For more than twenty years, Marcel Pinas’ work has been guided by the desire to preserve the culture and language of his community, the Ndyuka, a Maroon people.
The Maroon Wars and maroonage were important events in the struggle against and resistance to slavery in the Caribbean and more specifically the Guiana Shield. After escaping the plantations to hide in the forests, the Maroons waged war on French and Dutch enslavers in order to free the slaves, enabling the Saramaka, Aluku, Paramaka and Ndyuka nations to establish themselves permanently along the Maroni River. Pinas’ sculptures, installations and drawings convey this specific relationship to landscape, history, memory and language. The work presented in the exhibition articulates the movement to preserve Afaka, a syllabic way of writing the Ndyuka language.