Sharelly Emanuelson (b. 1986) is a filmmaker and visual artist whose work has been recognized with numerous honors, including most recently the 2020 Volkskrant Visual Art Prize, which is given to Dutch artists under 36. After receiving her BA in audiovisual media from the School of the Arts, Utrecht, she earned her MA in artistic research from the Royal Art Academy, the Hague. In addition to her art practice, Emanuelson is a guest lecturer at the University of Curaçao and the founder of Uniarte, an artist-run foundation that enhances the visibility and development of emerging artists in the Caribbean. Raised in both Aruba and Curaçao, Emanuelson lives and works in Curaçao.
ON VIEW: Moments, 2013
ON VIEW: Moments, 2013
Some experts from Brian Fee’s interview with Sharelly Emanuelson.
Q: Questioning the meaning of community has been a through line in your practice. What does the term mean to you?
A: For me, community is about difference—it’s a coming-together of different people who, in one way or another, converse, complement, and connect. Community connotes a particular relationship, one that involves a sense of belonging, being validated. Community is something that you can feel.
Q: What artists or other creative people have most influenced you, or left the biggest impression on you?
A: For sure it would be the Dutch-Peruvian director Heddy Honigman, because of Metaal en Melancholie (Metal and Melancholy), her 1993 documentary. As a child, I was only seeing Hollywood blockbusters and soaps. That’s all I could get in the cinema and on television. Then I saw this documentary about taxi drivers in Lima, Peru, in the 1990s. Watching it was an “Oh, wow, this is gorgeous! This is a real-life story on film!” moment for me. From then on, I was in love with the documentary genre. Another big influence was Frantz Fanon. I was twenty-six when I read Black Skin, White Masks. The fact that I had never heard about him before said so much about the education we get in the Dutch Caribbean islands. It made me so angry and brought up so many emotions, because I was twenty-six when I read it, and Fanon was twenty-six when he wrote it. It showed me a lot about what we are seeing or not seeing about ourselves. It led me to Glissant and other Caribbean minds, and still inspires me to make the work I need to see.
To explore the other artists on view, click here.
To view the exhibtion One month after being known on that island, click here.