impression of a design for a poster for a theatre performace called Elmina

Poster for theatre performance ‘Elmina’

Historical slavery is very delicate. This did not stop the heroes of theatre association M.A. Intorno. They created an all-round performance about the subject, called Elmina. It includes opera, stage play, and spoken word. Intorno asked me to design a poster for this theatre performance.

Where to begin designing for this subject? Good thing Marco, head music at Intorno, had done ample research already. He was able to give me a few ideas that way. First off, one of the performances would be on the Dutch island Texel. Texel has a historical connection with the trade in the enslaved.

In what the Dutch call the Golden Century, Texel was a stop for many ships leaving the sheltered harbour of Amsterdam. The island is on the North Sea, so skippers waited here for favourable winds before they set sail onto the high seas. Many of these ships would come back carrying enslaved people.



Secondly, the performance would be for and about people from a ‘triangle’ of nationalities: Antillean, Surinam and Cape Verdean. The idea of a triangle was baked into Marco’s first brief.



I want to go fast forward
Rewind hurts too much

To inspire me well and proper, Marco also sent me an early version of the script. In one of the spoken word parts, I found a couple lines that struck me as very poetic and poignant: ‘I want to go fast forward / Rewind hurts too much’. Those words really appealed to me. The symbols for fast forward and rewind contain, you guessed it, triangles.


Looking back and forward

I made the symbols orange and dark green on a black background. The black and green are derived from Texel’s flag: a black band and a green one. I picked the orange for an upbeat contrast. The performance doesn’t just look back to the past, it also has is sight set on the future. Not just rewind, but also fast forward.

Intorno had a poster and a flyer printed with this design. I also made a banner version for their website.


Are you in need of a poster for your theatre performance?

No matter if it’s opera, stage play, modern dance, or music. I’d love to make you a poster. Even if the subject isn’t as heavy as slavery. Tell me the subject, and I’ll let myself be inspired by your art.

If you want to know more about my style, do have a look at the other pieces in my portfolio.