NOËMIE PLATEAU & LOTUS LI
“MOTHER-LAND” Both adopted, both raised in a Belgium family, both having a biological mother living in China, both feeling from an early age as if something is missing. Missing their mothers, their homeland, identity, roots…?
Noëmi & Lotus will explore on March 19th – by means of words and drawings -
this feeling of ongoing confusion about what China means to them and how it is inherently linked to their mothers.
Noëmi Plateau, 26 years old and living in Brussels.
In 2017 graduated as a primary education teacher and in 2021 obtained a master's degree in graphic design and illustration.
Currently working as a graphic designer for the production house Banijay Belgium.
She is also working on a several freelance illustration projects, such as illustrating her second book for publisher De Eenhoorn. She recently won the Belgodyssee competition for journalism, which means she can do an internship at the VRT news service this autumn.
Noëmi: “I have a great interest in the world, the people and their stories.
I myself was born in China (Hefei, Anhui) and when I was 1 year and a half, I was adopted by my Belgian parents.
For my master's project at Kask I made an imaginary search for my roots and my biological parents and in the meantime this search has become real and I have been searching for about a year.
The search for my biological parents mainly became a search for myself, for my roots, for China, for a part that I have lost.”
Lotus Li, 19 years old, studying Social Sciences at the VUB.
As an advisor to the Flemish Youth Council, she tries to strengthen the voice of young people in Flanders and Brussels by confronting these voices to policy makers.
In August she founded the organization Untold Asian Stories together with two women with Chinese roots. Asians are often stereotyped as submissive and a model minority. With Untold Asian Stories they want to claim their place in society for the first time in Flanders, offer people with Asian roots a safe space and put existing representation in the spotlight. They would also like to establish a connection between white Flemish people and people of color because communication between groups is crucial and is still too often forgotten today. Through projects such as Lotus her ambassadorship at the Warmste Week, campaigning at the COP26 in Glasgow, her role in the TV program 'The Eighties for Teens', starting a food cabinet at her university, etc. She tries to tackle global warming as to take the lead. Lotus: “I am unable to look beyond this crisis and because of this I try to contribute in as many ways as possible and try to demonstrate links between themes such as climate, inequality, racism, sexism and so on. I believe my awareness of this stems in part from my adoption story and the injustice from which it arose.”
We - Lotus and Noëmi - have a very different adoption story. Yet we felt - through recognition of our common backpack - connected from the moment we met. We were both raised here in Belgium in a white environment and we have a biological mother who lives in China. From an early age we both feel as if something is missing. A loss to our moms? To our homeland? Our identity? Our roots? This ongoing confusion about what China means to us and how it is inherently linked to our mothers, we will seek to explore and embrace on March 19th. We will bring this together through word and story and also Noëmi's drawings.