Swinging through History

Swinging through History
Location: Queen Emma Bridge in Willemstad, Curaçao
Start date: 2014-06-08
End date: 2014-07-15
Time: Rif fort opening hours

Swinging through History – Riba Kadansa di Historia

Please note: Due to weather conditions the exhibition has been removed from the bridge since June 25, and can now be seen in the Rif Fort, Otrabanda.


Curaçao, June 11, 2014.

Curaçao has a rich history, formed by different population groups that were either brought over or settled on the island by choice. A melting pot of cultures, cohabiting for many generations, creating a rich cultural heritage. Gallery Alma Blou together with foundation Arte’99 is organizing one of the two final events to commemorate 150 years of the Abolition of Slavery. Swinging through History – Riba Kadansa di Historia is paying tribute to families who have been living here for generations and have left their mark on who we are today.

We, the inhabitants of Curaçao, black and white and all in between, are proud of being Yu di Kòrsou. Proud, because we can go back in history for generations and identify with our ancestors. Many of us possess an object which we know has been passed down in the family from generation to generation. Our cultural heritage gives us an identity and this has to be cherished.

Curaçao native George Curiel cherishes the gold watch-chain of his grandfather Bernard Leito, an Otrobanda merchant. The heirloom is worn through the button hole of the owner, with the pocket watch securely attached. Author Fifi Rademaker is protrayed with two pans, known as the Wea di Funchi. These were used by his great-grand mother Nina, 135 years ago to prepare the popular Curaçao dish Funchi, made of cornflour. Girvin Eustatius is shown with photographs of his great-great-grandparents Antonio Manuel Palm and Francisca Virginia, parents to the well known Curaçao composer Jacobo ‘Coco’ Palm.

Lusette Verboom-Fairbairn, owner of Gallery Alma Blou, chose the Queen Emma Bridge as the venue for this exhibition because a bridge carries the symbolic meaning of connection. In addition this public venue offers both locals and tourist the opportunity to get acquainted with our history, our art and our occupations. Swinging through History – Riba Kandansa di Historia features nine pictures of portraits and objects. These people symbolize us as Yu di Kòrsou, reminding us that our nation is composed of  proud and strong people, each with their own ancestry, heritage and history. Yu di Kòrsou, are you and me.
Pictures were taken by photographers Diana Blok (Netherlands) and Prince Victor (Curaçao).

The picture above shows the exhibition, neatly tied to palmtrees on the inner courtyard of Rif Fort.

Visit also the exhibition Tula 2.0 in The Renaissance Rif Fort, click this link for more information.

Following photographs were taken at the opening event on Sunday, June 8, 2014.

Fundashon Arte ’99. pa libertat
The Foundation Fundashon Arte ’99 pa libertat organizes art events in 2013 and 2014 to commemorate in Curaçao, the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Dutch Kingdom.
Click on this link for Arte pa Libertat on Facebook.

Previous commemorative events:
– Exploring the Past to Envisage the Future curated by art historian Jennifer Smit (2014).
– Arte pa Libertat den Pietermaai, organized by NAAM (2013).
– Faces of Curaçao by Faranú and Mike Redman, in Landhuis Bloemhof (2013).
– Exhibition to celebrate the abolition of Slavery by Annemieke Dicke in the Curaçao Maritime Museum (2013).
– Libertat, group exhibition in the art gallery of Kas di Kultura (2013).
– Milk Drops, art project by Nelson González in Landhuis Bloemhof (2013).