Once upon a time, you didn’t exist
when I came here, to Holland (thirty years ago) .
You didn’t yet exist here then
(your fathers did, but they were different).
You didn’t exist yet
As ‘The Moroccan’ ,
as a specific group ,
as a concept ,
as a subject, as a picture ,
for every newspaper, TV and magazine column
(I was not an ‘allochtoon’ yet and neither were you) .
But when you came
so did the attraction and the fear .
You, the Mediterranean type ,
the physiognomy of the Latin lover ,
the Arab on the white scooter ,
the lover boy, the rapper, the Palestinian brother…
And the Dutch daughters fell in love .
And their fathers grew confused .
And called all Turks Moroccans.
(all Moroccans are named Mohammed, Rashid or Ali ,
all the Dutch boys are named Piet or Jan) .
Her new Turkish boyfriend said
‘your father and I have at least
one thing in common:
neither of us likes
Pretty Boys. First published in Respect! Forms of community – Contemporary art From the Netherlands, (cat.), Marrakech, 2005; and included in Marlene Dumas, Sweet Nothings. Notes and Texts, second edition (revised and expanded) Koenig Books London, 2014.