Research & Projects
Platform Historical Cemeteries. 2020 - present
(Johan Roozer, Stephen Fokké)
The 'Platform Historische Begraafplaatsen' was set up by Johan Roozer, policy advisor at the Suriname Ministry of Education and Culture and Stephen Fokké, director of the Suriname Built Heritage Foundation (SGES).
The aim of the platform is to establish regulations for the management of historic cemeteries as well as the preservation of old registers and documents. With regular maintenance, the cemeteries are made more accessible to people who want to visit the cemeteries. Training courses will be offered to tell stories about the known deceased. Not only the old, unused cemeteries will be included in the platform, but also the cemeteries still in use where prominent figures are buried. The districts are also included in this platform. At the old cemeteries, such as those of the directors in Marienburg, a management body will first have to be appointed. The platform will be a consultative body in which the protection of the funerary heritage is central for all involved.
Research Surinamese cemeteries. 2017 - present
(Stephen Fokké, René ten Dam)
In 2017, Stephen Fokké and René ten Dam joined forces and since then, together, from Suriname and the Netherlands, they have been researching the rich funerary history of Suriname. The research area does not only concern the district of Paramaribo, but also the other districts. Results of the survey will be featured on SharedCemeteries.net.
Technical mission New Orange Garden Paramaribo. 2017
(René ten Dam, Leon Bok, Nanette de Jong)
The Nieuwe Oranjetuin cemetery in Paramaribo is linked to Dutch colonial history, a history that the Netherlands shares with Suriname. In this report by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and the Dodenakkers.nl foundation, the context and historical values of this cemetery are outlined, whereby the potential of this funerary heritage can be further exploited with the help of a restoration vision. Download the report from the RCE website (Dutch)
Research disappeared cemeteries of Fort Zeelandia. 2015 - present
As a military defense, Fort Zeelandia has played an important role in the seventeenth and eighteenth century colonial history of Suriname. But it has also been the place where mainly, but not exclusively, senior military and prominent persons from the history of Suriname were buried. The remarkable thing is that it is not about one cemetery, but actually about two. Various archives show that people were buried in both the inner fort (within the actual stone fort) and outside (outside the inner fort, but within the walls of the fort). Hardly anything remains of these two cemeteries today. The mystery surrounding the cemeteries is that they are not depicted on any map or plan of Paramaribo. Not even on detailed maps of the Fort Zeelandia area or on old prints, while the cemeteries have probably been in use for over 122 years as the final resting place of more than a hundred people, including many notables from the colonial history of Suriname.