Suriname and the Netherlands
With a population of barely 600,000 and a surface area that is 5 times bigger than the Netherlands, Suriname is not a densely populated country. Density plays its part in a different way: 95% of the country is forest, which makes Suriname the world’s most densely forested country. The Surinamese population consists of diverse groups in terms of ethnicity, religion, culture and origins. The majority of the population lives in Paramaribo, the capital city, where most of the cultural activities take place.
A complex relationship
Suriname and the Netherlands are linked by more than 300 years of (post)colonial history. This history has made the relationship between the two countries complex and often difficult. Read more about the colonial history of the Netherlands and Suriname, and Suriname’s independence in 1975 here. Since 1975 many Surinamese people migrated to the Netherlands, resulting in an active Surinamese diaspora in the Netherlands and an ongoing cultural exchange between the two countries. Cultural cooperation is a perfect tool to address the complex relationship between the Netherlands and Suriname and to probe its future. It is important for cultural professionals from the Netherlands who wish to carry out a project in Suriname to keep in mind that mutual exchange and cooperation is very important in order to make a project work. This means that finding the right Surinamese partner is key. The Dutch embassy in Paramaribo is a good starting point for this.
Suriname is one of the 23 focal countries in the international cultural policy of the Netherlands in 2021-2024. The current Surinamese government is willing to team up with the Netherlands to examine possibilities for mutual exchange and cooperation between the two countries. Art and culture have an important role in the further development of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Read more…
Information & advice
Would you like to receive more information regarding opportunities for cultural exchange with Suriname? Feel free to contact our Focal Countries Desk with your questions. We can inform you about the latest developments in the country, relevant contacts and cultural venues.
Suriname at a glance
featuring 38 artists
12 months (2022)
discipline in 2022
Frequently asked questions
- Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands, there are various funding opportunities available for artists, cultural practitioners and organisations with international ambitions. You can find a first overview on our Funding Support page. For a more extensive overview, see our Cultural Mobility Funding Guide.
International Heritage Cooperation is part of the Netherlands’ international cultural policy. The embassies of the Netherlands in the partner countries have a budget for supporting local cultural heritage projects. DutchCulture manages a Matching Fund. Dutch legal entities (companies and registered freelancers) are able to apply for partial funding for an international heritage cooperation project.
- Where can I find funding within Suriname?
The funding possibilities within Surinam are limited. However, the Dutch embassy in Suriname has some budget available for cultural makers.
- What rules and regulations do I have to consider (visa, social security, taxation)?
To enter Suriname 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 applications.
The website of the Dutch Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB) offers a lot of information on social security when working internationally, with specific information for artists. The information is available in five languages.
The Netherlands has tax treaties with a number of countries. In many cases this means that the taxes you pay in one of the countries are deductible from the taxes you owe in another country, or that you are exempt from paying certain taxes. Here you can find an overview of the countries with which the Netherlands has a treaty.
- How can I promote my work in Suriname?
It is a good idea to engage local publicists, that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience and region. The cultural department of the Dutch Embassy in Paramaribo can help you find network or decide to promote your work through their channels.
Make sure to contact the embassy to let them know about your projects. Do not forget to create a My DC account, where you can add your activities to our Cultural Database. This way you will be included in our database and become part of our network.
- How can I find a residency, stage to peform, exhibition space?
Through the DutchCulture database, you can find out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country, and city.
For residencies, DutchCulture's TransArtists is a great research tool. 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, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.
- Are there specific things to keep in mind when it comes to safety in Suriname?
For the most recent travel advice to Suriname, please see the website of the Dutch government (in Dutch).