Nadine Stijns

Balikbayan Box Content I

Dutch tradition

We Dutchies like to give each other chocolate letters for Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is a children’s festival, celebrated around the fifth of December. The letters are supposed to correspond to the first letter of your first name. The S, the letter of Sinterklaas himself, can be given to everyone.

An odd combination

We don’t often see a chocolate letter next to a chocolate Easter bunny.


Balikbayan Box Content I is the title of this work of art. Literally translated: repatriation box. Repatriation means: return to the home country. These boxes are sent by labour migrants to their families. For example au pairs, domestic workers, workers on drilling platforms and sailors.


The Balikbayan Box is more than a box of foreign gifts and supplies. It is an act of giving, of generosity. At the same time it is a sacrifice and a sign of new possibilities.

How about you?

If you were an au pair, staying abroad somewhere. What would you send to your family?

The artist

Nadine Stijns works on long-term photographic projects fuelled by her curiosity for socio-economic and political situations. Labour migration is one of her topics.

Kijk eens anders

What would you ask him or her?

This is the location where you are now. Occasionally, this location will differ from your actual position. This has no impact on your tour. However, 'All art in this room' is linked to this location. If desired, select 'Walk around', where you will find all rooms.

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