Suriname and the Netherlands have a long historical relationship
Cultural cooperation is a perfect tool to reflect on the history of this relationship and to look into the future of it. With a population of barely 600.000 people and a surface as wide as 5 times the Netherlands, Suriname is not a dense country. The majority of the population lives in Paramaribo, the capital city, where most of the cultural activities take place. The historical center of Paramaribo is on the Unesco World Heritage List.
The Surinamese population is one of the most ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse in the world. The diversity of the Surinamese population is an interesting fact to keep in mind for cultural makers that wish to carry out their projects in Surinam.
Shared Cultural Heritage
In November 2020 it will be 45 years since Suriname and the Netherlands signed Suriname’s declaration of independence. Suriname and the Netherlands are linked by more than 300 years of (post)colonial history which resulted, amongst other things, in the common language, an active Surinamese diaspora in the Netherlands and a cultural exchange between the two countries.
Suriname is one of the priority countries in the Dutch International Cultural Policy 2017-2020, which means that DutchCulture and several partners support international projects from The Netherlands with a focus on Surinam. The aim is to bring more awareness to the shared cultural heritage between The Netherlands and Suriname and to share stories that shine new a new light on history. Cultural makers and artists, like no other, can tell and visualize these stories via their artworks and other cultural initiatives. Via the Shared Cultural Matching Fund, DutchCulture specifically supports projects and initiatives that help to gain visibility to the heritage that the Netherlands shares with Suriname and other focal countries.
For more information about DutchCulture and Suriname and possibilities for makers that have ambitions to work there, please feel free to contact Ashley Swagers.
Suriname at a glance
featuring 17 artists
12 months (2019)
discipline in 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalization. To make sure the program fits your project, contact the advisors of the fund before starting the process of application. These are funds:
for Design, Creative Industries, Architecture, Digital Culture
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for foreign contemporary art platforms to present work by Dutch(-based) living artists. Invited artists can also apply.
> Travel grants to travel to foreign contemporary art platforms for a lecture, workshop or performance.
for Performing Arts (theater, dance, music, opera)
> Grants for foreign organizations to invite Dutch(-based) artists
> Internationalization grants for Dutch(-based) artists
for Audiovisual media, Film, Documentary
The Film Fund has several subsidy schemes to support co-productions and distribution (film & documentary).
The Dutch Foundation for Literature has several subsidies for internationalization:
for Communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.
for the Creative Industries
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2019/2020.
- Where can I find funding within Surinam?
The funding possibilities within Surinam are limited. However, the Dutch embassy in Surinam has some budget available for cultural makers. It is also advisable to contact the DutchCulture advisor on Surinam for more information on this.
- How can I promote my work in Surinam?
It is advisable to connect with local professionals working in your discipline in Surinam to broaden your network and share experiences and knowledge. Also, many cultural professionals from The Netherlands have working experience in Surinam, so it might be useful to contact them and hear about their experiences. For connections and recommendations you can always get in touch with DutchCulture.
Make sure to contact the Dutch Embassy in Paramaribo to inform them about your projects, and do not forget to let DutchCulture know! This way you will be included in our Database and become part of our network.
- What sort of visa do I need for travelling to Surinam?
To enter Surinam you need an E-visa. You can only purchase the E-visa online via the Surinamese consulate. Visit this website for all the topical information about visa application.
- How can I find a residency, stage to peform, exhibition space?
DutchCulture has an online database that makers can turn to for details about Dutch cultural events that took place internationally. This, of course, also includes Dutch events that took place within Surinam. This database could be a good starting point to find interesting venues and exhibition spaces, professionals in the Surinamese cultural field and Dutch makers who have experience with organizing projects in Surinam.
Transartists is a great research tool for finding residencies in Surinam. Transartists is a program that was developed by DutchCulture and it monitors the worldwide network of residencies, including Surinam. Find the link to Transartists here.
In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, that can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this. Tembe Art Studio and Art Center Botopasi are interesting residencies in Surinam to check out.
In case you want to accomplish a project within the discipline of theatre and dance, On Stage Performing Arts is an interesting venue to look up. This is a great spot for exchange and building your network within the field of dance and theatre. On a smaller scale this also counts for the cultural Surinamese organization ArtLab.