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I wish I spoke Papiamentu, but I don’t.

Project details

Data Design

What does it mean to navigate a landscape you’re distant from? To navigate means to find your way within an environment which is either vaguely familiar, or not familiar at all. Navigational narratives can be utilised to make way finding more apprehensible, but what can be understood as a navigational narrative?

Growing up I always knew I was from Curaçao, but I never completely felt I was from there. I longed for a connection with the island I came from, but I was always left with a feeling of in-betweenness instead. I resided in an environment which was divided between pre-dominantly white, Dutch spaces and contrasting Afro-Caribbean spaces of family members. “I wish I spoke Papiamentu, but I don’t” delves into the search of finding connectivity with Curaçao (a distant landscape) from the Netherlands and navigating these spaces.

Navigational narrative footage.

The installation shows a field research into spaces and places in the Netherlands, connecting four Curaçaoans to their island. Through posters, video and a spatial environment it discovers how to find connection with Curaçao from a distance, exploring how connectivity manifests itself physically. Conversations and walks, in their city of residence, are used as a visual and conceptual base. The navigational narratives present in these walks appropriate the space, romanticising what is already there. Imagining the visited spaces as something else, using memories and stories, help them to feel related to their island. It creates a hybrid of fiction and reality, proposing a re-imagined Curaçao from the perspective of distant Yu Di Korsou (children of Curaçao).

GRATITUDE TO: Densley, Yareth, Farilyann, Showendrick and the Caribbean Ancestry Club for not only introducing me to them, but also to a space F.U.B.U. (For Us By Us).