Bart Luirink

ZAM Library | From the shadows of colonial history I extract the tenderness of my universal destiny.’

Image: cover Felix de Rooy’s Ego Documenta, The Testament of my Ego

ZAM is grateful for receiving a copy of Felix de Rooy’s Ego Documenta, The Testament of my Ego, donated by the artist, theatre- and filmmaker, curator and writer Felix de Rooy to the ZAM Library.

It is with the speed of a turtle, some will argue, but finally established cultural institutions worldwide and, yes, even in the Netherlands, are becoming interested in artists from long neglected worlds. While celebrating diversity we should look at the pioneers who started breaking the walls of near-sightedness. When it comes to the works of Felix de Rooy his recently published monograph helps a lot.

The book is an overwhelming exposé of the many, many expressions the ‘Caribbean Cocteau’ has produced so far. One almost becomes out of breath browsing through the book coming across a fine selection of visual art, theatre, film, exhibitions, portraits and writing. It is sweet, illusive, intriguing and provocative. It shows the world as multicultural and multifaceted as it is in reality. It is often way ahead of events that have only recently entered today’s debate.

In the introduction to this extraordinary book De Rooy writes:

“As the hidden heir to the colonial orgasm, as the extramarital bastard exorcised from the European testament, I escape the prison of genetic and historical identity. I became a refugee in the mythical country of the mixed race, la race mélangée, the no man’s land of the mongrel race. The invisible race of creolité, who despite lips chained by oppression and fear, multiplies beyond all border lines with the heartbeat of anarchy. Beneath the skin and between the sheets against the tide of racial exclusion and nationalistic rejection.”


“I am conscious of my vulnerability, my mixed identity, my hybrid bloodline, stained by alien cultures. The tyranny of hypocrisy and the litany of cultural schizophrenia reject my mutated genealogy. Freed from mutilating shame I take to the sky on wings of colored diversity. From the shadows of colonial history I extract the tenderness of my universal destiny.”

We will definitely have closer look at Ego Documenta soon. For now many thanks for this wonderful gift.

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