The queer community in Rotterdam has a rich history, but due to the stigma that was placed on being queer, only a fraction of this history has been documented. Now that the queer pioneers of this port city are getting older it is of great importance to record their stories and experiences. For director Charlotte Maria, this was an important reason to dive into the past of the Rotterdam queer scene. Speaking of Pink is their love letter to this wealth of narratives. The stories that appear in this film are only the tip of the iceberg, but the impact of these stories alone is already of great importance.

After the screening, we will have an intergenerational conversation to reflect on the connection between generations of LGBTQ+. What younger and older generations can learn from each other? What do we want to pass down to the next generation?

PLEASE NOTE: The film will be in Dutch with English subtitles . The conversation afterwards will be in English .

About the speakers

Anne Krul (1958) is an Afropean visual artist, poet, archivist and activist. She was involved in the black, migrant and refugee women’s movement. She was a member of Strange Fruit, an organization for young queer people from different cultural backgrounds. (1989-2002). They worked together to challenge their marginalization, within both their ethnic communities and the Dutch gay scene. They used creative discourse, activism, art and poetry to implement change: breaking silences, empower each others, and exploring co-creation. Strange Fruiters raised awareness around HIV-AIDS issues, promoting health- and safer sex education. She participated in the exhibition Diasporic Self – Black Togetherness as Lingua Franca (2018-2019 FramerFramed), curated by Amal Alhaag and Barby Asante. Last years Anne Krul is re-housing archival materials of Strange Fruits experiences, contributing to community initiatives like Black Pride (2020) and House of HIV (2022). As a member of the Open Atelier (now in FramerFramed) she participated in different group shows, with drawings, collages, paintings, poems and (digital) landscapes, like Proud Aliens (2021). Sensitive Bitches – A Journey Through Identities ( 2018 WM Gallery, Amsterdam/ Rozet, Arnhem) Project and Multimedia art show in collaboration with vita s. Curator Sebastian Rypson: Can a bitch be sensitive? Or indeed, does a title like “Sensitive Bitches” denote anything else other than pure misogyny. Short answer? Yes, it can. Sensitive Bitches is the exciting new, and first duo exhibition by anne k. and vita s. that raises questions on issues of identity in the broadest sense. It is a ‘coming out’ of sorts; a meeting place and space for the celebration and empowerment of diversity, fluidity and where all voices have right of way, stay and play.

Senn van Beek (They/them) – founder of We Are Queer, a Queer gym in Amsterdam that not only focusses on the physical health of people but also mental and social health. As the first Queer gym in Amsterdam we opened our doors in August 2020 and are now a frequent place to be at for many Queer Amsterdam people. As a non-binary person myself, I’ve experienced a lot of stress in the gym first hand. Despite sports actually helping me feel better about myself. I’ve come to learn that many transgender and queer people deal with this struggle. Besides We Are Queer I’m the chair person for the Queertopia Foundation. Queertopia Foundation focuses on the projects that achieve the physical, mental and social wellbeing of queer people in Amsterdam outside of the club and party scene.

About the movie

In Speaking of Pink (Over Roze Spoken) , four elderly LGBTQ+ individuals come together in a bright pink space. In this space, which is as much a living room as it is an archive, they share their life stories with each other. The short film is a hopeful, imaginative documentary about reclaiming spaces where the identity of older LGBTQ+ individuals is not accepted.

Speaking of Pink gives an insight into the LGBTQ+ history of Rotterdam through the stories of four elderly people: lesbian activist Nell Broekhuizen , trans man Jos Niesing and married couple Tonny van Dijk , a heterosexual woman, and Arie van Dijk , a gay man. Although the stories of the four main characters seem very different at first glance, they clearly have one thing in common. Nell, Jos, Tonny and Arie have all had to search for a space in which they could be themselves. All four have had to transform traditional norms around family, faith and marriage to find space for their identity.

Speaking of Pink serves as a reminder of the rich but sparsely documented queer history of Rotterdam, but above all as an inspiration for the current generation of queer people, who often still grow up without visible role models. The stories in this documentary demonstrate that the struggle for space to be yourself is not just something of the present.

Duration: 39 minutes
Director: Charlotte Maria
Producer: Felix Dukker
D.OP: Jorick Buurstra
Editor: Richard van ’t Hof
Partner: Humanitas, OPEN Rotterdam, Municipality of Rotterdam,
Stichting Bekker-la Bastide-Fonds, Fonds ZOZ

About the director

Charlotte “Charlie” Maria is a writer and filmmaker from Rotterdam. In their work, they explore relationships in the broadest sense of the word: how is someone’s behavior shaped by the people around them? And how does that influence the relationship that person has with themselves?

This focus on interpersonal relationships, their interest in subverting heteronormative standards and gender norms, and their background in cultural sociology give Charlotte a unique lens through which they portray a wide range of subjects. Their projects range from fiction to documentary and back again, but are always based on extensive research and all contain a refreshing combination of comedy and tragedy.