This video says about itself:
Jimmy van der Lak [from Suriname] had no trouble finding work when he arrived in Amsterdam in 1925. He was a celebrated tap dancer and bar tender. He briefly made a name for himself as a boxer using the name Jimmy Lacky.
In addition, he worked as an extra in feature films and as a model at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten.
In 1930 Nola Hatterman painted a portrait of Jimmy in an outdoor café. Hatterman uses several motives symbolizing Jimmy’s occupations at the time. The clenched fist represents the boxer Lacky. The performances in the newspaper represent the artist Lucky and the glass of beer, the bartender Lucky.
Artists like Nola Hatterman (1899-1984) also had political and social reasons for painting black people. In the 1920s and 1930s many artists were communists, who viewed black people as the main victims of capitalism.
The artist Nola Henderika Petronella Hatterman was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 12 August 1899. She died in Paramaribo 8 May 1984.
This afternoon, there was a lecture about her in Amsterdam, by the author of her biography, Ellen de Vries. The lecture was part of the goodbye for Surinamese-Dutch psychologist Nel Jessurun, leaving fulltime work at the Transcultural Therapists’ Collective in Amsterdam.
Nola Hatterman had already been much interested in drawing as a small girl. However, she did not go to art school, but to acting school. She considered then that as an actress she might do more for women’s rights than as a painter. She acted in various plays, including by Herman Heijermans; and in 1920s Dutch films. She met her first husband, an actor, during her work.
Later, she found out that she prefered visual arts to acting; and prefered communist carpenter plus aspiring visual artist Arie Jansma as love interest to actor Maurits de Vries.
During the 1930s she met Leftist Surinamese exiles in the Netherlands Otto Huiswoud and Anton de Kom. De Kom wrote Wij, slaven van Suriname; a history of slavery and resistance to it in Suriname. Nola Hatterman promised De Kom that she would make paintings inspired by his book. She would honor that promise during the last years of her life, while living in the interior of Suriname.
After the second world war, Nola met the new generation of Surinamese coming to the Netherlands: including people like Jules Sedney, later Prime Minister of Suriname; and Eddy Bruma, later pro independence MP. She supported Bruma’s aim of independence for Suriname from Dutch colonialism. She wrote poetry in Surinamese. In 1953, she emigrated to Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname.
She became the pioneer of art education in Suriname. Not everybody always agreed with her preference for realist against abstract art.
She went to Brokopondo in the interior. She painted subjects, especially from eighteenth century Surinamese history, like maroons (runaway slaves) attacking plantations to free the slaves there; and a woman running away from slavery; and Boekoe fortress, a rebel stronghold in the jungle which was very hard to find for the pro slavery Dutch army.
The Boekoe painting today is owned by politician Desi Bouterse, army commander during the military regime of the 1980s. Bouterse claims that Nola Hatterman sold it to him. Ellen de Vries is skeptical about this, as Ms Hatterman wanted her work to be in museums, accessible to the public, and not in private ownership.
In 1984, Nola Hatterman went to Paramaribo to see the first showing there of a film about her life. She would never see the film. She was killed in an accident before the show.
Surinamese poet Dobru: here.
Descendants of African slaves have called on US Virgin Islands MPs to require corporations doing business in the territory to research their histories and disclose whether they had profited from the trans-Atlantic slave trade.