Registration of the artproject for Kunstenzomer in Watou, Belgium / Marowijne, Surinam, in which a first currency was developed together with and for indigenous communities from the rainforests.
The "Equator" has been developed in order to give the indigenous communities a tool to give awareness to their land-rights, to the need to help save their culture, their language and the surrounding rainforest.. But in the end a new currency can also give them power and financial benefits. Last but not least, by designing the banknotes the people from the villages where also forced to think about what determines their culture, the villages and their history. They had to decide what should be printed on the banknotes: which ancestors, which animals, which plants and which cultural artefacts.
In the first step of the project more than 5000 euro's was collected for the villages and for the environmental organization Probios in Surinam.
This video gives an impression of the first step in developing such currency together with three indigenous villages in Marowijne, Surinam: Pierre Kondre, Alfonsdorp en Bigi Ston.
In the future the project will be further developed slowly and other communities can team up, also from other continents.
In this project artist Rob Voerman worked together with Foundation Kaikoesie, Inge Pierre, philosopher Karim Benammar and the 3 villages. Erik Vos/ Het Lab made the designs in strong collaboration with Inge and the villages.
The project was financially supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, Stad Poperinge and the Dutch Embassy in Brussels.
Editing: Yubin Lee / Music: Simon Krust
Note: In december 2023 Inge Pierre suddenly passed away. I will never forget her kindness and her committment for the ongoing fight for rights of the indigenous people in Surinam. I will do my best to carry this project further together with her family-members and others in memory of her spirit.