Eleven years ago, I visited my home country Suriname for the first time after I had left it in 1987. Soon after my first return visit, I decided to start a photographic project portraying the different Surinamese communities. The first community that I wanted to photograph were the indigenous peoples, the native inhabitants of my home country.
Before I started, I knew very little about the indigenous peoples of Suriname. I only knew the names of the five tribes I learned about in primary school.
During my photographic journey, I learned a lot more about their ways of living, their perspectives, and their struggles. I encountered several situations where indigenous rights were being ignored or violated.
As I became more aware of Suriname’s indigenous peoples, I felt even more compelled to share through my photographs their unique way of life in all its diversity.
Although I worked as a cinematographer on series for Netflix and Amazon, lensed independent movies such as Once upon a time in London, and filmed documentaries for Oxfam and others, it is this photographic project that gave me the most beautiful and deepest experience a person can have.