In the artistic research project SREFIDENSI FOTO I collect and researche photographs  related to  known and unknown Surinamese histories of  resistance and emancipation up to 1980.


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

own word in their 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