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Stones have laws01

Stones Have Laws + Book Launch

Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan and Tolin Erwin Alexander talk about their collaborative project Stones Have Laws. This film experiment – a mixture of van poetry, theatre and reflection on filmmaking – draws us into the life of a Maroon community in former Dutch colony Surinam.

Poster Eo A Stones Have Laws

During slavery, some enslaved people fled into the forest in Surinam to build lives for themselves in freedom. They became known as Maroons.

Surinamese theatre-maker Tolin Erwin Alexander, himself an Okanisi Maroon, responded to an invitation by Dutch artists Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan to develop a script in collaboration for a film experiment, Stones Have Laws (Dee Sitonu a Weti).

The makers used an experimental narrative form combining stories of ancestral African traditions and escape from slavery with enacted contemporary rituals. The film also explores how the community’s powerful ties to the land have become endangered as industries threaten to devastate the Maroons’ culture through deforestation and mining.

Experimental process

The three makers closely involved the Maroon community in the development of the script, which was written using an experimental process of collective scripting. The result is a unique cinematic form that bridges filmmaking, poetry and theatre.

Stones Have Laws is part of Lonnie van Brummelen’s PhD Artistic Research (Drifting Studio Practice); she will defend her thesis on 27 October in the University of Amsterdam’s Agnietenkapel. Van Brummelen’s research will be published as a book by Hatje Cantz/Jubilée Platform for Artistic Research and this will be launched during this evening in Eye.

After the book launch and film screening, a Q&A will be held with Van Brummelen, De Haan and Tolin Erwin Alexander, moderated by curator and researcher Astrid Korporaal of the University of Groningen.

This is part of



120 min.


Dutch, English



Part of

Eye on Art

Eye on Art is a programme on the intersection between film and other arts. Eye on Art keeps up with current events, with presentations on contemporary artists and programmes that coincide with important exhibitions, manifestations and Eye activities.

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still from Cloacinae Serge Onnen & Sverre Fredriksen, NL 2017)
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