Raoul de Jong in De Haagse Hogeschool
Interview met de schrijver van o.a. 'Jaguarman' en Boekenweekessay 'Boto Banja'.
Raoul de Jong was the interview guest of The Lighthouse/De Haagse Hogeschool and the Winternachten festival on Thursday afternoon 13 April 2023. In the conversation (free entrance), the writer sppke about his novel Jaguarman - adventure novel and hommage to Suriname, the land of his father - and his Boekenweek essay Boto Banja - about descendants of enslaved people claiming their place in the world as writers. The interview took place from 4 to 5 PM at the Speakers' Corner of De Haagse Hogeschool, Johanna Westerdijkplein in The Hague (next to Hollands Spoor railway station). Interviewer was Aaron Bangudi, a student of the Haagse Hogeschool's European Studies course.
In 2023, it will be 150 years since the Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname. Winternachten festival gives writers and poets the floor to talk about the traces of colonialism, slavery and indentured labour in language, stories and poems: on Thursday 13 April (16:00-17:00) in a conversation with Raoul de Jong in De Haagse Hogeschool, and on Sunday 16 April in Theater aan het Spui with the programmes Verhalen die verbinden (14:30-17:00, Dutch spoken) and All the World's Excuses (19:30-22:00, English spoken).
Thursday 13 April 2023, 16:00-17:00: Raoul de Jong in De Haagse Hogeschool
Raoul de Jong (Rotterdam, 1984) writes novels, literary nonfiction and essays in publications such as Vrij Nederland, Het Parool and NRC Handelsblad. He received the Dick Scherpenzeel Prize for his novel Stinknegers (2006), in which the main character travels solo through West Africa. He also published, among others, Het leven is verschrikkulluk (2005), It's Amaaazing (2006), Miracoloso (2008), De grootsheid van het al (2013) and Dagboek van een puber (2018). In Jaguarman; Mijn vader, zijn vader en andere Surinaamse helden (2020), a mix of fiction, nonfiction and travelogue, he speaks to archaeologists, dance teachers and winti priests in Suriname, and gets to know Surinamese writers, thinkers and resistance heroes such as Anton de Kom, Papa Koenders and Bram Behr. He wonders why it is that their voices have often been hushed up and forgotten until now. De Jong is co-creator of the collection Dat wij zongen: twintig Caraïbische schrijvers om nooit te vergeten (2022) and received the Anna Blaman Prize in 2022 for his entire oeuvre. He is working on the script for a film about the Surinamese anti-colonialist, writer and resistance fighter Anton de Kom. Together with Noraly Beyer, he makes The Correspondent podcast Tigri Tories (2023) about Surinamese writers everyone should read. 2023 published his Boekenweek essay Boto Banja of: het geheime genootschap der dansende schrijvers.
Sunday afternoon 16 April 2023, 14:30-17:00 in Theater aan het Spui: Verhalen die verbinden with a.o. Astrid H. Roemer and Tessa Leuwsha
The Winternachten festival programme Verhalen die verbinden explored Dutch colonial history in our literature, language and music. Prominent Surinamese authors Astrid H. Roemer and Tessa Leuwsha talked to Maria Vlaar and Fiep van Bodegom respectively about the meaning of 150 years of abolition of slavery for themselves, their country, their families and their books. Both published new books in 2023: Astrid H. Roemer published the novel DealersDochter, Tessa Leuwsha published De wilde vaart: op zoek naar de veerkracht van Suriname.
Authors Tessa Leuwsha and Daphne Huisden read from their contributions to Dat wij zongen (2022, edition: Das Mag), the collection in which twenty prominent writers of today speak out for a Caribbean author of the past who inspired them personally.
Singer Angel ArunA performed her own work, and poetry by poet and singer-songwriter Raj Mohan in Sarnámi. Also performing were soprano Lucretia Starke and countertenor Arturo den Hartog, accompanied by six musicians from ensemble Holland Baroque.
The talks and performances in Zaal 1 were followed in the theatre foyer by a short follow-up programme with contributions and readings by Rabin Baldewsingh, writer and, since 2021, National Coordinator against Discrimination, among others. Presentation: Sarita Bajnath.
Sunday evening 16 April 2023, 19:30-22:00 at Theater aan het Spui: All the World's Excuses with Caleb Azumah Nelson, David Diop, Chika Unigwe, Neske Beks and others
In the Winternachten festival programme All the World's Excuses, prominent authors Chika Unigwe (US, a.o. On Black Sisters' Street), David Diop (France, International Booker Prize-winner for At Night All Blood is Black) and Caleb Azumah Nelson (UK, a.o. the exceptionally well-received debut novel Open Water) talked about the global traces of slavery and how this permeates our current society, literature and their books. They addressed (post)colonialism, migration and identity formation. And, of course, they read from their own work. Writer Astrid H. Roemer and poet Radna Fabias also contributed with readings from their work.
This program was English spoken.
Furthermore, writer Neske Beks (Belgium) talked about how her new book De kleine Morrison, een wegwijzer in het lezen van haar werk vanuit Zwart perspectief (2023) relates to the theme of All the World's Excuses, and whether this also applies to authors from the Netherlands or Flanders with roots in former colonies.
Singer Angel ArunA performed her own work, and poetry by poet and singer-songwriter Raj Mohan in Sarnámi.
About The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse is a platform for students of De Haagse Hogeschool with activities on current and social issues and global issues. It offers activities such as lectures, discussion and debate, workshops, exhibitions, films and documentaries. The Lighthouse's events take place in and around the central courtyard of De Haagse Hogeschool's building at Johanna Westerdijkplein, right next to Hollands Spoor station, in The Hague. All events are free for all those interested.