Friday, November 07, 2008


I was asking myself, did I cry when Nelson Mandela got elected President of South- Africa? I did not. I was very touched, moved and proud. This great man has overcome a lot and became the first black president of the democratic South Africa. But tears did flow last Wednesday 5.00 AM (Netherlands time, a night without sleep) when CNN announced Obama President Elected and I saw Rev. Jesse Jackson in tears. When people say ' we have come a long way', he knows what they' re talking about. We all cried. We, not only black people in this world.
I think there are a lot of differences between Mandela's day and Obama' s election. But maybe the most personal one for me is the fact that I am also a black man from the Americas (The Caribbean in my case). Communities which had experienced colonialism (in one from or the other), slavery, racism and other ways of oppression. Barack Obama could have been me, my nephew, our children.
I cried because I was touched, thinking about our whole history, struggles and pain. Mister Obama applied and got ne job, President of the United States. But by becoming that, he served the whole world as a new source of inspiration. YES WE CAN.
And people, please take time to listen to the way he thinks about leadership, politics and the world.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

The biggest hit of the 80's?

Esaki ta pa mi kompatriotanan di Antia Ulandes, i sigur Kòrsou.
Kua tabata e eksito mas grandi di dekada ochenta?
Ami tin dos nominadó. Ta kua di nan dos? Of bo tin un otro?

Juan Gabriel

Zouk La Sé Sel Médikaman Nou Ni

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Respect to the Black brothers and sisters in London

London is one hour flying away from Amsterdam, so not very far. That’s also the way I experience it. I feel very well attached to the black gay scene in London, even though I don’t know lots of people there. Especially through my acquaintance with black artists and activists feed this feeling. So I really though I had to be present at the Black LGBT Community Awards ceremony last month. Especially with my friend Ajamu and artist Dean Atta (who performed with big success in Amsterdam at Black Talk) were nominated.

Together with my sister we took the car and put the given address on the site, Embankment in the car's navigator system. It brought us to the Embankment, but not the one where the ship on which the ceremony was taking place was leaving. Thanks to the idea of my sister that it’s maybe next to the Parliament Buildings at the patience of the organisers that we made it to the boat for the ceremony.

Here me with Ajamu's nice friends Antoine and Mudia

It was a beautiful evening with a nice dinner, typical British very expensive drinks and after he dinner the announcement of the prices. The fact that the Awards s called Black didn’t meant all the organisations nominated were exclusively black. It also meant organisations working in the benefit of the black lgbt community.

To my big joy Ajamu won the Man Of The Year Award! I quote the website why.
Ajamu is an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer, community archivist and the co –founder of rukus! Federation- an arts company dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the best in challenging, provocative works by black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Artists nationally and internationally. Ajamu is the currently the Archive Manager of the rukus! Black LGBT Archive, which seeks to collect, preserve, exhibit public, cultural, and artistic materials related to the Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans heritage, history and lived experience in the UK. Ajamu has initiated various projects in 2008, including Outside Edge: A Journey through Black British Lesbian, and Gay History at the Museum in the Docklands, Glorious Outpourings at Brixton Library, and this year rukus! was awarded The Archives Landmark Award for In this Our Lives: The Reunion, which marked the 20th anniversary of the first and only national Black Gay Mens conference and he was this years creative director for Outburst UK.

The man and woman of the year

If there is a man of the year, for sure there was a woman of the year. Mz Fontaine reacted very touched when she was crowned Woman of the Year. According ot the organisers:
Mz Fontaine is a highly successful recording artist. In 2008 she released her latest album ‘Spoken Thoughts’, and appeared at Bootylicious, Pride London, ILGFA World Cup, Outburst and UK Black Pride. Her performances are electric and empowering. In addition to being an artist, Mz Fontaine is also a business entrepreneur having founded an independent Label “Fondation Entertainment” catering for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual (LGBT) artistes in 2001. This label is now housed under the “Fondation Group of Companies“. Through Fondation Entertainment, Mz Fontaine has challenged homophobia and racism through working in schools and with youth groups, and worked to support young LGBT artists and musicians.

Our young spoken word artist Dean Atta won the Awards in the Arts category and all of you who have visited Black Talk back in August in Amsterdam know he is very special. Young, bold and very talented. Keep up the good work.

