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Marlou Fernanda

Marlou Fernanda, born on Curaçao and living in Rotterdam, is a self-taught creative all-rounder who works with colourful paint, performative art on film, and direction. She refers to herself as ‘a closed book, with an open appearance’. A character, visually reminiscent of herself, is central in her art. She creates art out of what she feels and experiences, which can be confronting and sometimes makes her vulnerable. Nevertheless, it is her way of connecting with people, and pulling them into her colourful world.

‘Why? Asking For A Friend’
‘I Cry At Night’

For Marlou, ‘good citizenship’ starts with truly seeing others. She states: ‘Before the pandemic, I was living in my own bubble. Every now and then I could be found outside, for example on the way to the supermarket or in the city, but that was it. I didn’t think I needed the ‘fellow man’ besides the presence of my family and friends. Sometimes I notice that I cycled or walked past people, and then I can’t even remember them. In those moments I realize that I was only focusing on my own destination or story. I’ve seen these people, but I haven’t really seen them.

‘Untitled, Till It’s Titled’
‘Untitled, Same Story’

During the pandemic, social media suddenly became much more important to me. That way I could still connect with others, while everything was suddenly closed and a lot was no longer possible. I noticed that I felt good about the fact that the world was standing still for a moment. Of course I was unhappy with what was happening around us, but the fact that everything paused, made me realize that I also stood still for a long period of time.

I live by the rules so that I don’t bother anyone. In that sense, I am a good citizen, who is part of a society. Still, most of the time I didn’t really feel like I was a part of it until I was part of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. When I looked around and saw all these different types of people standing up for people like myself, truly seeing me and other people of color, I really felt like a part of society. As a good citizen, I also want to do this for others.’

Interview with Lisa


Photos by Les Adu

Video by Fidelio Faustino

NOBU short film by Sarah Blok and Lisa Konno