Globalization and Shifting Indigenous Arts Practices of the Surinamese Bush Negro People

By Herman Jiesamfoek.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Empirical research which I undertook as fieldwork with the Surinamese Bush Negro people and travels to the capital and urban centers of Suriname during the last decade have increasingly raised my awareness of how globalization affects their indigenous arts practices. The fast and intense exchanges of people, goods, media, and electronic advancements across continents, as well as into previously remote villages in Suriname’s interior, have impacted the ways and conditions in which the Bush Negro people can continue traditional arts practices. In this paper, I will discuss the central role that the arts have played in their indigenous culture and the impact of globalization on the social structures of their lives. Findings suggest that while the artistic traditions of the indigenous Bush Negro people in the villages have declined, new attempts are being made to continue artistic practices by joining existing structures in urban areas.

Keywords: Arts, Indigenous People, Culture, Continuity and Discontinuity, Surinamese Bush Negro, Globalization

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.117-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 593.394KB).

Dr. Herman Jiesamfoek

Assistant Professor, Arts Education, School of Education, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Herman Jiesamfoek is Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College, City University New York. He earned his doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a Fine Arts painter and has danced professionally in various European ballet companies. From 2003 to 2007, he was Adjunct Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and from 2004 to 2007, Education Officer for the Arts at the New York City Department of Education. After completing a Master’s degree in Dance Education and during his doctoral studies of Art Education at Teachers College, Columbia University he carried out fieldwork among the Bush Negro people of Suriname. His research continues to center on the artistic practices and traditions of the Bush Negro people of Suriname.

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