In my dreams I want to become a tourist

Debate on Thursday, Nov 3 at Humanity House in The Hague

The Rwandan government is closing all orphanages as they do not fit the new (economic) status that the country aspires to. The children are better off with their own family or a foster family, is their argument. Photographer Anaïs López, journalist Paulien Bakker and film-maker Anisleidy Martínez travelled to L’Esperance Children’s Village in the Rwandan countryside in December 2014, a month before the orphanage closed.

They met the brothers Hirwa (13) and Jean-Cloude (11), who wanted to return to their mother Fareeda. Fareeda was 27 and lived in Kigali. She was orphaned during the genocide and became pregnant when she was still a teenager. Fareeda is too poor to care for them. Nevertheless, the government is forcing her to take back the boys. The brothers laboriously begin a new life in her small hut with only a single bed. Will they make it together?

In the dual channel system that forms the heart of this exhibition, we follow Fareeda and her children up to six months after their reunion. The creators soon become involved in the family. They are faced with the unpredictable reality of Rwanda and reflect on their own role and responsibilities towards Fareeda and her sons.

Back at the orphanage, the creators and the children developed a photo notebook, which became a memento of the orphanage family. The title “In my dreams I want to become a tourist” refers to one of the dreams in this booklet. The booklet is for sale and with the proceeds some of the children will be able to return to school.

The exhibition is now on display at the Oba, the central library in Amsterdam, until October 30.

Come to the opening debate in Humanity House on November 3.


In my dreams I want to become a tourist” will travel to other places in the Netherlands and abroad.

Photography: Anaïs López

Video: Anisleidy Martínez

Monologues: Paulien Bakker

Editor: Thomas Vroege

Curator: Iris Sikking

Graphic design: Andrea Vendrik


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