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Caribbean Cultural Heritage and the Nation

Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao in a Regional Context

Centuries of intense and involuntary migrations deeply impacted the development of the creolised cultures on the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. This volume describes various forms of cultural heritage produced on these islands over time and whether these heritages are part of their ‘national’ identifications. What forms of heritage express the idea of a shared “we” (nation-building), and what images are presented to the outside world (nation-branding)? What cultural heritage is shared between the islands, and what are some real or perceived differences?

In this book, examples of cultural heritage ranging from sports to questions of reparations, museums to digital humanities, archaeology to music, language and literature to tourism, and visual art to diaspora policies are compared to developments elsewhere in the Caribbean.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Alex van Stipriaan, Luc Alofs, Francio Guadeloupe)
1. Nation-Building and Nation-Branding in the Caribbean: Comparative Reflections on National Imaginaries and Their Consequences (Michiel Baud and Rosemarijn Höfte)
2.Tourism Development and Nation-Building: The Case of Aruba, (Jorge Ridderstaat)
3. Slavery and Debates about National Identity and Nation-Branding (Rose Mary Allen, Gert Oostindie, and Valika Smeulders)
4. Representations and Reparations of Slavery in the Caribbean (Alex van Stipriaan)
5. Aruban Archaeological Heritage: Nation-Building and Branding in a Caribbean Context (Tibisay Sankatsing Nava, Raymundo Dijkhoff, Ashleigh John Morris, Joseph Sony Jean, Jorge Ulloa Hung, Pancho Geerman and Corinne L. Hofman)
6. Four Islands: Contemporary Art in Suriname, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, (Rob Perrée and Alex van Stipriaan)
7. Papiamento: An Official Caribbean Creole Language from Legal Repression to Full Recognition, (Joyce Pereira and Luc Alofs)
8. Nation-Building and Nation-Branding: Aruban, Bonairean, and Curaçaoan Writers between the Caribbean and the Netherlands (Sara Florian)
9. Radical Imagining in Dutch Caribbean Music (Charissa Granger)
10. Sport Heritage, Nation-Building and Nation-Branding in the Anglophone and Dutch Caribbean (Roy McCree)


Alex van Stipriaan was, until his retirement in late 2020 professor of Caribbean History and Culture at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. He published extensively on (slavery) history, cultural heritage, and artists of Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean.

Luc Alofs (University of Aruba) studied cultural anthropology and obtained a PhD as historian. He is senior research lecturer at the Faculty of Arts & Science and a senior researcher at the Aruba Institute for Good Governance and Leadership.

Francio Guadeloupe is an anthropologist and senior researcher at KITLV-KNAW and an associated Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.

Caribbean Cultural Heritage and the Nation; Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao in a Regional Context. Edited by Alex van Stipriaan, Luc Alofs and Francio Guadeloupe. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Price. 304 p. ISBN 9789087283827. Hardback price € 124,00. 🥹 Paperback price € 49,95.

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