RESEARCH: Srefidensi a photographic perspective on the Surinamese histories of resistance and emancipation

Srefidensi (2015 – 2017) is a artistic research project  that reflects through photography
on the centuries of protest, resistance and emancipation of the Surinamese people prior to the official
Surinamese independence in 1975. In doing so, we look  also  at less known histories emancipation and
resistance of Surinam  . We focus our attention on those photograph  that show images with (protest) texts,
visual staging (re-enactment) and strong symbols and symbolism concerning Suriname, Surinamese peoples  and stories of the struggle of independence.


In the 1970s the Surinamese poet and writer Trefossa thought that a nation who claimed their independence should also have their

own word in htheir own language for that status. He came up the word Srefidensi.

Srefidensi is also  the title I have chosen for the research project which, through photography, reflects on

centuries of protest, resistance and emancipation of the Surinamese people prior to the independence (Srefidensi) in 1975.

I researched through a number of historical , visual and theoretical discourses   Surinamese histories and  symbols of resistance

and emancipation up to 1975. I focused on those photographs that showed images with (protest) texts, visual staging (re-enactment)

and photos with strong symbols and symbolism concerning the Surinamese independence. The project focuses on this political

and social context, but also on the  history of the photo itself.

The research resulted in publications in the form of five image newspapers, an exhibition in the Tropen museum,

autonomous work in public space in collaboration with artist Jaya Pelupessy, a symposium series of four  in

The Amsterdam Museum, Fotodok The Black Archives and the Tropenmuseum and a series of essays by various writers that I invited.

The five newspapers  where designed in close collaboration with graphic-designer Yvonne van Versendaal.

These visualpapers are all different somewhat in design relating to the content.

However most  newspapers do have the character of a newpaper clipping collection  and do not try to tell a “complete” story

but rather  mtell  fragments of knowledge and interpretation, which can be supplemented in many ways and become partof different

knowlegde systems.


For more info and works see  SREFIDENSIFOTO.ORG

Initiative: Fotodok and  Sara Blokland

Concept en Artistic Research: Sara Blokland

In collaborations with:  RCMC  CBK Zuidoost   Amsterdam Museum  The Black archives