SREFIDENSIA photographic perspective on the Surinamese histories of resistance and emancipation

To mark 40 years of Surinamese independence, FOTODOK has teamed up with artist and researcher Sara Blokland to launch the project Srefidensi, Sranantongo for independence.

Srefidensi uses photography to reflect on a number of well-known and lesser known events from colonial history leading up to Surinam’s independence from the Netherlands on 25 November 1975. We look for and analyse photos that visualise the resistance and emancipation of the Surinamese people. The research focuses on images in which text and symbolism play an important role. Over the course of a year, Sara Blokland will explore a number of visual and theoretical research avenues and invite contemporary artists and thinkers to respond to her findings. By combining both historical and autonomous research, Srefidensi explores new connections between photography and Surinamese history and identity. While the main focus is the political and social context, the project also examines the birth and evolution of the photo itself. The research will culminate in both real and online publications, public events and presentations.

Do you have your own stories and/or photos of Surinam you would like to share with us? Then please get in touch via More information about Srefidensi can be found on:

Srefidensi’s partners are CBK Zuidoost, Framer Framed, Stadsarchief Amsterdam and Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen/RCMC. Srefidensi is generously supported by Mondriaan Fonds, Gemeente Utrecht and partners. Many thanks!

Photo: ANEFO, demonstration at Schiphol Airport for Surinamese independence, 1975 (source: Collectie Stadsarchief Amsterdam)