Seen: Suriname, Inside-Out, by Reshma Kirpalani

Monday, August 24, 2009

Photographer Reshma Kirpalani was born in Suriname but grew up in the United States. She is currently based in Florida. In 2007 she returned to Suriname and found, as she puts it, "a country full of cultural contradictions, swelling potential, woeful corruption, spiritualism, and spooky small towns with all-time high suicide rates."

The photographic project she started then is documented both on her blog Tatata and in a carefully curated selection of black-and-white images posted in a Flickr photoset, accompanied by a brief essay.

"I discovered Suriname," she writes. "No longer the resting my place of vague, childhood memories, this country is instead sometimes charming, sometimes alarming, always home. And yet, even as I enjoy citizenship status in this country, I am not wholly accepted as a 'local.' Rather, I am pointed to as the small American with the oversized camera....

"I no longer seek to 'sum-up' Suriname. Rather, I intend to explore this country just as it exists, at this point in time: on the eve of an election year, on the brink of progress, in the ebb and flow of inevitability."

See selections from Kirpalani's Suriname images here and here.