Para M (To M), 2023
Single channel, video, sound, 11:47 min.
A woman’s voice passionately addresses the enigmatic figure “M” in a narrative that initially portrays a positive shift as one colonial ruler replaces another. However, the story ultimately exposes the persistent and oppressive nature of the colonial enterprise within an enduring framework.
The initial “M” refers to Maurits in Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, a seventeenth-century governor sent to Brazil as a representative of the Dutch West Indies Company. Despite the prevailing positive perception of this governmental change and idealized views of Maurits’s presence in Brazil, recent research uncovers the dark legacy of his dictatorship. The letter “M” emerges as a symbol branded on the skin of enslaved Africans under his possession.
Through a creative juxtaposition of images featuring women and reappropriated colonial arte-facts in and around Recife,Brazil —an outpost of Dutch occupation—the essay film intricately weaves a poetic letter. It seeks to discern the potential for the subaltern voice to articulate itself. The film powerfully underscores that, while the articulation of truth may demand time, its revelation remains an inevitable prospect.
This project was mas possible with the generous support of The Mondriaan Fonds, Amarte Fonds and CBK Zuidoost.