CTFF Virtual Festival 2023

Children of Mavungu & Mirjam Marks - Directors QnA

Expired September 23, 2023 3:45 AM
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Children of Mavunguis about the last primary school year of Yoseva 14 years old, Kenny 13years old and Maticha 14 years old in Pikin Slee, a village deep in the tropical rainforest ofSuriname. Three hours drive and another two hours sailing from the capital Paramaribo.Pikin Slee is located on the Upper-Suriname River and is one of the many villages that werecreated when enslaved people fled the plantations during Dutch colonial rule and sought asafe place to live, far from the plantations.The children are therefore descendants of escaped slaves, also called Maroons, and thetraces of this are still clearly visible and tangible in theirdaily lives. The cultural traditions inthe village, due to its isolated location, are the best preserved of the culture of variousAfrican countries; at school the language of instruction is Dutch, the language of the formercolonial ruler, but at home the children speak Saramacan, a language that originated amongthe Maroons on the Upper-Suriname River. The knowledge of (survival) life in the tropicalrainforest is passed on to the children by their (ancestors) parents. The ancestors in turnbrought theknowledge with them from Africa and partly learned it from the indigenouspeople in the areas where they settled.Kenny, Yoseva and Maticha are small knowledge carriers of culture and nature, knowledgethat will soon be lost due to the exodus of villageslike Pikin Slee to the city. The worldchildren are prepared for at school is miles apart from the world in which they grow up.There is not yet a secondary school on the river, so the children must leave the village afterthis last primary school year tocontinue with school (far) outside the village, in Paramariboor elsewhere in the country. Before the time comes, Kenny, Yoseva and Maticha still have alot to do in their last year of school; they not only have to get a good final report, but alsofind aschool in the city and a place to live there.

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