Yes, I really am part of this community. Matter of fact is that I there isn’t visible black gay community like this in Amsterdam. Of course I know the ‘children’ and so on, but right now we aren’t working together, organising ourselves and supporting each other. Here in Amsterdam we talk about different ethnic communities, that sometimes comes together, but sporadically.
Rob Berkley who is the chairman of the organising body The Black Gay Men Advisory Group announced in his speech that he is quitting. I really want to congratulate him with the job he and his organisation has done.
I also want to give my respect to all the Awards winners, the nominees and really the whole British Black LGBT Community.. I wish we could have people to nominate for something like a Black LGBT awards in the Netherlands. Please count your blessing the next time you feel disappointed and not acknowledged. This black gay brother from the Caribbean, living in Amsterdam really does!

All pictures by Ajamu

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Juan Luis Guerra in Amsterdam was tremendoooo!

After more then 15 years I saw a concert of the big Caribbean star Juan Luis Guerra form the Dominican Republic. It was very great. I was there with my friends and we danced the whole night. Thanks to new technology and visitors turned filmers here some clips.

Not very good sound, but one of his most beautiful songs:

And here some pictures of a concert I visited, Juan Luis Guerra i 4.40 in Curacao in 1991. And a signed sticker my sister gave as a present. Once during a high school hotel-stay, she stayed in the same hotel as the band in Curacao and got this sticker signed for me.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Could have been beautiful in Beijing

The two rivals on the 110 m hurdles, would have been a beautiful final.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tula inspiradó

Tula was the leader of a great slave revolt in Curacao in 1795. This year the revolt will be commemorated with the theme Mi ta lucha pa mi humanidat; I fight to regain my human dignity. With this theme we want to present Tula to the world as a leader who had a vision of human right at the end of the eighteen century, who can be an inspiration for al of us now fighting for human rights.

Wij nodigen je uit voor de herdenking van de Grote Slavenopstand op Curaçao, op zondag 17 augustus 2008, van 18.30 tot 21.00 uur in de Muiderkerk te Amsterdam.

Ik strijd om weer mens te zijn!
Mi ta lucha pa mi humanidat!
Met dit thema herdenken we in 2008 de strijd van Tula en de zijnen. Laat de strijd van Tula een inspiratie zijn voor eenieder die strijdt voor menselijke waardigheid. Tula, groot inspiratiebron die internationale erkenning verdient net als Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi en anderen.

- Presentatie door Nathaly Mercera
- Keynote speach Tula, inspiradó -de vrijheidsidealen van een Curaçaose verzetsleider- door sociaal-geograaf en historicus drs. Charles do Rego.
- Banderita Live, gesproken columns door Glenn Helberg, Igma van Putte, Nkosazanna Illis en Rinchemar Martina
- Afro-Caribische muziekgroep Mi Kueru i Rais o.l.v. Marven Snijders
- Persoonlijke voordracht door Laurindo Andrea

Wij hopen je te mogen ontvangen op zondag 17 augustus aanstaande in de Muiderkerk,
Linnaeusstraat 37 te Amsterdam. De kerk is te bereiken met tram 9 en bus 22 vanaf Amsterdam Centraal Station

Gibi Basilio: 'Tula-viering' (op Curacao) gaat toch door
bron nieuwsdienst Radio Hoyer 2

De Dag voor de Strijd voor de Vrijheid, in de volksmond 'Tula-viering' genoemd gaat gewoon door bij het vrijheidsmonument op het Rif aanstaande zondag 17 augustus om 7 uur ’s avonds. Dat zegt Gibi Basilio, voorzitter van de vereniging Historisch Bewustzijn, die de jaarlijkse herdenking normaal gesproken organiseert. Formeel heeft het Bestuurscollege de subsidie voor deze herdenking ingetrokken omdat de aanvraag te laat is binnengekomen. Maar de gedeputeerde van Onderwijs & Cultuur, Marilyn Alcala-Wallé heeft eerder aangegeven dat zij ontevreden is en verwijt de vereniging de onafhankelijkheid te bevorderen. Reden voor haar om de subsidie in te trekken.

Dick Drayer sprak met Gibi Bisilio en vroeg hem allereerst wie de vrijheidstrijder Tula, nu eigenlijk was (6'34"). Luister

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Black Talk

Poetry, music, books & sexual diversity
Friday August 1, 8.00 PM.

This year Amsterdam Pride will experience it’s first black pride event that I'm organising: Black Talk with poetry perfromances by black artists from Europe. Dean Atta will be the special international guest on stage coming from London. Local artist Zulile will spit her powerful words, Collin Schorea will be entertaining with humor and tenderness and the young lady SpringIls will let you fall in love with her style!
With a small musical intermezzo by rapper Lewellyn.

