blog | werkgroep caraïbische letteren

How does a literary tradition evolve when it is intrinsically interwoven with colonial histories? Do writers acknowledge and/or ignore these histories and in what ways? In Hidden Histories, we search for voices often unheard, especially Creole languages spoken in former Dutch colonies. Apart from a focus on the historical context and personal relations to these languages and literatures, we welcome established and new voices from these languages.Met Arturo Desimone, Michiel van Kempen, Obed Kanape, Sombra, Koloku, Henry Tapoto & Grielda Gojo.

Programme in English, Creole and Dutch

Michiel van Kempen is a literary scholar, poet and surinamist. He published several novels, essays and poetry. He composed various anthologies on Caribbean literaure. His history of Surinamese literature, Een geschiedenis van de Surinaamse literatuur [A History of the Surinamese Literature], is an important point of reference about Surinamese literature.

Michiel van Kempen. Foto © Aafke Huizinga

Arturo Desimone is an Arubian-Argentinian writer and visual artist, inhabited the island Aruba until the age of 22, when he emigrated to the Netherlands. He is currently based between the Netherlands and Argentina while working on a long fiction project about childhoods, diasporas, islands and religion. Desimone’s articles, poetry and fiction pieces appeared in CounterPunch, Círculo de Poesía, Acentos Review among others. A chapbook, Letters to Karl Marx and Other Poems, was published earlier this year in Peru and presented at the Havana international literature fest.

Grielda Gojo (a.k.a. Divainey Gojo) is fashion! She is a model, stylist, fashion designer and poet. One of her most famous performances was during the third edition of Poetry&Beyond (of Stg. Platform Support Suriname) when she was sprayed with body paint by Andre Sontosoemarto. Her style is funky, feminine, sexy and always inventive. She is a free spirit and always herself. Nothing human can be alien to her.


Koloku is the pseudonym of Jean-Luc Josafath. He is a word artist and is part of the poetry collective KokoLampu. In April 2017, he had his first poetry exhibition in Bar Café KokoBana which was organized by SureFire Entertainment. Everybody has a story, but not everyone dares to tell it. Jean-Luc believes in freedom of expression and the subsequent freedom of one’s own.

Koloku (Jean-Luc Josafath). Foto Facebook


Henry ‘Pen Dragon’ Tapoto is a poet and part of the KokoLampu collective. In a spoken word masterclass by Stichting Platform Support Suriname, he learned the basics of performing. He regularly performs on several stages and made it into something of his own. He longs to touch people with what he writes and performs and wants to contribute positively with his own work.



Sombra (pseudonym of Stanley Richard Slijngard) is a Surinamese poet and spoken word artist. He has published several poetry volumes like Tarta (1974), Kroi (1982) and Griot (1992). His main language of writing is Sranan. He is one of the featured poets in the English anthology of Surinamese literature called Diversity is power (2007).


S. Sombra Portret van Nicolaas Porter

Obed Kanape is a personal coach and writer. He studies sociology at the Anton de Kom University of Surinam and professional coaching at the Academy for Counseling and Coaching in Surinam. He is the founder and CEO of OKE (Opportunity Knowledge & Empowerment), a social enterprise that coaches individuals and groups and organizes cultural events. Furthermore, he is a YLAI Fellow of cohort 2016 impacting paradigms.


Obed Kanape. Foto Facebook


Location: Literair theater Perdu, Kloveniersburgwal 86, 1012 CZ Amsterdam
Date: vrijdag 19 mei 20:00
Doors open: 19:30 / Start: 20:00 / Entrance: 9 / 6 euro (discount)
Buy your tickets here!

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