Mijn plek in Suriname

In the period 2006 to 2008 I worked on the project "my spot in Suriname". I have interviewed, filmed and photographed in Suriname and in the Netherlands.

It started with a photo project in 2006 with Ingeborg Denessen "children between imagination and reality". At an elementary school in Transvaal we interviewed children who had never been to Suriname but are originally from there. In Suriname we asked children to photograph their surroundings, places that are special to them. The photos were pasted into a large photo book. That photo book lies on a wooden school desk with headphones. From the headphones the texts of the children from the Netherlands can be heard. The school desk is so big that adults feel like children with dangling legs.

2008 'Mijn plek in Suriname' is a photo/film installation with sound. It was shown in Room 5 of the Haags Filmhuis and in the other rooms there were photo exhibitions. There were articles about it in Algemeen Dagblad, Den Haag Centraal and De Ware tijd (Suriname), It is exhibited in Nola Hatterman Institute in Paramaribo. Everything is in Dutch.



In 2007 I made a film about Surinamese artist George Struikelblok with his landscape installation "TipTip". TipTips are slippers made from wood and an old bicycle tire. These slippers were brought to Suriname by Javanese people. George Struikelblok's landscape installation is an ode to the culture of Javanese immigrants. The movie is in Dutch.

TipTip' was shown at IDFA flies T(r)opics in Paramaribo, Ruang MES film festival in Yogyakarta, Centrum Beeldende Kunst in Rotterdam and Gemak in The Hague.


Indian Dance: Window of Appearance

In 2008, Culturalis commissioned me to make a movie about Indian dance with Western choreography by Joan van der Mast. This film was shown on a large screen as a background for the live dance, so that even in a large hall the nuance of the movements could be seen in magnified form.

It was screened in Het Lucent Danstheater, Korzo theater and Haags Filmhuis.


Meanwhile, I was photographing parties in The Hague where Surinamese people wear traditional clothing. It struck me that people born and raised in the Netherlands not only revere the culture of their parents but also keep the culture of their ancestors alive through art, music and dance. Mainly cultural expression from India, Java, Africa and from the indigenous Indians of Suriname.

I filmed Marcel Pinas in Mali, Africa, a Surinamese artist in search of his cultural identity. In 2009, Marcel Pinas founded the cultural center Foundation Kibii in Moengo, which is in the interior of Suriname. I filmed the establishment and interviewed people about art. Together with Anneke I gave photography workshops in small villages in the middle of the jungle only accessible by boat and in Moengo.

From all these films and photo projects I made an installation in the Haags filmhuis titled "My place in Suriname" and Marcel placed an artwork in this installation about the Ndyuka cultural heritage.

While working in Suriname I noticed that for most Surinamese people a trip to the jungle is much more unusual than traveling to the Netherlands. I would like to explore this in a future project.