As a theatre maker I invented a story
of a girl traveling to the end of the World on her tractor.
But what is the 'End of the World'?
A child could say: the South Pole! Because it sounds like going to the moon on a tractor, but maybe it is possible!
An adult might say: a country torn by famine or war, a place where people lose hope.
Both voices said: go!
I realised that if I would put this story into reality, I could tell stories about real people and the real world that are inspiring! So I thought: Maybe we should just do it!
And that became the motto of my journey:
'Sometimes you just have to do it!'
After more than 3,4 years and travelling over 38.000km's with my tractor and a dog I arrived on the 'Cape of Good Hope', South-Africa. All these years I'd been searching for beautiful projects, initiatives and people stories. And I've collected (on film, in photo's and in writing) so many stories that inspire courage, that prove that 'sometimes you just have to do it!'
While traveling Iíve collected dreams of people everywhere.
Wishes, written on small pieces of paper.
They travel with me on the back of the tractor.
Iíll take them all the way to the geographical South Pole
and there I want to build this big snowman
with the dreams of the world in itís belly.
I hope that people will hear about this story and think to themselves: if you can drive a tractor all the way to the South Pole, and be safe, maybe this one dream that I have is also possible. Maybe I should just do it!
Currently I'm planning the last exciting and uplifting leg of this epic journey: the South Pole expedition, by tractor.
I'm determined to create a stage voor the beautiful stories of the people I met! And I truly hope to build that snowman with the 'dreams of the World' in it's belly!
There's a lot that still needs to be done, and much is going on already. On this website you will be able to read my stories.
'On a tractor to the South Pole' was published by De Geus publishers in 2007.
Nearly 10.000 copies of this book have been sold to date!
The book can be found in Bookstores and libraries in the Netherlands (NL language only). It was recently sold to a major Korean publishing house.
I'm still looking for an English publisher!
A journey through Europe, through the Balkan, and through Africa. And from South-Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, by boat to the South pole. On the South pole by tractor or on foot to the Pole itself.
Southpole, besides a journey and expedition, is also a document. Above all, Southpole wants to give attention to special projects of NGO?s. (Non Governmental Organisations like WarChild and The Hunger Project, but also small local projects..)
Initiatives which deserve attention because they show faith, courage, endurance and love.
Southpole needs media, so she can be followed, so she won?t go alone. Southpole wants to inspire, wants to involve.
'Because it's more inspiring to follow a dream to it's realisation, than to report on a set record.'
This will also give me a chance to create a platform for the inspiring people and projects I meet/visit on my way...
Above all, Southpole hopes to generate a lot of positive energy. Bring hope to a world that is more and more being run by fear.
Photo: Geert Snoeijer
The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South-Africa, Cape of Good Hope, South pole.
Photo: Peter Rillema
The girl on the tractor is Manon Ossevoort. She studied at the Kleinkunst academy (school of cabaret-musical) AHK, in 1996. Studied dance in 1997, AHK. Received her diploma?s at the Theatre school in Amsterdam in 2002.
Diploma?s: Theatre maker/ actor, and Drama teacher. Since school Manon has worked virtually non-stop in the theatre as an actress, a dancer, and a theatremaker.
A performance, wŪth the tractor, was made especially for this journey. This performance is played on different occasions during the trip. On international festivals, in villages, at projects..
A performance as a means of communication for the girl on the tractor, and a gift.
With the performance I collect dreams of people (written down on little pieces of paper). These dreams travel with me on the back of my tractor, all the way to the South Pole... Where I hope to build a big snowman with the 'dreams of the world' in it's belly.
'DO' is a poetic and slightly slapstick performance about the realization of dreams, concuerring fears, and about a developping friendship between a girl and a tractor...
It tells the story of a dream literally coming out (of the ground) looking for the courage to realize itself.
It's a symbolique story about the process in your head, from the moment you are caught by an idea, untill you choose and decide: let's do it! (or at least try;)
What started as an experiment became a project enthusiastically followed by radio, television and the writing press. The journey to Paris raised money and attention for Unicef and War Child.
On the tractor through the fields, driving round and around the Arc de Triomphe, eye-to-eye with the French gendarmerie, waltzing with a eighty-year old Frenchman and his chicken, smoking a cigarette with an Arabic sheik in his limousine on the camping in Bois du Boulogne, and bumping into a legion of about 400 children on 25 tractors..
"As a child I?ll get on a tractor and drive all the way to the Southpole.
As an adult I?ll make sure I come home safe."
Southpole is looking for sponsors to help her travel!
Southpole seeks Media to follow the journey so she can involve and inspire!
The St. Trektor foundation was set up in 2004 to manage funds for the 'South Pole project' and send agreed money to the different humanitarian organisations Manon supports and visits during her journey!