Welkom in Nederland (Welcome in the Netherlands)

Daphne de Haas
Practice Autonomous Practices
Project Critical Studies
Major Animation
Year Fourth Year

Nominee: Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices 2020

Welkom in Nederland is a short documentary that was inspired by my memories of growing up in a dominantly white village in Holland. It is about being brought up with multiple cultures and the daily struggles that come along with it. For a country as multicultural as Holland, it is important to know that a lot of people do not easily open up about these stories, but that does not mean that they do not experience them.

Mano, Minke, Sebastiaan and Vareen open up about their feelings and perspectives. They describe what it is like to be a Dutch citizen but to never be seen as one. Their perspectives touch on how to acknowledge one’s cultural background and elaborate on their long process of acceptance. They got to understand that to be accepted as the person you are, does not mean that one has to disown their own culture and background.

While writing my research paper and doing interviews, I realised that a lot of my inner problems were also silent issues in other people’s lives. The research made me understand where the problem lies and also the reason why it is so difficult to bring it up for discussion. It is time to listen instead of instantly shutting down on these issues. Nobody acts wrongly but a lot of misunderstandings come from unconscious behaviours.

Welkom in Nederland

The film is made as a conversation opener and is easy to follow for people who never experience these forms of exclusion. Because of the Black Lives Matter movement, it is currently big and for some a ‘new’ topic, but for plenty of people it has always been a present topic their whole lives. It is nice to finally see times changing and to see other individuals educate themselves.

For plenty of people it has always been a present topic their whole lives.

After fine-tuning, I want to take a shorter version of the film to the classrooms, community centres and sports clubs. For myself, it really worked to hear other stories and the next generation will only have more people of bicultural backgrounds. With some starter-questions, kids and young adults can learn to open up in safe surroundings. And do not have to tell their own experience but can, for example, tell if they feel the same way about some of the stories.

Collaboration with WATRA - Why // Let us rise with the Sun