So be there!
Admittance: E 5,00 (one drink included)
Location: De Eggertzaal by De Nieuwe Kerk
On the Damsquare.
Stichting Alma, BLAAC.
More info:


This is the painting Listen by the Surinamese born artist Frank Creton.
I looked at it and was touched. I see a simple but effective use of forms and colors. And of course my own imagination, fueled by my background as a African Caribbean man, who does enjoy the music, the beauty and the spirit of other black men.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

De Antillen en ik

The Antillean MP John Leerdam published a book with personal stories by people about their connection to the Netherlands Antilles. I was asked too to write a piece in this Dutch publication.

Politicus, theater- en filmmaker John Leerdam, geboren op Curaçao, nodigde vijfenveertig succesvolle Antillianen uit om in een persoonlijk verhaal over hun band met de Antillen te schrijven. Van zelfstandige ondernemers tot kunstenaars, van sporters tot medici, van politici tot schrijvers, ze kozen allemaal een foto, vaak uit het eigen familiealbum, die illustratief is voor hun verhouding tot de Antillen.

De Antillen en ik geeft, door het snoer aan persoonlijke verhalen en het unieke beeldmateriaal, een nieuw en onvermoed beeld van de Antillen.

Ik schreef een verhaal die leest als een hallucinatie, over de verhalen die ik heb gehoord over mijn vader en oma, die ik beide op heel jonge leeftijd heb moeten missen. Hun verhalen zijn een belangrijk deel van mijn verbondenheid met Curacao.

Met bijdragen van onder meer David Bade, Noraly Beyer, Felix de Rooy, Randal Corsen,
Helen Kamperveen, Gert Oostindië, Joost Karhof, Raymi Sambo, Jessica Dikmoet, Izaline Calister en Paulette Smit.

De Wereldomroep besteede ook aandacht aan de presentatie. Luister hier.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Tongues Untied Re- discovered

More then 15 years ago I saw the experimental documentary Tongues Untied by Marlon Riggs. This was on of the first films I saw addressing issues of African American gay men and I am very happy it was of this depth. In a way Tongues Untied changed my life: I saw so many similarities between my life as a Afro- Caribbean men living in Amsterdam by that time and also differences. Differences that challenged me to try to develop our own Afro Caribbean gay identity. Looking for writers, artists and other icons as examples, which weren’t that much to be found. Me and friends started creating our own examples and discovering we had to do it our self, like those African American like the filmmaker Marlon Riggs and poet Essex Hemphill were doing it in the States. I was very happy to be able to order the DVD of Tongues Untied and to share it with my friends with the same result: we were inspired and knew we have to start creating and telling our own stories. In one way or the other we were doing it, but now we have to do it for sure!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Choose your Curacao Inspiration

Curaçao gaat binnen afzienbare tijd als autonoom land verder. Daar is een bevolking voor nodig die opgewassen is tegen de nieuwe verantwoordelijkheden, een bevolking die gelooft in haar eigen kunnen. En wie kan daarbij beter als inspiratiebron optreden dan de Curaçaonaars zelf, vindt Stichting Fudsek. Ze startte een multimediaal project. Minister Vogelaar gaf gisteren het startsein voor het eerste onderdeel, de website Curaçao Top 100. Wereldwijd kan iedereen hier inspirerende Curaçaoenaars nomineren of stemmen op één van de genomineerden. Een jury beoordeelt of de nominering en verkiezing eerlijk verlopen.

In een tv-show worden de 100 personen die de meeste stemmen hebben behaald, bekendgemaakt. In het najaar 2008 verschijnt een boek in het Nederlands en Papiaments, waarin zij hun inspirerende verhaal vertellen. Het streven is om 50.000 exemplaren weg te geven aan alle Curaçaose jongeren tussen de 15 en 24 jaar, ongeacht waar ze wonen. Van degenen die in de top 10 staan komt een speciale televisie-documentaire, Portretten Curaçao Top 10.

Meer informatie over de spelregels is te vinden op de website.

Dance from Barlovento

Una Sola Voz

A world music theatre festival brought the Venezolan music-theatre group Teatro Negro de Barlovento performed in Amsterdam this week. I visited it with friends and of course we were amazed and by the performance. The group perform Afro Caribbean dance from the region Barlovento, were one f the biggest population of African descent resides in Venezuela. Even though we are aware of the Pan African Caribbean connection which exists in most countries in the Caribbean and Americas, it is always nice to see similarities and so on. The great thing with Venezuela is the fact that it’s a neighbour country of my island Curacao. Enslaved Africans that succeed in escaping from the slavery system in Curacao, had to flew to Venezuela. That means that those young people there performing were family, our people. We talked to them about the dances and similarities. It was amazing to see them using a seashell as a instrument, something that’s also done on Bonaire and sometimes Curacao in the harvest celebration the simadan or seú.

Here a video clip of the performance on You Tube.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Curacao in 2008.
Going forward?