The inaugural event of the annual The New School/Eugene Lang College religious studies series “Calling, Career, and Commitment,”is a screening of Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism.
Empire tells many stories:
In Sri Lanka an elderly Dutch fisherman builds a replica of his childhood village in the middle of the rainforest. In Suriname, the descendants of escaped Ghanaian slaves dig for gold in a thick jungle once annexed by colonists from the Dutch West India Company. In Indonesia, a young man puts his life at risk by reviving the forbidden traditions of his Dutch-Jewish forefathers.
These are a few of the stories featured in Empire, an award-winning immersive documentary project by the Dutch-American filmmaking team Jongsma + O’Neill. Empire uses video installations and online media to tell human-scaled stories of under represented communities, and to promote discussion about how history impacts the present. Made during an epic three-year journey through Asia, Africa and the Americas, Empire examines the myriad ways in which our current-day circumstances continue to be shaped by the era of European colonialism.
Empire premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in November 2012, and won the Participants' Choice Award at PBS's POV Hackathon in New York in January 2013. The project receives financial and institutional support from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Mondriaan Fund and The National Archives of the Netherlands.
Learn more at www.empireproject.eu and http://sinisterhumanists.tumblr.com/.
Jongsma+O’Neill are Eline Jongsma & Kel O'Neill, a trans-Atlantic filmmaking team. They have worked as a two-person crew since 2006, and are responsible for every aspect of Empire’s production, from research to shooting and editing.
Their work explores the boundaries between visual art, film and journalism. Recent exhibitions and screenings include: Los Angeles Film Festival, Los Angeles; IDFA, Amsterdam; Apex Art, New York; Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town; Jogja National Museum, Yogyakarta; WORM, Rotterdam; Amelie Art Gallery, Beijing.
They have completed residency programs at CBK Zuidoost/Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam and Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi. They spent three years as US Correspondents for VPRO Television’s Metropolis TV, and also work as journalists for such outlets as Radio Netherlands Worldwide, The Creators Project and VICE.