17 April 2013

Curaçao: The state of social media use for Afrodescendant activism


In a semi-postcolonial territory such as Curaçao, there are few successful attempts to create a climate of social activism via new media that actually result in the socio-political transformation of low income and unemployed communities. Under the heavy influence of Dutch rule, the last memorable social media-inspired political manifestations were little more than thinly-veiled pleas by the middle and upperclass to relive the colonial times when the Dutch government was in power. A period in the eyes of Dutch white supremacy, universal suffrage would lead Afro-Curaçaoans into cannibalistic depths.

There is one memorable use of the social media space in Curaçao that will not to be soon forgotten; it a petition circulated by an by an online community of residents to block and condemn the removal of the colonial Peter Stuyvesant statue in front of their high school. The cyber-narrative that the middle and elite classes promoted through social media to de-africanize the spirit and history of the community was one that presented Stuyvesant as a hero and a founding father of Curaçao the prosperous nation of among failed Caribbean states. It suggested that he should be regarded as someone who saved Afro-Curaçaoans from a life full of misery lived in the African bushes by enabling Dutch slavery. The cyber narrative is an offense against the ancestors by honoring the man who enslaved us.


No comments: