As a bookseller you don’t always sell books in the store itself, sometimes you get the chance to spread your wings, and sell books elsewhere. Yesterday was such a day for me, when I got the chance to sell Alex Boogers’ novella Wanneer de mieren schreeuwen at a benefit organized to raise money for its movie adaptation.
It promised to be an exciting night, with appearances by the mayor, Alex Boogers, Waylon, Ruth Jacott, Replay and many others. And exciting it was, I got to have my cake and eat it too. While drinking and eating (I had to sell books before and after the benefit with a ‘pause’ of a few hours between) I got to see the crowd go wild for Ruth Jacott. It was truly fascinating, seeing all these apparently wealthy people sing along to every song of her, new and old. And, I have to be honest, Ruth Jacott knows how to work it.
So yes, I enjoyed myself and it was nice to get a free meal and enjoy a show at the same time. However, although watching everyone perform was fun, for me, the most memorable part of the evening was watching and listening to who it was actually about: Sedar Soares.
For everyone who needs a refresher: in 2003 13-year-old Sedar Soares was shot at metro station Slinge while throwing snowballs with his friends. Being born and raised in Rotterdam myself, and being the same age when it happened, it felt strange sitting there listening to Alex Boogers and Sedar’s friends retelling the story. Maybe I felt this way because it hit so close to home, I had friends living near Slinge back in 2003.
Although yesterday evening was definitely a great example of ‘the perks of the job’ with all its extravagance, I actually was more impressed by what it all stood for: the novella Alex Boogers wrote in response to Sedar Soares’ useless death and the hopefully forthcoming movie adaptation of Wanneer de mieren schreeuwen.
I tried to do my part yesterday, unfortunately the audience didn’t seem to be the book-buying kind: I only sold a few books. Therefore I am urging you to still buy and/or read the novella. As Boogers yesterday also pointed out: although the evening was clearly focused on and about Wanneer de mieren schreeuwen and Sedar Soares, the message of the evening also transcends all of this. It’s about all acts of senseless/useless/mindless violence, everywhere.
I can only applaud initiatives like this and hope that Wanneer de mieren schreeuwen will soon be in cinemas around the Netherlands. Unfortunately acts of senseless violence aren’t incidents, as we all might like to believe and I now know why it hit so close to home. It is not because I’m from Rotterdam, but because this can literally happen to anyone. So any kind of awareness is, in my opinion, more than welcome.
Maritza Dubravac is our no. 1 columnist, writing about her bookstore life. Besides organizing the YA book club with us, she’s a mean cook and bakes the free tasties for those evenings. She also writes for Books & Bubbles, Hebban.nl about books and sometimes dabbles in food writing atNadelunch.com.