‘See the world through your camera lens’ is a project being implemented by Villa Zapakara in conjunction with +597 Photography Foundation. During a two-day session, youngsters aged 10 to 13 will learn how to record the consequences of climate change in their local surroundings. Following a successful workshop in Paramaribo in 2021, workshops will now be held in the districts of Commewijne, Saramacca, Marowijne, Coronie, and Nickerie between January and March 2023.

Each session will begin with an interactive – exclusively created by Villa Zapakara – Sranan Krakti water game in which the children learn in a fun and instructive way about the consequences of climate change, such as increasing sea levels in Suriname. 

Following that is a photographic portion, which begins with images by Professor Naipal, who has been documenting these consequences for the Surinamese coastline. One of the professional photographers from +597 Photography will speak about how photography may help raise awareness of key global concerns. The pupils will be taught what to look for while capturing a good shot.

A selection of their images will be submitted for an online competition on the +597 Photography Foundation’s Facebook page, which will be assessed by an independent professional jury. The images of the three district winners will be presented in each of the five districts during a week-long public exhibition. After visiting all five districts, the show will be on display at Villa Zapakara. The images of the district winners will be permanently displayed at the Sranan Karti exhibition, which will run until December 2023.

+597 Photography organisation is a Surinamese organisation that aspires to promote photography as a career and an art form in Suriname, viewing photography as an excellent medium for visualising the world.

Power of Water 2023 – 2025

The photography results of the exhibition ‘See the world through your photo lens’ will also be shared with children in the Netherlands. The exhibition will be on display at neighborhood centers in Amsterdam South-East and Amsterdam North.

From June 2023, under the direction of theater maker Dorothy Blokland, the children will use the photo exhibition as inspiration for a follow-up project entitled ‘Power of Water’ in which photography and spoken word will play a role. Dorothy will provide workshops in the Netherlands and afterwards in Suriname in collaboration with the Villa Zapakara team. This project is produced in collaboration with the Masters Creative Producing and DAS Research: the Lectorate of the Academy of Theater and Dance in Amsterdam, initiated by the project Climate Imaginaries at Sea.

Climate Imaginaries at Sea speculates possible futures in and around water through various artistic and participatory research practices. It is part of the Art Route NWA-project ‘Bit by bit, or not at all’ within the scheme ‘Small Projects’ which is financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). This project was made possible with the support of Centre of Expertise for Creative Innovation CoECI (www.coeci.nl).