PLANNING FOR WHO?
After three weeks in Surinam we have made our provisional planning. This is what we are concentrating on and the projects we are trying to get of the ground.
Three qualities we focus on are:
sense of identity, sense of place, sense of heritage.
Together they are part of the scales of belonging somewhere, being at home.
Suriname and Moengo have something in common: both are societies created for economic purposes, both by companies with a clear cultural concept. As well in both inhabitants were imported as workers. Resulting in communities, with only the relation with the initiator in common.
At this point in time, after almost a century since its foundation in 1916, Moengo faces the possible departure of the founder company SURALCO. And in a way loses its purpose since there are very few other employers. We like to investigate whether during this century a different/alternative collective identity has formed. What the concepts about communality are. And what kind of relation people feel to Moengo. Do they belong here, are they visiting, trespassing, guests, migrants in transit or are they ready to leave?
As invitees of Tembe Art Studio we are part of the new invasion: the cultural class. Marcel Pinas focuses on the traditional marroon culture as anispiration for a possible new sense of identity for Moengo. He invites contemporary artist to come and make a sculpture in the public space. Both to create a new industry, tourism, for Moengo and to re- introduce the practice of cultural traditions in everyday life. We are all for this, although we also feel a certain contradiction in terms: are we, the children of the colonial ruler best equipped to introduce a new cultural elan? On the other hand, we are experts where it comes to what the tourist expects of a ‘authentic culture’. And we do have a lot of experience in the tension between politics, economy and community.
Of course teaching the children of both Moengo as the villages in the neighbourhood is a great opportunity to educate and listen and observe. For this we have written a small program, which we hopefully execute together with the next resident Klaas Burger. .
When planning we found out that already time is short. So probably things will change, be skipped or condensed. As said earlier today on the local radio station B.O.B.: three months in Germany is a long time, in Suriname speed of things is different…..