The cinematographic work of Karel Doing is now available online. Karel Doing is a visual artist/filmmaker who participated in the ARtRoPa project, a cultural exchange project in the area of visual art, between Paramaribo, Suriname and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Doing stayed in Suriname and one of his projects was a collaboration with Surinamese visual artist Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi.
The films, performances and installations of Karel Doing (1965, Canberra, Australia) deal with elusive subjects such as music, rhythm, poetry, death, history, memory and felicity.
16mm on digibeta, 50 minutes, b&w, 2010 / Concept and realisation: Karel Doing / Based on: Djoeka by L.C.Reedijk / Plus booklet and extra’s / € 15,- excl. sending
The film Saamaka is an adaption of the travelogue Djoeka made in 1932 by L.C.Reedijk. Reedijk was a Dutchman, living and working in Suriname. He was a reserve lieutenant in the army. Besides Suriname, he spent some time in the east, where he had a plantation on the east coast of Sumatra. During his stay in the two colonies, he made a number of films including Djoeka.
The film Djoeka shows the journey of a group of white people to the Surinamese interior. They traveled by train and canoe and passed along the mission-post Botopasi, on the Suriname River, before going further into the jungle. Displayed are the customs and habits of Maroons (Saramaccans), descendants of runaway slaves living in the interior of Suriname. We see the funeral of a granman (headman) with fishing and cooking related to those events.
Karel Doing traveled to the same area in 2010 to show the film to the current residents. He made a soundtrack for the film composed of comments, stories and music. Saamaka is a dialogue between two times and two cultures. There is over 80 years between the image and sound recordings, and literally a world of difference between the Dutch and Saramaccan culture. Through blending these different elements into one document a unique artwork about the culture of the Saramaccans is created in a way that everyone can understand.
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