To order the photo book, go to www.doubleheritage.com
The photo book Moengo! shows the past and present of the post-colonial and post-industrial town of Moengo (Suriname) through photographs taken by eleven young people from Moengo, in collaboration with me. In the book, the photographs are put in context by archival material and text.
The book was designed in such a way that, by folding out the covers, the index and sources can be viewed while reading. The numbers on the inside covers correspond to numbers that accompany the photographs. After photo number 187, an unfoldable map has been glued in: an artist impression by Surinamese artist Kenny van Genderen. A series of archival pictures of the Moengo mines was printed entirely in silver, in a glossy paper section.
A silver line runs down each page, dividing it into two columns, just as the layout of Moengo originally divided sections of the population. The color bronze was used to symbolise bauxite, which was mined in Moengo, and the color silver to symbolise the aluminium into which the bauxite was processed. The book is divided into sections: ‘the town and its inhabitants’ - ‘tradition’ - ‘architecture and planning’ - ‘mining’ - ‘economic circumstances’ - ‘the visit to stafdorp’. The book’s texts were written by me and the young Moengonese photographers.
I first visited Moengo in 2012. At the time, I did not realise quite how special this place really is. Moengo means hill. Along with other Dutch tourists I swam in the pool. Perhaps as a result of the sun reflecting off the bauxite roads, Moengo sometimes appears to be even hotter than the rest of Suriname. A dip in the pool offers a welcome relief to the sweaty tourist. We splashed around without a care, without any sense of the special privilege this was, and that the pool would not exist for much longer.