Pieter Groen gaat naar de Barbiesjes

In the summer of 1792, nineteen-year-old Pieter Groen sets sail for Berbice, a former Dutch colony to the west of Suriname. He journeys across its Indian-inhabited inland parts, inspects plantations, visits settlements, and enjoys a multitude of sexual escapades. Whoever set off for the ‘Barbiesjes’ in those days was destined to meet their doom.

Jaime Ibanez has rendered the journals of Pieter Groen, a historical figure, into a primitive animation: an amalgamation of spoken word, moving installations, and illustrations. Featuring music by Jornt Duyx.

The journals are kept in the National Archives in The Hague, which celebrated its reopening after a thorough reconstruction in 2013 with an exhibition titled The Memory Palace. The story of Pieter Groen is one of eleven special narratives selected from the collection for presentation (on film) during the exhibition. Simultaneously, Ibanez produced this performance on Pieter Groen.

Concept and play: Jaime Ibanez
Music: Jornt Duyx
Dramaturgical advice: Pauline Kalker (Hotel Modern)
A coproduction with: The National Archive, Hotel Gasten and Feikes Huis
Photos: Baldwin Henderson