Between 1976 and 1981 I travelled 3 times to Surinam, a former Dutch Colony in South-America which became independent from the Netherlands in November 1975. The first trip was meant as a training-period during my study at the Rietveld Art School in Amsterdam. My teachers disapproved but I went there for a period of 7 month during which I survived doing odd jobs for magazines, painting display-signs for small businesses etc. Meanwhile I tried my knowledge of photo-journalism traveling the country photographing whatever struck my attention.
My second trip was in 1980. To pay for the costs for traveling and staying there I had assignments to cover the elections for a newspaper (NRC) and some weekly's (Vrij Nederland, De Groene Amsterdammer). On my way there - during a short stay in New York City - I found out (in a page 7 article) through the NYTimes that there had been a coup. The elections were canceled. I ended up being a news photographer covering the coup. Apart from that - as originally intended - I worked on a series of articles (texts and photographs) for a book on land rights of the Indigenous Peoples of Surinam. The publication was meant to coincide with the 4th Russell tribunal (1980) on the land rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the America's. The book was never published.
My last trip (1981) did not have a theme. I had an assignment by the architect Lucien Lafour to photograph the buildings he designed over the years in Surinam and I visited old friends and places.