The Untangled Tales
Er tin tin, sigri tin tin…
Once upon a time, long ago… Tales were told that everyone could hear, but not everyone could understand. Numerous stories tell about the mythical spider Anansi who had to deal with a tiger who tried to make his life miserable. Although the spider was physically weaker, it was often able to defeat the tiger with its cleverness and cunning. Is it really just a myth? These stories, passed down from Africa to Suriname, and from generation to generation, enabled the enslaved to share their thoughts without the plantation owner knowing what was actually meant.
In a similar way, the Angisa’s worn by women were not only beautiful headkerchiefs: their intricate folds contained hidden stories and wisdoms that could only be read by those who had learned to.
Through memories and imagination, ‘The untangled tales’ visualizes the stories of the Anansi storytellers and the Angisa-folders, and the ways in which these traditions allow us to glimpse at the years of slavery.
Michelle Piergoelam (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) is an art photographer who creates visual stories based on cultural myths, dreams and memories. Images where cultural traditions, stories and scenery are intertwined. Curious about Suriname, where she finds her roots, she started researching its cultural stories, fairy tales and myths. She makes conscious use of native stories to tell the cultural importance as a way to witness culture and history.