It wasn’t the best of circumstances for expecting people to leave their homes: At the evening of our info night it was pouring down with rain and the wind was rocking the scaffolding around the Mezrab. When my grumpy self entered the space however, I was welcomed by a wave of Filippino warmth and some guitar sounds, which instantly changed my mood. The Saturay family and their friend Maybel had come from Utrecht by train and were practising a song/ rap/ performance to add to our programme for the night. I was overwhelmed – in my eyes, the evening was already a success.
With surprise I realised that Marakit, who was rapping the English translation of the song that night, had been the very same girl rapping at an Occupy demonstration some months ago, which we had recorded and put on this blog then!
Other highlights of the evening were that almost 30 people attended despite the rain, that we had lots of critical questions and inspiring ideas – even offers to organise fundraising events (e.g. with Filippino food and Kurdish music…).
When we had prepared for the evening, we agreed that one of our aims was to create (more) enthusiasm – in others as well as ourselves – an aim that I felt was certainly achieved this night.
Thanks to everybody who was there, and for your input, we really enjoyed sharing and discussing with you! Also a big thanks to Sahand and his mom for opening the Mezrab for us and providing soup, drinks and donations!
We are inviting for a Philippine evening in Amsterdam
on Saturday, 28 Januari 2012 from 19:00h on, dinner at 20h with visual impressions at Cafe Budapest, WG – terrein, Pesthuislaan, Amsterdam
Pilipinas: Rice, story-sharing and participatory video
About a year ago the idea was born for a participatory video project with women garment workers in Manila, dismissed by Triumph International. The project took shape with help of some enthusiastic people in Amsterdam and Manila. Last summer Belit, Julia and Sapi visited the garment worker community in the Philippines for a preparation meeting. We are back with lots of stories, images and ideas – next to some delicious Philippine recipes.
Join us for Philippine food, listen to our personal experiences in the Philippines, and exchange about participatory video projects and/or other activities going on in the Philippines.
We will prepare some vegetarian Philippine food and show some footage and photos from our time in and around Manila with inspiring women.
Inaanyayahan ang mga Pilipino, lalo na ang mga gitarista at mga singers!
More in-depth information on the actual project we will provide in an info evening in MEZRAB on Saturday, 18 February 2012
I just came across this interview and can’t stop but make a link between our project and what Godard is talking about.
” It is quite striking, when workers are interviewed…these people are given 15 brief seconds, when they haven’t opened their mouths for years. We give them 15 seconds or 3 minutes to speak. ‘What do you think of the strike? what do you think of your lot in life?’ Who can answer when he’s had his mouth sewn shut? Who can answer?
A worker who buys a small camera or a still camera and films his/her vacation, is making a political film. That’s what I call a political film. That’s the only film he can make. It so happens that he’s allowed to film his vacation, but strangely enough that he’s not allowed to film his work. Cameras are forbidden in factories, in the workplace…..”
Godard also talks about the claim that a worker does not understand the films made about his life, so it is useless to make films about workers. He says that this is not about the intellectual level of this worker as it was always claimed, but a problematic about the inaccessible film language that is used, that it is about who owns and creates this language.
He links all these points to different issues as his main concern is the film language and film industry in those years(1972). For us these points are related to other issues and many discussions we are having in a PV project being made with the workers in 2011. Hope to expand on these in the coming posts..
It’s been a while since the last update. Back in the Netherlands the Philippines are again so far away.
It’s hard to keep completely updated about what’s going on in the women workers struggle. However the support goes on here in Amsterdam. Many people have seen the short clips we made and heard the stories that traveled back here from Manilla with us. With the solidaritybag, made by the ex-triumph workers, on our shoulder, we are now looking for funding. More and more I realize that this project could actually make a difference. The women we met have so much to say that it would be such a shame to not share those words.
This week the Occupy-Movement took over Amsterdam. Thousands of people by now have occupied the city and spread their ideas about injustice in the world. The first day of the occupation a Philippino woman climbed up the stage and translated her anger into a ‘rap’ (in Dutch). She told the people who were listening trough what she all went, what she’s seen and why she’s angry. I made a little clip of the rap and the people demonstrating. There’s something with these strong philippino women 😉 I’ll do some English subtites soon!