Colonialism still has an impact, not only overseas but also in the Netherlands. Curacao artist Kevin Osepa explores this colonial legacy. Much of his work revolves around the identity of Afro-Caribbean youth in a post-colonial world. His poetic films, photographs, and installations explore the role of landscape, language, spirituality, sexuality, and machismo.
In his film Watamula, the protagonist makes an arduous journey across Curaçao: ‘the paradox of Paradise’. When making this film, Osepa was inspired by the collection of the Wereldmuseum. In 2020 Watamula was nominated for the Golden Calf award for Best Short Film and Best Debut at the Netherlands Film Festival. The short film of about half an hour is shown in Rotterdam Crossroads.
Osepa’s Mester Blousé photo series is also part of the exhibition. In this series, Kevin Osepa examines how his identity has been shaped by his religion. The title refers to the Caribbean religion of Brua and its custom to cover one’s loved ones in laundry bluing to protect them from misfortune and evil forces. After migrating to the Netherlands, Osepa became vividly aware of the complexity of Brua and his own Caribbean identity. This awareness has had a lasting impact on his graphic work. The gateway, wholly covered in laundry bluing, was made especially for the Wereldmuseum.