I believe that Philomena Al Sadd deserves a place in collective memory. “I want to contribute to that with this film,” says documentary filmmaker Ida Doss. in Daily Dignity – Philomena Al SaddOn Thursday on NPO 2, she stars as a Dutch pioneer in the study of racism. Does: “Philomena Essad put racism in the Netherlands on the map as a subject of study. I brought it here to teach.” In the 1980s, Essid called for a national approach to combating racism at all different levels, including institutions and the police. In that sense she was ahead of her time.
Ida Doss is a journalist, including for Amroop West. Since 2008, she has been independently producing documentaries, including about Surinamese resistance fighter Anton de Kum. In 2021, she made a documentary about the painful process of creating the slavery exhibition at the Rijksmuseum. I did it last year It is not the past, about the December murders. The latter highlighted a dark period for her: Hull moved to her native country in the early 1980s to help with reconstruction, but was forced to flee again a few months later when Surinamese dictator Bouterse murdered fifteen of his opponents on 8 December 1982…, including a friend. Do.
In the 1980s, Doss was familiar with the hunting business, but he said, “I was mainly busy rebuilding my life here after the December murders and processing what happened.” Only later did the idea come up to make a documentary about Philomena Essid. However, he was always present in her life. The anthropologist wrote two pioneering studies in the 1980s, Everyday racism And An insight into everyday racism For which she was severely attacked at the time, including by the academic world. The reason she moved to the United States and became a professor there.
In recent years, her work has been widely recognized. In the documentary we see archival footage of a confident young woman making statements about Dutch racism that would not become commonplace until decades later.
Most surprising in the documentary are the young black women who speak out—the academics and activists who passionately affirm the importance of Essed studies, not only for their work, but also for their lives. They see fishing talk as confirmation of the racism they experience every day, and which their white colleagues and friends continue to deny. A few students meet the dam and get excited. He does: “It’s wonderful, it’s as if they are talking to their mother or aunt. While filming I discovered how important her work is for the younger generation. That her books are among the standard works of researchers who deal with racism.
What also caught Hull’s attention when making the documentary was that Philomena Essid was very oppositional at first. She wanted to become a professor here, but was unable to get a foothold in the Netherlands. No place was given to her. She could have worked well with other people here who have been dealing with racism all these years, and she could have trained students here. We’ve really missed her for forty years.
This opposition in the 1980s and 1990s applies to white science and white journalism. Black people instantly recognized themselves in her books, as the documentary shows. They saw in it an accurate description of what it means to live as a black person in a white world. “The press wrote negatively,” a black woman says in the documentary. So we thought: This must be good, we should buy it.
The documentary includes an interview with students from the Zetje In Foundation, which advocates for education about racism to be made compulsory in schools. This initiative was adopted by Parliament. “They are the youngest generation I know that is putting anti-racism on the map in the Netherlands. In the film, Philomena Essid says: Every generation has to reinvent its own wheel. So that it is their own wheel. At the same time, the dialogue between different generations is very important.”
On those racist experiences: “Ask people of color. One has a more intense story than the other. Such painful and humiliating experiences affect your self-image, the way you present yourself in society, and the friendships you form. It’s important for people to know: You are not alone. You are not the only one suffering from this. I wanted to capture the energy of understanding, receiving appreciation, and fighting spirit in my film.
2Doc: Everyday Dignity: Philomena Al SaddThursdays on NPO2, at 11:35 p.m.
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