Suriname is the only Dutch-speaking country in South America. The former Dutch Guiana, it lies between French Guiana and Guyana on the continent’s northeast coast, and gained full independance in 1975.
‘A band of cops in Suriname’. Already from the title we are attracted to this story where the star is a police band that over the years has become an integral part of the cultural life of Suriname society.
If the country’s police band seems an unlikely subject for a photobook, it is only because outsiders do not appreciate the social and political place of the band in the fabric of Surinamese society. It provides music for both official state and private events, and is considered an important part of the cultural scene in a country that has so recently attained an independant sense of identity.
The images taken by photographer Sara Blokland blend in with the band’s historical archival documents and the well-kept design by Dutchman Willem van Zoetendaal and it is precisely this multidisciplinary approach that makes this book part of Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s “The photobook: a History, Volume 3”.