Alice Fortes

Alice Fortes in The Yellow Heart

All nationalities can be found at West-Kruiskade in Rotterdam (so it’s said). This is probably the most international street of Holland. We Chinese people, as well as most inhabitants call it ChinaTown. But, visually, ChinaTown is still overlooked easily. Too bad if you ask me. I love being in ChinaTown, it’s my working area for many projects. I know lots of people working here or just passing by. One of the persons I adore is Alice Fortes. I met her when I was starting my Chinese artists collective Studio Zi. Alice arranged an empty shop-space for us so we could do all creative things we wanted. In exchange we were bringing art as well as a cultural atmosphere to the street. After 5 years now, Alice is still helping me. She still works at Alliantie West-Kruiskade (part of local government). I can see her walking as if she is always in a hurry. She talks so fast, so sometimes I really need to recapitulate. She is full of fire, which must be thanks to her Cape Verdean blood.

Alice was born in Rotterdam, as the youngest of the Family and the only one born in Holland (her other sisters and brother were born in Cape Verde). The family calls her «the Dutch one». Even though she was born in Rotterdam, she really feels connected to Cape Verde. Alice: «It is very important to know where you come from. I am teaching my son everything I know about our roots. I have pushed him to learn the Cape Verdean language and learn to respect the traditions, and have taken him to the islands. I find this essential to his upbringing and I am very proud that I have managed to do all that for him. He is very grateful already».