Couscous & cola USA

17 maart 2004 - Multimedia, Projects, Series

A TV series of 17 episodes within three years. A provocative, lively and fun tv docu-soap series about 9 immigrantteenagers, their school, family, neighbourhood and their debating club in Amsterdam-West.

They are debating sex, violence, politics, and the clash of values amongst themselves and with Europe.

In the end they are travelling to the United States, country and symbol of everything they love and hate, to see if what they see on tv about it is true.
In the second series they travel back to Africa to be re united with their grand mothers who did not see them again since they were babies. But they experience discrimination of all colors , the painful history of the slaves and the clashes of religion as well. Some of them find out they are actually princesses, others realize their painful pasts.

The series are a humourous, shocking and moving view into the world in which they survive.

couscous & cola #1 USA

9 x 25 minutes
Producer: IDTV
2004 Netherlands (BNN)
2007 Al Jazeera International


From November 2004 till January 2005 BNN broadcasted the 9 episodes of the documentary soap ‘couscous & cola’ directed by Maartje Nevejan and presented by Patrick Lodiers. The camera follows nine young VMBO (secondary school) students on their way to the country they both love and hate, The United States of America.
In this series you get to know Kacem, Deborah, Ramy, Omar, Ahlam, Youssef, Jalil, Akosua and Ilknur who have been in Holland for a couple of years and are traveling to The United States. The country of unlimited possibilities, and unlimited hate.
The debating club at school provides the pulse of the series, it is here that the students: Christian and Islamic, boys and girls with and without headscarves, rapping and riming, passionately confront and oppose themselves and others.
The camera follows the youngsters at school, and at home, with their family and friends. Presenter Patick Lodiers takes post in the school, is astounded and aggravated by the kids but also becomes their friend and confidant. At the end of the series Patrick leaves for the US with some of the youngsters. Who survives older brothers, parents, exams and passport requests? The program gives a humorous, shocking and moving view of the world in which they survive.

Couscous & cola #1 broadcasted worldwide on Al jazeera in 2007.

More articles about couscous & cola #1 in Dutch:
Nieuws vanuit een niet-westers perspectief‘ (pdf file 370 KB) Contrast [feb.’07]
Meer cola dan couscous‘ (pdf file 1 MB) Het Parool [march 2007]
‘Reisdagboek’ De Telegraaf [march 2007].

Read about Nevejan’s masterclass Couscous & cola in B the change, january 2007.

Rose d'Or The Silver Zebra AwardDutch Media Award 2005 ‘Zilveren Zebra’ for couscous & cola!

cc & c Nominated for the Golden Rose Competition 2005 in the category ‘Social Awareness Award’

couscous & cola was screened from 17 th – 23 th december 2005 in Sudan, Khartoum, at the international Conference: ‘My unknown Enemy, Theater between Frontiers’.
– Read the travelling diary (in Dutch: Vrij Nederland, januari 2006).
– Read an artical in Arabic about the couscous & cola screening in Sudan (newspaper: ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Maartje Nevejan in Sudan

Read more about couscous & cola in English:
The Dutch newspaperclippings (PDF) translated.

Screenings & Debates cc & c 2005-2006:
Hoge School Amsterdam, College Amsterdam, los Angeles USA UCLA, Zomergasten.
Dutch Parlement 2006, Amsterdam, Forum Imagining Europe, Felix Meritis, nacht van het debat, The Wordshow black soil hiphop-filmfestival Adam.