Frank’s Archive is a project that explores the different functions of books, power and knowledge. My dad, J.E. Frank, has left me numerous books relating to race, class, apartheid and politics in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Leaving South Africa in the early 70s, my father decided to sail around the world and eventually jumped ship in London where he became active in the anti-apartheid struggle and worked with the Institute of Race Relations. At a young age I realized politics must be something important–as at one occasion my beloved Spice Girls poster was replaced by an African National Congress flag without any warning. Something to do with capitalism and the commercial music industry, just big words for me at the time.
The Best Picture win for 12 Years A Slave in the 2014 Academy Awards last weekend has not gone by unnoticed in the Netherlands. Not because of the thematic of the film but because ‘our Steve McQueen’–as the Dutch now call him–lives in Amsterdam together with his Dutch wife, journalist Bianca Stigter. So that makes this Oscar a ‘bit Dutch too.’