Mayra Sérgio



Uprooting/Downrooting is a project commissioned by Marie Stel for the exhibition Moving Stories at Museum Het Valkhof. The exhibition makes a connection between the history of migration triggered by the Lime, the Roman borders in the province of Lower Germania, and the world of today.

Roman soldiers brought olive oil for the first time to what is now the Netherlands. As generations of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants made this country their home the oil became ever present. Being Brazilian myself, I grew up with the habit, brought up by Portuguese colonizers, of flooding all my meals with this golden-green liquid. Olive oil transpasses the history and the intimacy of the Limes, the Netherlands and my own.

Now slowly, then rapidly, the drops of olive oil find their way through the root system. This project symbolizes the journey that every migrant undergoes. From there to here, from home to an uprooted existence. Different people’s routes branch out and reconnect.

Metalwork and machinery development by Otakar Zwartjes, Assistant Cecile Hübner
Photos by Flip Franssen