Towards an ID for the Future: from Alakondre Sani to Alakondre Fasi

At the request of Monique NouhChaia SookdewSing, managing director of Readytex Art Gallery (RAG), Alida Neslo is leading a number of conversations with the artists affiliated with the gallery. She’s had talks with all of the artists individually and has subsequently given them a questionnaire to fill out, of which the answers are discussed in group sessions. Included in the group sessions with the artists are various other members of team RAG: Cassandra Gummels-Relyveld, Ada Korbee, Lygia Matawi en Monique NouhChaia SookdewSing.


The idea is to come to a joint concept, or manifest as Alida calls it, to define/explain Surinamese art to the broader art world (and of course to define it for ourselves first as well). What makes us and art from Suriname, so special? It is this that we are trying to put into words. Alida her favorite subject ‘Alakondre’ is an important element of these conversations. Because that is exactly where our strength lies. But what does Alakondre mean to everyone, and do we even understand how unique and valuable it is that we live (for the most part) according to this principle? What is, or seems, so matter of fact to us, is completely strange and unusual in many other countries around the world. And why is it possible here, and not elsewhere? Ultimately, the conversations must lead to a united ‘story’. And that ‘story’, concept/manifest will give the artists the tools to present themselves effectively at for example biennials or other important international exhibitions. What it ultimately comes down to, is that we have to be the ones who make our own definitions of what it is that we stand for and represent, instead of having people from the outside deciding how to ‘label’ us.

IMG-20190513-WA0010The group conversations are, as you may well imagine, very interesting. The theme in itself leads to many lively discussions and the participants share countless experiences and anecdotes. It’s a process, but what’s most important: the kick off has been given.

So, it’s partly because of these conversations that Monique asked Alida to write an essay for the RAG portfolio.

We have now translated Alida’s text for our SAX readers. In the previous blog post we posted the Dutch version.


TEXT Alida Neslo

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