Wedding Portraits: Surinamese Ancestors in Photographs 1868-1950


“Wedding Portraits: Surinamese Ancestors in Photographs 1868-1950” is an exhibition curated by Lucia Nankoe. The exhibition opened on September 14 and will be on view until November 14, 2018, at OBA Javaplein Library in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Description: “Grandma, who is the bride in this photo? Is this you, with Grandpa?” How often does such a question come up when you see a somewhat yellowed, framed wedding photo on a wall, an album, on a sideboard, or on a smartphone?

Photographs bring the world of the past to the present, and that is indeed the case with the photographs in the exhibition “Wedding Portraits: Surinamese Ancestors in Photographs 1868-1950.” In this exhibition, Surinamese couples (or people whose partners are of Surinamese background) are at the center of the picture. These photographs display not only a striking image of the period in which the specific marriage took place, but also make it clear how much Surinamese people traveled to all corners of the world under Dutch rule. The collection includes wedding photos of Surinamese-Dutch, Surinamese-Indian and Surinamese-American couples.

Photography was introduced in Suriname around 1860. Since then it was common for couples to be photographed in the first photo studios in Paramaribo or in their parents’ courtyard. Occasionally,  the marriage was performed in the Netherlands. The oldest photograph in the exhibition dates back to 1868, and some stories are even older.

This is the first time that the cultural diversity of the Surinamese society been shown in this way using photographs and the stories of descendants.

For the original information (in Dutch), see—1950.html

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