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Songs in a Strange Land


Author(s): Michelle Piergoelam
Appeared on: December 10th. 2023
Language: English
Pages: 36
Size: 210 x 288 mm (with large fold outs)
Edition: Singerstitch sewn
ISBN: 9789462265127
Year: 2023
Photography: Michelle Piergoelam
Publisher: Lecturis
Design: Syb

This book is about the nighttime hours on the water of the enslaved in Suriname. The design of the book takes you on a journey, where you imagine yourself in the different phases of the night. The enslaved spent hours on the water rowing their boats: during that time they rehearsed new songs with critical comments about the masters. The songs are sung using a call-and-response technique where one person takes the lead and the rest respond. It was a new way to create cultural elements and feel powerful.

Songs in a Strange Land visualizes the stories of hope and resilience, providing a glimpse of these traditions during the years of slavery, with the code language hidden in work songs. It is about underexposed Afro-Surinamese stories during the time of slavery, where intangible cultural heritage comes to light. These stories and traditions, passed down from Africa to Suriname, and from generation to generation, allowed the enslaved to share their thoughts without the slave owner knowing what was really meant.

Additional information

Weight 1000 g