Xavier Robles de Medina
Ai Sranang

According to the Transnational Decolonial Institute, decoloniality endorses interculturality, “the celebration by border dwellers of being together in and beyond the border.”

Ambivalence is the true sentiment of the “diaspora”—as much as we hate to admit it, we love the feeling of being recognized, not as celebrities but as part of a “lineage,” as extended family. Jill Casid writes that “while, since the nineteenth century, diaspora has been used to refer specifically to the dispersion of a people, imagined as a tribe or family unit, diaspora also signifies the scattering of seed.”

Stuart Hall has also interrogated the term noting its meaning is rooted in colonially constructed binaries, of the “original” and the “copy,” and of “inside” and “outside.” It’s telling that our national flower, the Fajalobi, is only a recent transplant from India.

(extract from “Preface”)

Ai Sranang, is a short montage film with a decidedly focused examination of Surinamese history and politics, since its independence from the Netherlands in 1975. The fragmented nature of montage film here, is a deliberate allusion to the complexities of diaspora as it stands in relation to identity. The tropes of in-between-ness and travel, are indeed an extension of this metaphor, yet they recall also ideas of leadership and government, specifically with the image of the “swinger” bus completely running amuck—if we think more globally of the events that have defined the Neoliberal era, the metaphor of the reckless driver extends far beyond the Surinamese context.