SPIRIT GIVE ME GUIDANCE

Curated by Letice Braun

Curaçao, like many other beautiful and small countries around the world, has been heavily affected by the corona crisis. Not so much because of the virus but because of the consequences the crisis has on the financial wellbeing of the island. As part of the Dutch Kingdom, Curacao has the right (according to political agreements signed) to ask for financial aid in difficult situations. However, in return, the Dutch government is setting strict requirements, that are difficult for the island to adhere to in these challenging times. The main source of income is 'tourism' which has almost completely dried up, driving up unemployment to 60% and over 50% of the population is living in poverty, dependent on food donations.

As someone who lives away from their hometown, I have been struggling to cope with the current situation on Curaçao, a complicated and sometimes frustrating process. On my journey, I came across an old poem I wrote called This is me, I listened to local music, read news articles, signed the ‘Solidariteit in het Koninkrijk’ petition, listened to podcasts and watched digital art shared online by locals: insightful, nostalgic but also reaffirmed my sense of belonging.

Therefore, I decided to make a selection of digital artworks from Curaçao locals living all over the world, that moved me. I experienced this set of digital works to be inspiring, interesting and soothing. They illustrate so beautifully that no matter how far we are from home, we will always be drawn, sometimes worried and moved by our roots:

 

Dance | Spirit give me guidance by Joline Braun 

Breathtaking choreography by Joline Braun. She dances to the song Black Maybe by Syreeta in her apartment in New York. Living far from her hometown Curaçao she finds healing and comfort through dance. A personal mantra, paving the way to move beyond a state of surviving to a place of thriving.

"Spirit give me guidance to what I’m supposed to be doing during this time..." - Joline Braun

Playlist | Ami ta Kòrsou by THECULTUREAGENDA

A playlist with works from Curaçaoan singer-songwriters. I highly recommend looking up the translation of the song Bendishon Disfrasá (Blessing in Disguise) by Oswin Chin Behilia. This song is so powerful because it almost perfectly translates the complex relationship between The Netherlands and Curacao, but also highlights cultural elements such as religion and class division in Curaçao. 


Spoken-word | Mama Kòrsou i su yu sin trabou by Felix the Rooy 

Mama Kòrsou I su yu sin trabou = Mama Curaçao and her unemployed child. Directed by David van Delden, the dramatic cinematographic approach says it all. An interesting detail, it was filmed on an IPhone X. 

 
 
 
 
 
Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A fragment of Felix de Rooy’s: Mama Kòrsou i su yu sin trabou. Shot on iPhone X. @felixderooy. Music by @wearevanta.

Een bericht gedeeld door David van Delden (@davidvandelden) op

 

Song | Mi País by Izaline Calister

Izaline Calister wrote this song about 10 years ago in a totally different context, this song has become even more relevant today. You can find the translation here

 
 
 
 
 
Dit bericht bekijken op Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Toen ik dit nummer in mijn kleine zolderkamertje in Groningen schreef, zo’n 10 jaar geleden, wist ik niet dat het nog veel urgenter zou voelen in 2020. Mijn hart gaat uit naar de goede, mooie en sterke mensen van dit eiland dat het zo voor de kiezen krijgt nu. Ik kan geen problemen oplossen, ik ben maar een simpele zangeres. Maar ik zal altijd de verhalen blijven vertellen en bezingen van dit eiland waar mensen wonen die net als ik, gewoon een normaal en veilig leven willen en die geen vlieg kwaad doen. Mensen die niks met de politiek te maken hebben. Mensen die elke dag moeten vechten voor hun boterham. Mensen...echte mensen. Grote woorden over Curaçao moet dit en Curaçao moet dat en ze moeten leren dat......gaan voorbij aan deze mensen. Mensen die weinig aan deze situatie kunnen doen op dit moment. Wat kan ik wel doen dan? Dat is een frustrerende vraag die mij vaak bezig houdt. Ik zing dan maar...over het eiland, de mensen en de zorgen. Met liefde en compassie. Wellicht helpt het ❤️ Link in bio voor volledige versie

Een bericht gedeeld door Izaline Calister (@izalinecalisterofficial) op

 

Photography | New Sun by Gilleam Trapenberg

Beautiful series of photographic art meant to portray the changing Caribbean sun. Both symbolic and esthetically pleasing. 

 

Documentary | Atardi by Selwyn de Wind

A modern take on Atardi (Meaning: Evening) by Rudy Plaate is an important song in Curacao’s musical history, together with the song Plegaria by Oswin Chin BehiliaFilm director Selwyn de Wind has been working on an autobiographic documentary about the composer and musician Rudy Plaate that will premiere on July 9th 2020. 

 

Poem | This is me by Letice Braun


My roots are anchored in the Caribbean sea, 
My curves are defined by a pearl-white sandy color, 
My warmth is balanced by light blue liquid around me. 
 
My hair is crisp, to remind me of my ancestors that fought for my freedom. 
My emotions are deep, full of history and culture. 
My blood is thick, my voice is loud and my words are wise. 
 
I am a mother, that seeds her garden with love and dedication,  
My fruits are talented and passionate. 
 
I am proud of my children, I am ‘Dushi’ Curaçao. 

 

News | Curaçao, corona en het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden by NOS op 3

A 9-minute summary of the current situation on Curacao by NOS including an explanation of the Dutch Caribbean history and political background. 

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