a script for a schoolplay from a parallel present
17 November, 7 pm
Galerie De Kromme Elleboog
With contributions by: 
Tommy Ventevogel with kind participation of Daphne Bakker, Thomas Post, Jasmina Van der Pol and Kimberley Zwart
Curated by: 
MAMA’s artistic new talents Darly Benneker & Lila Athanasiadou
In a parallel fictional present, the figure of Zwarte Piet is abolished from Dutch society. The day after the verdict four Rotterdam citizens are invited by a local radio station to explore the void he left behind.
"What is the true spirit of Sinterklaas?”, the radio host asks. "Is it the mystery of disguise, the food and celebration, the recounting of the year or just an opportunity to exchange gifts? Which figure could step into Zwarte Piet’s shoes? Should it be a human Piet, like Piet Mondrian or could Sinterklaas´companion be a half-human half-animal creature, maybe his horse becomes a centaur?"

On the 30th of October a young academic, a history teacher and father, a high school student and a middle school mathematics teacher gathered in the Rotterdam LGM recording studio to conduct an experiment. Embodying their own role in current society they were asked to imagine a fictional present where Zwarte Piet is declared a relic of the past. Screenwriter Tommy Ventevogel transformed their conversation into a school play.

On Friday 17 November, MAMA presents a performative reading of ‘Pietpourri’. The script is an attempt to harvest a multiplicity of voices and opinions within one narrative while offering an absurdist reading of the discussions that recur every year, but as yet remain unresolved. The school play aims to bring about the discussion in a respectful manner, exploring what the Sinterklaas celebration represents for different individuals.

The initiative to develop the script was taken by MAMA´s Artistic New Talents Lila Athanasiadou & Darly Benneker and inspired by MAMA’s fall exhibition Gentle Dust, which explored the ways in which colonial-era relationships of power and violence continue to be at work in the present.

Pietpourri is presented in the framework of ´De Bonte Harlekijn; an exploration of the historical and spiritual phenomenon Zwarte Piet, an event by foundation Kracom. KraCom embodies (local) mythology in public space with the aim to forge a connection between people, surroundings and history. more information

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