Submerged Heritage #3
The third lecture in the Submerged Heritage series will be given by Ine Apapoe, head of the Public Administration Department at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. In her talk, Apapoe will shed light on the political administrative decisions that led to the building of the Afobakka dam in Suriname, and its continued impact.
19 May 2022 19:30 - 21:00
Ine Apapoe will address the impact then and now on the Saamakan or Saramaccan community, on whose lands the dam was built, and on the environment. Zooming in on agriculture, gold mining and logging practices, she shows the complexity of issues that the dam brought about and that make a straightforward 'solution' such a challenge.
Ine Apapoe is a public administrator and the head of the Public Administration Department at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. During her career she has worked on several research projects in the field of traditional governance and livelihood, land rights issues, small-scale gold mining, and gender and gender mainstreaming. One of her focus areas is good governance and public values in modern and traditional governance structures. Currently, she is working on her dissertation at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on good governance in dual governance structures.
Submerged Heritage is a research project that pivots around the Brokopondo water reservoir in Suriname by Daphne Bakker, Miguel Peres dos Santos and Vincent van Velsen. Officially named by Dutch colonial rulers as the Professor Doctor Ingenieur W. J. van Blommestein Meer, the 1560-m2 water reservoir, which flooded one-third of the Brokopondo province, is the result of the construction of the Afobakka Dam (1961-1964). The construction of this hydraulic power plant, meant to power one single aluminium smelter of Alcoa Corporation, resulted in the flooding of 28 villages and the forced eviction of 5000 people, most of them from the Saramaccan Maroon communities who lived along the Suriname river.
The research aims to critically investigate, through a focus on the Afobaka dam, how Dutch colonialism is intertwined with global capitalism. By highlighting aspects such as environmental destruction, extraction of resources, displacement, socio-political and cultural annihilation, the aim is to ignite a deeper dialogue about the impact of this colonial project.