a selection of the wonderful people we have worked with in Suriname.

A lazy afternoon in Moengo, with play and games.

We were honoured to be the guest of district commisaris (DC) Dhr. Theodorus Sondrejoe , quite the drawer himself when he was in school... In the picture we are joined with fellow artist Roddney Tjon Poen Gie.

Thank you Deryck Ferrier for a wonderful meeting! You have showered us with knowledge and insights! weĺl shre parts of it soon!

Klaar in aktie.

A very interesting meeting with Liliane, working in the B.I.C., the Civilian Information Centre, in Moengo. Liliane believes strongly in the participation with the people in Moengo to get things done. Right now a series of public hearings is organised to inform the people what is possible and to ask them about their problems and priorities. Weŕe looking forward to visiting one of them and to hear whatś going on in the different communities..

and weŕe in our apartment. We love to share this view with you! The soundtrack will be posted later...

our mantra now!

Fort Zeelandia/Surinaams museum.

The Plaquette on the righthand side is a tribute to the people being executed on this very location, Bastion Veere.
It is the place where the brutal murders took place known in the world as the ' december moorden' .

Looking our Sunday best, Bart in suit and Klaar in dress and hat we visit fort Zeelandia. We are just in time to join the guided tour. We learn all about the history and construction of the fort. Build in different stages with changing insights. Almost washed away by the river and in the end obsolete because the enemy could not be seen long enough in advance. On the second tower we can already smell the food of the restaurant. The tour is well visited, so we first don notice the plaquette in the corner. Exactly here the december killings took place. The holes in the wall still bear witness. To be able to see the impact of the bullets today, is very disturbing. The rest of the tour we are informed on slavery, the transport of slaves and the hunt for escaped slaves. The collection in the museum shows beautiful artifacts from indigenous and Marroon culture. When we have an outstanding peanut soup and an ultrafresh salad in the restaurant Baka Foto a woman enters and explains to her guest “and here is where the slaves were offloaded from the ships and where they entered the fortress...” Interesting and moving start of the sunday....

Art/culture/souvenir
A stunning 'kamisa', shoulder cloth worn by men during dances and rituals. Striking similarities between abstract compositions in western art.
Now this kind of textile is produced as souvenir. Lacking both refinement and more important, urgency. Except as a means for earning money these 'pangis' have no use. They are not created for personal use and have no particular meaning. This is puzzling. Is an artfefact that has no more cultural significance still a cultural object. Or is it as well for the producers a souvenir? From a different time and with a meaning they themselves can only guess..........

and on Sunday Par'bo rests...
we walk through an almost empty city center.. Shops closed. Hardly any one there. The only activity are construction workers and shop owners doing a little fixing up. Also the streets are cleaned.
It is a real old time sunday feeling! There is a lot to say for commercial Sunday rest!

sound of Helstone still a mystery

Johannes Nicolaas Helstone, part 2

Although he is praised extensively as Surinames most important composer it is really hard to find any recordings of his works. The closest we have come is a song he didn't compose, the national anthem. His musical proposal 'welcome' was rejected. Last year April there has been a concert in local theater Thalia to honor his work. But no recording of that event has been found so far...

 

 

Magic Moengo team ready!
Later we have changed it into Moengo Magic.
Not the place or location but the inventive culture of the 'Hossel' is the magic.

Hail in Paramaribo: the pictures leave no room for doubt. It happened. Official comment of the metereological institute: scientificaly it is impossible. But it happened anyway.
Just goes to show the endless possibilities Suriname offers!

It must be a leftover from christmas, a snowman in the tropics...

In Paramaribo there are many possibilities to open new businesses. Many buildings are asking for new plans. Sometimes the space already found a new function. Here the empty former bar and club Palmgarden is changed into an open air exhibition with many pleasing wall pictures.

The car is everywhere... The sidewalk for pedestrians is non existent. The car is very popular because of the airconditioning. But we as tourist of course like to enjoy walking and exploring by foot.

The monument for the Surinamese composer Johannes Nicolaas Helstone (1853-1927). When asked the girl in the foto couldn't quite place him. We will try to find a sample of his most reveered work: The opera: het pand der goden (house of the gods), which was a great success in Europe.

Work in progress... in the back part of the recently restored wooden cathedral, to be the biggest wooden building of South America. The sign is a great example of SU-design: It doubles as a bench!

