Ashley Swagers, Suriname

I started working at DutchCulture as Suriname Advisor in early 2020. My job entails advising artists and cultural creators in their search for partners, subsidies, context and collaborations. It is my responsibility to keep abreast of all cultural happenings and developments in Suriname and the activities in the Netherlands that relate to Suriname. After all, it’s only by being completely up to date that I can make sure to bring together the right creators and partners and establish interesting collaborations. Suriname and the Netherlands share a complicated history that is not always considered from a sufficient range of perspectives. Art and culture have the capability to bring alternative narratives to light and to go against the flow of the “single story”. I am glad to work for an organisation that recognises and supports this.

I studied art history and previously worked mainly in the contemporary art scene. In addition to my job at DutchCulture, I work as a museum instructor at the Tropenmuseum and occasionally write as a freelancer about art. For me, DutchCulture, the Tropenmuseum and my freelance work in contemporary art make for a great combination that keeps me learning about history, especially colonial history, and how it continues to affect the present, and the role of art and culture therein.