Klof, Village of Spirits
by Kevin Osepa
About the project
On Curaçao is a place so feared that some people don’t even dare speak about it. A place of dark forces and a fraught history. This place is called the ‘Klof’, meaning ‘chasm’ or ‘gorge’. It is formed by two roads that run parallel for about three hundred metres. Both roads are lined with trees whose tops grow together to create a kind of tunnel – giving this spot its name.
During the great slave revolt of 1795 (the most important rebellion leading up to the abolition of slavery), the Klof was the site of a bloody confrontation between the enslaved people and the Dutch colonists.
“A man once encountered two sisters in the Klof, who told him he would crow like a rooster. When he got home he crowed like a rooster, collapsed, and was dead.”
Statistically, a larger number of fatal car crashes also seem to happen here compared to the rest of the island. With his project, Kevin Osepa offers a new perspective on slavery in the past. This is not the perspective we find in Dutch history books, but the perspective of the stories that arose at this location.
More about the project
About the photographer
Osepa was the winner of the ING Unseen Talent Award 2019 and has been nominated for awards including the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs 2018 and Steenbergen Stipendium 2017.
Kevin Osepa showing at Haute Photography as part of the Art Week Rotterdam.
Osepa now shows La Ultima Ascension at the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum of Art in Rotterdam.
Osepa’s short film La Última Ascensión wins the prestigious Gouden Kalf award for best short film at the Netherlands Film Festival.
What Forhanna did
type of support:
Forhanna is supporting this project because it ties in with Forhanna’s objectives. BredaPhoto and Forhanna are co-producers of the project. Thematically, its relevance consists in the personal interpretation it gives of a history that has been partly obscured until now, having been told primarily from a European perspective. Also, the fear of the unfamiliar feels more topical now than ever.
The project’s format is also interesting for Forhanna and BredaPhoto. With its many layers and facets, the project lends itself to presentation on a variety of platforms.
It will be shown at museums (Amsterdam Museum – REFRESH – 11 December 2020 to 28 March 2021 and Stroom in The Hague -16 okt – 05 dec 2021), commercial galleries (Kahmann Gallery) at HAUTE Rotterdam and online. Within the model developed by Forhanna & BredaPhoto, ‘Klof, Village of Spirits’ thus furnishes a new case.
Ultimately, Forhanna en BredaPhoto works towards a final presentation at the largest photography festival of the Benelux (BredaPhoto 08 sep – 23 oct 2022)
The exhibition at the Stokvishallen offers a unique immersive experience of this place surrounded by mystery. Osepa tells the stories form the past, the present and the future of this mystic road through photography, film, light, and soundscapes. Based on the response, it can be said that it was one of the top pieces of the festival.