Stones Have Laws
Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan, Tolin Alexander 2018
Artists Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan collaborated intensely with Surinamese forest people to find out more about their extended political system, in which ancestors, gods and things have a say, too.
Stones Have Laws (Dee Sitonu a Weti) 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.
The artists Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan teamed up with the Surinamese Maroon theatre maker Tolin Alexander to realize the film and closely involved the community in the development of the project. The script was created during an experimental process of collective scripting. The result is a unique cinematic form that bridges new ways of filmmaking, theatre and ancient traditions of story telling.
After premiering at IDFA 2018 in the International Feature Competition, the three co-directors toured with a mobile cinema in the rainforest of Suriname and presented the film to the communities. Stones Have Laws received theatrical release in the UK and Ireland via ICA London.
From 10 October 2019 it will be distributed in the Netherlands by Windmill Film Distribution.
Kucky Quinsi Sinei
and fifty other Saamaka and Okanisi community members.
Camera, sound, editing: Van Brummelen & De Haan
CO-DIRECTOR Tolin Alexander
Van Brummelen & De Haan
Ideal Film Darek Szendel
seriousFilm Koert Davidse/ Marc Thelosen
VRIZA Kerstin Winking
Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan work together since 2002, producing film installations, sculpture and collages that explore cultural and geopolitical landscapes such as Europe’s borders (Grossraum, 2005), sites of resource production and global trade (Monument of Sugar – how to use artistic means to elude trade barriers, 2007; Episode of the Sea, 2014), and the (non) sites of cultural heritage (Monument to Another Man's Fatherland, 2008, View from the Acropolis, 2012 and subi dura a rudibus, 2010). Most of their projects involve extensive fieldwork and long-term collaborations.
Van Brummelen is a PhD candidate at University of Amsterdam and HKU with the research ‘Drifting Studio Practice – return of the making in the thinking’ (facilitated by ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis).
Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan live and work in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.