2018 marked 145 years of Hindustani immigration to Suriname. Not being able to find any art depciting these indentured lives, I created this series as a personal exploration of the many untold narratives to keep them from fading from history’s pages.
On January 18, 2019, Vereniging Ons Suriname (VOS) celebrated its 100th anniversary. As part of this anniversary, The Black Archives organized the Onze Tori festival on Saturday, January 19, 2019. A day in which stories about migration, hope, love, struggle, racism, resistance against it, but also about business successes, art, sports and more were shared.
To celebrate this anniversary, the exhibition “Onze Tori” (Our Story) was organized in which Surinamese heroes were put in the spotlight by means of portraits. I was commisioned to paint portraits of Ernestine Comvalius and André Reeder.
Stories can inspire and move people. Stories can put subjects and the history around them in perspective. In the past hundred years there have been many special stories and events that have long remained silent. Some are already known, others still undiscovered.
This series depicts second- and third-generation Indo-Surinamese people in the Netherlands. Given the importance of representation, it was important to me to express such identities that are often overlooked and excluded in typical narratives.