Family tree research meets storytelling

In 2019 we launched Rootszoekers (Roots Seekers), a platform at the intersection of family tree research and interdisciplinary storytelling, to show the super-diverse roots of Dutch people.
As a result of the Coronavirus, the Rootszoekers project of 2020 has been postponed. This fall, the new Rootszoekers will dive into the archives and find out their family history. Stay tuned to hear more about the stories they find.

The participants of the first Rootszoekers trajectory in 2019 were Charo Durán, Rachel Rumai and Fiona Kelatow. Together with researchers from the CBG (Centre of Family History) they searched for clues in their family history. Based on the stories they unraveled, and with some artistic guidance, they each made a short performance.

During the opening night of Amsterdam Roots Festival 2019 in Pakhuis de Zwijger, Charo Durán, Rachel Rumai and Fiona Kelatow presented their new pieces. We also spoke about the Rootszoekers process. What does identity mean? How important is it to know your roots and how do artists process those roots in their work? We talked about roots and identity, feeling at home and claiming your home.

Charo Durán
is a singer and actress. She uses her voice to share with the world what is in her heart. In the Rootszoekers project, Charo went looking for the story of her parents and ancestors, in Bolivia and the Netherlands.

Rachel Rumai
is a storyteller and writer. During the Rootszoekers project she went looking for her family history, with roots in Venezuela and Curaçao.

Fiona Kelatow
is graduated as a Theater Teacher at ArtEZ School of the Arts in Zwolle. She works as a theater maker and theater teacher and works for cultural institutions such as the interdisciplinary learning line Art is Dichterbij dan je Denkt (KIDD), youth theater company BonteHond and the Maritime Museum. As Rootszoeker, Fiona went looking for her roots in the former Dutch East Indies and the Moluccas.