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How do you visualize stories that occupy the same space yet seem to contradict each other and communicate with each other in ways stories never have before?
Enter the Empire Project, an experimental documentary research project about the unintended (and often controversial) consequences of Dutch colonialism, undertaken by husband-wife filmmaking duo, Kel O’Neill (United States) and Eline Jongsma (The Netherlands).
For three years Jongsma and O’Neill travelled across seven countries to capture the consequences of Dutch Colonialism with their cameras. Living out of suitcases, they worked on the project full-time and never lived in one place for longer than two months.
The result is an impressive multi-part installation that combines visual art, documentary and journalism to tell small, personal, and fragmented split-screen stories that explore the global effects of Dutch colonialism. We toured the installation together with Jongsma and O’Neill following the documentary’s premiere during IDFA 2012 and dug deeper into their storytelling approach.
"Telling stories in non-traditional ways is never easy, especially when you require people use their own feet as an interface to experience the story and its many perspectives."
Director: Katy Yudin, Camera: Pierre Rezus, Editor: Anneke de Lind van Wijngaarden, Sound: Pierre Rezus, A production by Submarine Channel Foundation 2012
Recorded at the IDFA DocLab Expanding Documentary exhibition at De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam