Lisandro Suriel is a photographer of magic realism and artistic researcher from Saint Martin. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and received his Master’s of Art by research in Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. As part of his Master’s thesis he analyzed early twentieth century illustrations of West-Indian mythology in relation to cultural aphasia. This research forms the foundation of his ongoing artistic project Ghost Island.
By visually deconstructing New World-imagination, Ghost Island explores the spectral identity of our ancestors throughout the Black Atlantic. As an extension of Ghost Island, Realms of Soualiga stands for Suriel’s own insular background in Saint Martin, which was originally called Soualiga before colonial intervention. Thus, Realms of Soualiga connotes the New World-condition of complex overlapping histories, hauntology, and immateriality. Lisandro Suriel proposes that the imaginative lens is arguably the best with which to view how folkloric figures act as an agent in history and animate cultural memory. Consequently, he seeks to employ The West Indies’ own unwritten vestiges of an intelligent imagination embedded in landscape, architecture, and people to generate imaginative linkages to a political past and social identity.