About the Poem “Freedom”

The poem “Vrijheid” (Freedom) was written by Marion Bloem in 1999. The poem was selected by “Het Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei” and a video clip was made and broadcasted several times a day on Dutch television in 2000.

Through translation of her poem “Vrijheid” (Freedom) Marion Bloem tries to understand the meaning of the concept in different countries, cultures, languages. Words do not always mean the same in different languages. Translation confronts us with this continuously and translating poetry even more. A poem can help us to enlighten.

Freedom is one of the most often used/abused concepts of our time. It is used to wage wars to free people, to mark differences between cultures and religions to defend policies, to herald the free market and the related idea of freedom to consume.

In addition, the conflict between guarding of the ground rules to be able to live in a free society for all and the interest of the individual to be free of any rules embodies the discussions about democracy and the role of the state. The paradox that on the one hand freedom has to be defended, while at the other hand has to be contested continuously, has been at the very heart of art. It implies the freedom to express one’s innermost needs.

In 2005 Tjeerd Oosterhuis made an audio clip of the poem “Vrijheid” (Freedom) for “Een Royaal Gebaar”, the first most successful internet campaign ever, to claim asylum for refugees who had stayed longer than five years in the Netherlands. The poem was published on CD together with other songs available in the book ‘Een Royaal Gebaar’.

About Marion Bloem

Marion Bloem (born 24 August 1952 in Arnhem, The Netherlands) is a Dutch writer and film maker of Indo (Eurasian) descent, best known as author of the literary acclaimed book “Geen gewoon Indisch meisje” (No Ordinary Indo Girl) and director of the 2008 feature film “Ver van familie” (Far from Family).

Bloem is a second generation Indo immigrant born into a family of four children. Her parents, Alexander and Jacqueline Bloem, repatriated from Indonesia in 1950. Her father is a survivor of the Junyo Maru disaster. Bloem, herself a psychologist, is married to Dutch author and physician Ivan Wolffers. She has one son named Kaja and is a grandmother.

In addition to her career as an author, poet and filmmaker, Bloem is a painter who exhibits around Europe.

Her home page is www.marionbloem.com

Erwin Maisch, who made the Indonesian freedom video visited Marion Bloem in her home and interviewed her in May 2012. This short interview was ready on her 60th birthday August 24, 2012 edited and directed by Erwin Maisch.