Dasirah Bok’ born in Dutch-Indonesia (‘Nederlands Indie’) travelled by boat 17th of May1913 from Semarang, Java, to Amsterdam in search of her two children, who went to the Netherlands with their father and never came back. Not having found them she proceeded again by sea in the same year to Suriname starting her journey from Amsterdam – at that time she was 24 years old.
Dasirah worked from 1913 untill 1918 on the farm (‘plantage’) ‘Rust en Werk’ and from 1925 till 1928 on the farm ‘Susannas daal’ in Suriname in slavery conditions (‘contractlabour from Indonesia’). After these periods she became the nanny of the family of my friend Elio, who lived his first years in Paramaribo with his parents and twelve brothers and sister before emmigrating to The Netherlands, Amsterdam.
I was commissioned in 2019 to paint a tribute to Desirah and life story. He remembers her gaze; uninvolved, but dedicated.
The transportbox, created to protect the painting, during travels to Elio’s brothers and sisters living in different countries.