A jewelry box? A treasure trove?
NO!
This is for putting the garbage safely out of reach from rodents..

Our own embassy is very hospitable, friendly and open. We have had a wonderful meeting with the senior policy officer culture and sports Sandra Ammerlingh Zweers and were welcomed most heartily by guard and host Mansingh. Very pleasant!

Tax paying is becoming more and more an accepted part of citizenship. Allthough of course not a very popular one! The tax-office is more and more busy.

Slice of everyday life: Husband threatens wife that dialed the wrong numbers...

Old house but still functioning as a store! This is part of the wonderful cultural heritage of Paramaribo.

Vijf voor 12.

Mooi klein jongetje Ruben in de Palmentuin.

het verhaal.

Tijdens onze eerste week bezoeken we een aantal plekken in Paramaribo oa. het bureau van de statistiek. We hebben een serieus onderhoud met de dienstdoende chef en we worden goed geholpen. We kopen een aantal publicaties met statistieken over het gebied waar we naartoe gaan en over de verschillende etniciteiten... er stond ook een taart diagram in het kantoor... Vooral die 6% vinden we wel erg boeiend.

My neighbours on the KLM flight, a group of eleven youngsters for the first time to arrive in a country outside China. Suriname opens the doors to the chinese. They are very welcome to do labour. So it has become the new country of opportunity. They come in large numbers and travel in groups with one person being able to communicate. I helped one boy to fill out his visa application and all translating skills were due to his I phone. He did not speak any word of English and seemed not prepared for the trip. Getting out of the plane they experienced the tropical heat fully dressed as a true surprise...

Hardrijden in Moengo. Er gebeurt iets, het is tevens een monument voor de moderne tijd.
bron: pee-es.nl

We vinden oude kaarten van Suriname ten tijde van de Kolonie. Talloze expedities moesten het land in kaart brengen. Met een heel duidelijk doel. Je ziet op de kaart het wilde ongetemde landschap van moeras gebieden/ oerwoud, de organische en meanderende loop van een rivier in tegenstelling tot een rechtlijnig aaneengeschakelde cluster van plantages. Je ziet vooral de tekentafel. Het levert een ongekend beeld op. Deze top down verkaveling vanuit de hollandse handelsgeest van 'ondernemers'/ rekenmeesters/ boekouders. Zo ziet beheersing er dus uit....

Kaart uit 1770, vervaardigd door Lavaux, waarop de ligging van plantage “Pietersburg” (nr.80), gelegen aan de Cottica rivier, is aangegeven.







bron: http://home.kpn.nl/a.camijn/plantages.htm

Van WIE is het land?



De dynamiek kristalliseerde zich letterlijk aan de oevers van de rivieren. Daar is door bepaalde logica en regelgeving het land verkaveld en overgenomen door oa. de voorloper van ABN-Amro, de Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (NHM).
De NMH (hoofdkantoor was gebouw De Bazel aan de Amsterdamse Vijzelstraat 32) exploiteerde oa.de oude suiker plantage Mariënburg, waar we drie weken geleden op bezoek waren.

In Paramaribo nabij Fort Zeelandia, een historische belangrijke en politiek beladen plek staan betonnen letters die samen de slogan I LOVE SU maken. Een ontwerp van Kunstenaar George Struikelblok (what's in a name).

Een dorpshuis 'oude stijl'. Op een uur varen vanuit Moengo, aan de Commewijne rivier bevinden zich een aantal dorpen die we afgelopen week hebben bezocht. In het midden van het dorp is een gemeenschappelijke plek. Daar gaan we in januari lesgeven. Het bouwwerk bestaat uit een plat dak met een hoogte van 2.20 meter en iets lager gedeelte met een puntdak.
bouwmaterialen zijn hardhouten palen en verzinkte golfplaten.
De paal die is opgericht met hangende doek is om contact te zijn/ komen met de voorouders. De inrichting van deze dorpen lijkt willekeurig maar is heel specifiek. Alle huizen staan on- regelmatig kriskras door elkaar. Direct waar de bebouwing ophoudt begint de jungle. Het is fascinerend!

Na een regenbui lopen we door de warme modder op blote voeten. Je voelt hoe mensen hier in harmonie met de natuur samenleven.