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
For more info and works see SREFIDENSIFOTO.ORG
Concept en Artistic Research: Sara Blokland
In collaborations with: RCMC CBK Zuidoost Amsterdam Museum The Black archives