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Route of Flowers (2022) is a book of a collection of parables that are inspired by the neighbourhood of Amsterdam Oost on the perspective of the author to navigate her way to find a sense of belonging. The awareness of histories of the neighbourhood, personal relationships, and transformative nature are continuously reflected in the parables.

The parables collections consist of 10 stories accompanied by 3 photographs by the author to illustrate the stories. The cover design refers to Indonesian literature in the 1945-1950, the period of the Indonesian arts established their position as a legitimate heritage of the world. These parable books are intended to be placed anonymously in the neighbourhood community as free books for anyone, in street/public bookshelves and community centers–with a Dutch translation addition.

"As the old saying goes, the light is always brighter on the other side. The Northern
people like Southern flowers very much. They bought such flowers and shipped them
Imagine the ark carries plants, bearing flowers and fruits, instead of animals.
Now imagine the ark carries people instead. "

 - Excerpt from Parable of the Unstolen Figs by Ratu R. Saraswati


Route of Flowers: A Collection of Parables (pdf)

Bloemenroute: Een verzameling parabels (pdf)




Texts and photographs Ratu R. Saraswati
Editorial support — Hannah Dawn Henderson, Ivan Mous
Cover design and layout — Nandiasa Rahmawati
Printed by PrintRoom, Rotterdam
Supported by the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam and Stichting Hinderrust Fonds
Riso-printed in an edition of 200

Dutch translation — Roy Voragen

The Spring song consists of selected lyrics from the Betawi folksong ‘Surilang’.
The song was popularized by Lilis Suryani, Ida Royani and Benyamin Sueb.

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