Film: Sombra di Koló ****

Held at the Bijlmer park theater in Amsterdam last Thursday, the documentary film Sombra di Koló (Shadow of Color) was aired together with a post film discussion on the topic of race relations in Curaçao.

The film focuses on five areas in Curaçao that range from working class to upper class. The film argues that the areas also range more or less from black to white. Whites living in gated communities around a bay. The poor in an urban project outside of the capital. And the more mixed race or lighter skinned blacks live in the middle class communities.

The discussion that followed dealt with the topics of personal experiences of discrimination and the need for decolonisation of the minds of people of color and whites alike. Using the right terms to address certain topics in discourse such as the dutch word wit (white) instead of blanc (a more posh way of saying white). And the role of whites in acknowledging that the era of colonization may be over, but it has had a lasting effect on the culture, and the people who have inherited what has come out of this time.

As a person of color myself, I could relate to a lot of the personal experiences shared that night and I hope that one day such a film could be made of race relations in Aruba which is very similar if not more polarized in some ways than its sister island Curaçao.