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Hidden stories of the Dutch Caribbean

Photo: Rose Mary Allen interviews woman on Curaçao in the 1980s.

Since the 1950s, visionary pioneers such as Paul Brenneker, Elis Juliana, Bòi Antoin and Rose Mary Allen have dedicated themselves to collecting oral history interviews in the Dutch Caribbean. These interviews contain personal stories, traditions, songs, proverbs and language of older generations in that area. Some of this material has been digitised and is accessible to a wide audience, but much of it is still on outdated cassette tapes and VHS Tapes. If this material is not digitised soon, important stories within history risk being lost.


In close collaboration with Rose Mary Allen, Sound and Vision, DANS en het National Archive Curaçao, the Hub Sprekende Geschiedenis start digitising, making accessible and presenting the oral history interviews conducted by Rose Mary Allen. This valuable material, recorded between 1980 and 1995, includes interviews with people on the islands, migrant communities and (grand)children of enslaved people. It constitutes important source material for an in-depth and layered historiography of the Caribbean and contributes to the identity formation of current and future generations.


The project aims to:

  1. Digitisation and preservation: Digitising and permanently preserving oral history material, starting with the work of Rose Mary Allen.
  2. Searchability: Making the interview material searchable, including translating transcripts from Papiamentu to Dutch and English.
  3. Presentation to the public: Developing (digital) forms of presentation of the material for a wide audience in the Caribbean and the Netherlands, in cooperation with young people, artists and the Nationaal Archief Curaçao.

With the Storianan Skondi di Karibe project, we aim to preserve the stories of the past for the future. By working together, we hope to bridge generations, cultures and communities, bringing the rich heritage of the Caribbean to life for a new generation.


Keep following our website and social media channels for more information on the project, its progress and the partners involved.


This project is co-sponsored by the Stimuleringsfonds.