patricia kaersenhout | creating new narratives

“How can we wipe away the tears of the ocean?”



Patricia Kaersenhout emphasises the invisibility of minorities in Western society. Her artistic journey has been an investigation about growing up in Dutch culture while having a Suriname background. She captivates the audience by exploring the relation between domination and representation: “My parents taught me to attract not too much attention, as we were already different. But the ones who saw me different, were ‘others’ to me.”


“During one of my trips, I encountered a group of undocumented refugee women. We both recognized the complex meaning of being invisible in society. Officially, these women don’t exist because they don’t have documents of identification.”


“Enslaved people refrained from eating salt. They believed that they would become lighter and fly back to Africa. It shows the power of imagination: one can imprison the body, but one can never imprison the mind. For me, there is a complexity with living in a black body. My skin is socially regulated; my body is a prison of my soul. I’m in a constant state of becoming.”


“I decided to be in the middle, between the core and the periphery of society. That way, I can stimulate the center of privileged people towards helping the periphery and towards creating more understanding by listening to the stories of people from the periphery. Maybe the dominant culture can find their humanity back if they realize that other cultures are alive as well. An act of injustice can never expire. We all have the responsibility towards our ancestors, the present generation and our children to set the records straight. Even if it takes a thousand years.”


And with that intense but beautiful performance it is time for the break.