduced by Nelleke Noordervliet.
    In the theatre programme: gamelan-music by Ensemble Widosari, stories by Coen Pronk, Moniek Hoogmoed and Paulette Smit and music by Eric Calmes and his Antillian-Dutch band Grupo Zamanakitoki.
    In the film programme unique movies from the Dutch archives were shown: the first documentaries on the Dutch East-Indies, made in the beginning of the 20th century by J.C. Lammers, commissioned by the Colonial Institute. Furthermore the film Faya Lobbi , the classic documentary on Suriname from 1960 by Herman van der Horst, and Ava en Gabriel , the Antilliaanse movie from 1990 by Felix de Rooy and Norman de Palm.