Manon Ossevoort is a theatre maker from Holland who invented a story of a girl traveling to the end of the World on her tractor.
She decided she wanted to make this story come true and decided to drive a tractor to the end of the world.
But what is the ‘End of the World’?
The child in her said: the South Pole!
The adult in her said: a country torn by famine or war, a place where people lose hope.
Both of the voices said: go!
And that’s exactly what she did!
Manon took off in the Summer of 2005, on the last day of the Oerol theatre-festival held in the Dutch Island of Terschelling, driving a green Deutz Tractor with a max. speed of 20km/h! Her goal: to reach the end of the world (Antarctica) while passing through Africa, a region torn by famine and war.
A theatre performance wíth the tractor was made especially for this journey, which she played on different occasions during the trip: on international festivals, in villages, at projects. The performance called ‘DO’ became a poetic and slightly slapstick performance about the realization of dreams, the conquering of fears, and about a developing friendship between a girl and a tractor…
During the performance Manon collected the dreams of people (written down on little pieces of paper) which she carried with her on the Tractor all the way to the South Pole. Her ultimate goal was to build an Antarctic snowman with the ‘dreams of the world’ in it’s belly.
Manon traveled, and performed her show, through all of the following countries:
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.
On 22 October 2008, after more than three and half years, covering over 38.000km’s – and inspiring many people to dream big – she reached the Cape of Good Hope, in South-Africa. With a tractor packed with dreams she needed to find a way to get to the South Pole. The lack of a sponsor, and the abundance of red tape prevented her from moving on to the South Pole. But Manon kept on dreaming. And trying. And searching to find a way to make her own dream come true.
Then in 2013 her persistence finally paid off when she managed to get the Massey Ferguson tractor company onboard as the main sponsor for her trip to Antarctica. With this legendary company backing her Manon will step in the frozen footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary who in 1958 successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica using Massey Ferguson tractors in the so-called Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE)).
Manon has recently started her Arctic tractor training engaging in multiple glacial tractor drives around Iceland. In about a year’s time (somewhere in 2014) she will then finally get the opportunity to make her, and thousands of others’, dreams come true with a snowman build on Antarctica!
UPDATE: In December 2014 Ossevoort drove a Massey Ferguson MF 5610 Tractor to the South Pole covering 5000km across the Antarctic continent and finally built a snowman that contains the dreams of the people of the world.
Read the Full Antarctic adventure story of Tractor Girl here
You can read all about Manon’s adventures so far in her book ‘On a tractor to the South Pole’. Unfortunately only available in Dutch so far (published by De Geus publishers in 2007 )