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Lost Species Day 2020: Stones Have Laws – film screening & discussion

28 November 2020
7:00 pm
9:30 pm

Made collaboratively with a Maroon community in the former Dutch colony Suriname, ‘Stones Have Laws’ (Dee Sitonu a Weti) blends myth and storytelling with ethnographic filmmaking. Join us to watch it online together as part of the Lost Species Day 2020 weekend gathering.


Stones Have Laws is an immersive initiation into the life of a Maroon community in the former Dutch colony of Suriname. Combining stories of African ancestral traditions and escaped slavery with enacted contemporary rituals, the film explores how the community’s powerful ties to the land have become endangered as industries threaten to devastate the region through deforestation and mining. Dutch artists Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan and Surinamese theatre maker Tolin Alexander closely involved the community in the development of the project, which was made using an experimental process of collective scripting. The result is a unique cinematic form that bridges filmmaking, poetry and theatre and demonstrates the links between racism, slavery, colonisation, social injustice and modern environmental disasters.

Directed by Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan and Tolin Erwin Alexander, Netherlands / Suriname 2018 Saamaka, Okanisi and Dutch with English subtitles.

The film will be introduced by Lost Species Day co-founder artist Emily Laurens. After the screening, we’ll hold an informal post-show discussion finishing at 9.30pm. This will also be a chance for people to meet each other and socialise online. This event will be hosted via Zoom (meeting link to follow). Participants will be given a time-limited link to watch the film direct from Vimeo.

About the artists

Tolin Alexander: Surinamese theatre maker, poet and performer Tolin Alexander joined the Stones Have Laws project as researcher and co-director in 2015. Alexander is a specialist in cross-cultural theatre and community projects. He co-initiated the Culture Caravan that travelled to Ecuadorian and Colombian villages plagued by violent groups. Most recently he collaborated with the crew of the Dutch-flagged Ship of Fools to present a new play in Paramaribo.

Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan work together as artists since 2002, producing film installations, sculptures and collages that explore cultural and geopolitical landscapes such as Europe’s borders, sites of resource production and global trade. Their films showed at IDFA; MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight; Mar del Plata Film Festival, Argentina; TIFF and CPH:DOX. Recent exhibitions include Borderlines, Talbot Rice Gallery Edinburgh (2019), The very impress of the object, Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2017); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2015).

Emily Laurens is co-director of Feral Theatre, co-founder of Lost Species Day, and community art coordinator at Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen. Emily is a multi-disciplinary artist, often working collaboratively and with members of the wider community using film, clown, live art, puppetry, visual art and craft.

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