Quinsy Gario

Tracing a memory pt. 2

After the second world war the Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, the Dutch National Information Services, made a series of black and white 35 millimeter sound films about the islands in the Caribbean colonized by the Dutch. In 1948 the resulting films were shown in Dutch cinemas and presented as examinations of island life. The thoroughly colonial nostalgia presented in the films as the Dutch were fighting Indonesian independence is unsettling. In 2019 Quinsy Gario and Glenda Martinus, his mother, travelled to St. Maarten, one of the islands shown in the film, to revisit the locations shown in the segment about the island in the original 1948 film. They then rented a car and retraced the images of the filmmakers using Super 8 film technology. In his performance lecture Gario will be attempting to synchronize the films as he talks about Dutch colonization in the Caribbean, decolonization movements in the Caribbean and contemporary concerns of recolonization.

The work is supported by the Mondrian Fund, the Van Abbemuseum, the World Museum Rotterdam and the University of St. Maarten. The performance was developed during a research period at the Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies program in Brussels.

Quinsy Gario is a visual and performance artist from the Dutch Caribbean. His work centers decolonial remembering and unsettling institutional and interpersonal normalization of colonial practices. Most of his performance work is based on poetry improvisation. Gario's most well-known work, Zwarte Piet Is Racisme (2011–2012), sought to denormalize the racist Dutch figure and practice of Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) and bring into focus the experience with everyday racism of racialized and marginalized communities in the Netherlands.
He has an academic background from Utrecht University in media studies, gender studies and postcolonial studies and is a graduate of the Master Artistic Research program of the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. Gario received the Royal Academy Master Thesis Prize 2017, the Black Excellence Award 2016, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival Silver Award 2015 and the Hollandse Nieuwe 12 Theatermakers Prize 2011. His work has been shown in Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Witte de With (Rotterdam), MACBA (Barcelona), SMBA (Amsterdam), MHKA (Anstwerp) and Göteborgs Konsthall (Gothenburg). In 2017 he received a Humanity in Action Detroit Fellowship and he is a 2017/2018 BAK Fellow. Gario is a board member of De Appel, a member of the collective Family Connection and currently a participant of the Advanced Performance And Scenography Studies program.