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Sunny Bergman

Sunny Bergman | B-Unlimited 8 mei 2019 - foto Merlijn Doomernik
Sunny Bergman | B-Unlimited 8 mei 2019 - foto Merlijn Doomernik

(Netherlands, 1972) is a documentarian, director and programmer for the VPRO network as well as a writer, activist and actor. From a young age, she has questioned what is considered normal in terms of lifestyle as well as skin colour, sex and beauty. These themes are reflected in her programs and documentaries. Her much-discussed films include Beperkt Houdbaar (Limited Shelf-Life, 2007) about current beauty ideals, and Sletvrees (Slut Fear, 2013), in which she investigates (female) sexuality and liberation. Her documentary Zwart als roet (Black as Soot, 2014), a critical look at the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas, also provoked much debate. Her 2019 film Man Made investigates the phenomenon of masculinity -- what is it, in fact, what kind of stereotypes express it, and how do men suffer from such ideas? Bergman studied philosophy and politics in York, England, her mother's country of origin.

(WN 2020)

Archive available for: Sunny Bergman

  • Winternachten 2020 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Image-makers and image-breakers

    Decolonize the Mind 3: How does the process of decolonization unfold in the living room of the average television watcher, in the established historiography at universities, and in youth literature?

    During the Friday Night Unlimited program, several events will focus on the decolonization of the mind. How free is our mind, what does freedom mean, and are we truly free, or caught in the framework of our culture, society and history? This theme is partly based on the essay collection Decolonizing the Mind by the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o, in which he discusses colonized language and how its influence is still notable. Since he believes that language plays a constructive role in culture, history and identity, he arguest for "linguistic decolonization".

    A discussion between documentarian, writer and journalist Sunny Bergman, historian and lecturer at Leiden University Karwan Fatah-Black, and children's book writer and illustrator Mylo Freeman, best known for his Princess Arabella picture book series.

  • Rage Becomes Her - Soraya Chemaly en Sunny Bergman over vrouwen, ongelijkheid en de waarde van woede

    Rage Becomes Her - Soraya Chemaly and Sunny Bergman on Women, Inequality and Anger

    With: Mirthe Frese, Soraya Chemaly, Sunny Bergman

    American author and activist Soraya Chemaly and Dutch documentary filmmaker Sunny Bergman entered into a conversation about anger as a tool for positive change.
    Chemaly wrote the international bestseller Rage Becomes Her, and we know Sunny Bergman from her provocative documentaries like Man Made, Our Colonial Hangover, and Sletvrees.
    "Women are angry, and it isn't hard to figure out why," Chemaly says. They are underpaid, thwarted, diminished, and overworked. Assertive women are labeled bitches, while expressive women are considered too emotional. If they have an opinion, they best keep it to themselves. Chemaly not only believes that women's anger is justified, but also that it can be a powerful tool for positive change. She calls it a force for creation, the best weapon against oppression. In early April, meanwhile, Sunny Bergman released her documentary on masculinity, Man Made, to great media fanfare. In one double interview (alongside comedian Theo Maassen) for the Volkskrant newspaper she explained why she made the film now: "At this point, I thought it was high time to address men: 'If you don't change, we cannot make society a better place for our children.'"

    This event was conducted in English.

    Event curated by Ilonka Reintjens (Writers Unlimited)
    Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum Books