LOSON: The Hidden Story of Radical Surinamese Movements in the 1970s and 80s

Did you know that in the 1970s, in cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, an (informal) ‘spreidingsbeleid’ or ‘spreading policy’ was active that excluded Surinamese from certain neighbourhoods? Did you know that there was an (informal) policy in Amsterdam that only one Surinamese, Turkish or Moroccan family could inhabit a apartment block? Did you know that there were radical Surinamese emancipation movements active in the 1970s and 1980s that organized against racism and inequality and, among other things, squatted a flat in the Bijlmer? Chances are you did not, because these stories and histories have long been hidden. The New Urban Collective has found books and documents in the Black Archives that reveal these hidden stories of black emancipation movements spearheaded by organisations such as the National Organisation of Surinamese in the Netherlands (LOSON) and Surinamese Laborers and Workers Organization (SAWO).

Andre Reeder (Film Maker) and Ernestine Comvalius (Director, Bijlmerparktheater and Theater Crater) were active in LOSON in the 1970s and 1980s, a national action group of the Surinamese community in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Andre Reeder’s film Onderneming Onderdak (1973) documents the terrible living conditions of many immigrants from Suriname and the former Antilles that resulted from the ‘spreading’ policies. After the screening of the film, Reeder and Comvalius will share stories about their times as activists at the LOSON / SAWO. The New Urban Collective would like to invite any previous members of these organisations to attend the event and contribute their memories to the discussion.

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1:30 pm - Tour of The Black Archive in exhibition spaces (optional)
2:00 pm - Doors open
2:30 pm – Welcome by New Urban Collective
2:40 pm – Screening of Onderneming Onderdak (Dutch, no subtitles)
3:25 pm - Break
3:40 pm – Andre Reeder and Ernestine Comvalius about the LOSON
3:55 pm - Presentation Nona Nahumury
4:04 pm - André Reeder, Ernestine Comvalius, and Nona Nahumury in dialogue
4:45 pm – End of program

This event is part of The Black Archives on Tour: Hidden Stories of Black Resistance in the Netherlands (17 – 25 June), and Cinema Olanda: Platform program.


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